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Chemical Peels: DIY Or Off To The Doctor?

You may have heard of the benefits of chemical peels in passing. If you haven’t, they’re sort of the one stop shop for beautiful skin. They can treat fine lines, dark marks, less severe acne, wrinkles, mild scars and sun damage. They can also shrink pores.

The process that goes into a chemical peel itself can sound pretty intimidating. An acid solution is put on skin that will cause outer layers of the skin to peel off. The new skin is left refreshed and revitalized, looking smoother and younger. It’s a procedure that’s usually administered in a doctor’s office or surgery center, but can also be done at home.

If you’re thinking of going the chemical peel route, you may be wondering if you should do it at home or go to the doctor. Below are some tips and info on each method so you can make an informed decision.

Home Chemical Peels

It’s probably tempting to do chemical peels at home. You’ll save money and get to slush off dead skin in the comfort of your home. And home chemical peel kits are everywhere. These are actually just less potent versions of what you’d get in a doctor’s office so that they are safer to apply yourself. You’re still getting the renewing effects, but at a gentler and slower rate.

If you do go the home route, make sure you’re getting a peel kit that helps regulate the amount of chemicals you are putting on your skin. An example is presoaked pads that will deliver the acid to your skin. That way, you’re not running as much of a risk of inconsistent application or overdoses on the chemical, all of which will lead to less-than-perfect skin.

Also, make sure to focus on aftercare if you go with the at-home peel. Once you’ve peeled away the top layer of skin, what you’ll be left with is newer, “baby” skin. Since it’s newer, it’s more prone to damage at first. Follow up the peel with a peptide, vitamin C and retinol serum, and then add a strong moisturizer. That will all go towards protecting and nourishing the newly exposed skin.

Clinical Peels

There’s this cultural myth that when you get a chemical peel done at the doctor, you’ll be walking around with red, puffy and damaged skin afterwards. What most people are thinking of is the deep chemical peels that were more common a couple decades ago already.

These days, people can waltz off to the doctor over lunch, get a chemical peel and be back to work like nothing ever happened. Their complexion might be a bit fresher, and that’s the only sign.

What doctors are more likely to do is what is called a “superficial peel,” which sheds the topmost layers of the skin. For full benefits, patients then go in for multiple treatments a month until the desired results are seen. It’s a gradual, less extensive peel that will not leave skin red and shedding afterwards.

Though medium depth and deep peels are still performed to shed deeper layers of skin and reverse more extensive appearances of aging. The superficial peels come with less inherent risks like scarring and hyperpigmentation, but if you’re looking for more of a complexion overhaul, it might be worth it to discuss with the doctor which treatment would be best. One of the benefits of working with a doctor is you’re getting a professional opinion and care, and the doctor can use prescriptions with the peel for greater effectiveness.

Whichever way you go, hopefully chemical peels look a little less intimidating now.