The past few years have seen an explosion in the popularity of noninvasive cosmetic procedures including everything from injectables to radiofrequency to light therapy to chemical peels, with more than 15.5 million procedures performed in 2016. Among the cosmetic minimally invasive procedures performed in 2016, chemical peels come in third, just behind botox and fillers. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report, more than 1.36 million chemical peels were performed last year. Clearly, more and more clients are realizing that today’s gentler, versatile chemical peels are essential to keeping their skin healthy and glowing. You can pair them with laser treatments or injections to maximize results and decrease downtime. We checked in with Taylor Pollei. M.D., California-based facial plastic surgeon, for his expert opinion on what’s possible with peels now.
What peels do you recommend in the spring?
Really whatever is best for your skin type. Spring is a great time for a peel or a series of peels before it gets very hot and allows patients to maintain their results through summer. Fall as well is a good time for a single or series of peels to erase some of the sun related skin changes picked up over the summer season.
Are there any peels you recommend in the summer or better to hold off until fall?
Some people choose to hold off with peels until the fall because the degree of sun exposure is less during the winter. For those who choose this route really any of the above mentioned peels would work well. In additional there are plenty of professional treatments to benefit your skin year-round, including the Revitalize Mask, Clarify Mask and the Oxygenating Trio which are all great during the summer. There are also many protocols written specifically for the summer months and during the hotter weather.
What peels are best for different skin types and why?
Sensitive: The PCA Skin Sensi Peel is a gentle formula ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. Using the tried and true chemical TCA it is a great starting spot and can be tailored to how sensitive your skin with each ensuing peel. Its blend of a variety of exfoliating agents at lower levels provides excellent results without the typically seen downtime or discomfort.
Acne: The PCA Peel with Hydroquinone & Resorcinol is a great peel to help even skin tone and provide more exfoliation for oilier, thicker and more resilient skin types. It also it Incorporates Salicylic Acid in the formula, making it well-suited for acne prone skin.
Hyperpigmentation: The PCA Peel (with or without hydroquinone) is a great choice for removing surface cells that darken aggressively over time with unwanted pigment. This aims to achieve a clearer, more even skin tone. An additional option would be the PCA Skin 4% Retinol Peel which provides increased cell turnover that improves the appearance of discolored skin leaving skin tighter and brighter.
Aging: Specially formulated to treat more mature skin (including fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture) PCA SKIN Ultra Peel I will help improve age related changes, while promoting an even skin tone and texture. Another option for deeper lines and wrinkles would be the PCA Skin 4% Retinol Peel that helps to provide more dramatic and rapid rejuvenation of the skin.
What ingredients work best with each skin type or skin concern?
Hydroquinone, azelaic acid, and kojic acid are good ingredients that help with dark spots/pigment and evening skin tone.
Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) is most commonly used as a superficial to medium-depth peeling agent. It improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and dramatically improves surface texture.
Salicylic acid is lipophilic, which means it can penetrate oil filled pores. This makes it great for those with acneic or oily skin prone to breakouts.
Retinol peels and daily care retinoic acid topicals are great for many skin concerns – they help to increase cell turnover which improves discoloration, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles and smooths skin texture.
What peels work well for multiple skin types? Why?
The PCA Skin Sensi Peel is formulated as a unique peeling option that is great for anyone to use for skin improvement and maintenance. It uses a well-tolerated 6 percent TCA solution to improve surface texture and brighten the skin while helping to promote an even skintone.