To begin, not all peels are created equal.  There are those that I like to call “Fluff-n-Puff”, which are the quick “peels” or exfoliants found in hair salons, or some spas. These are the peels that are very light penetration, may tingle for just a moment, no visable exfoliation (as in no skin peeling off), and no down-time.  Many spa’s will use this type of peel as an “add-on” to a facial.  These light peels require several sessions to see real benefits, and the up side is that you don’t have to hide from your friends and family. Fruit based peels like Glycolic or enzyme, and alpha / beta hydroxyPeels fit into this category.

Now lets get a little deeper…Moderate depth Peels are those that will cause some redness, tingle/burn a bit longer during application, inflammation, swelling and may cause some skin to slough off, typically around the mouth/chin area.  Deepending on your vanity level, you may choose to stay away from the public eye starting day 3 or 4, in case your make up doesn’t look right because it starts to show areas of peeling making your skin look weird, and flaky.  This type of peel not only helps remove some of the superficial layers of skin, but it also penetrates deeper in the skin to cause a wonderful array of skin renewal changes leading to brighter, clearer, smoother, glowing skin.  Jessner, Multiple layers of Light chemical Peels, or even a single light layer of TCA fit into this category.

Get ready for it…OUCH!  The deepest peels usually require some type of topical anesthetic, but there are those herculean people that opt not to use it. Be prepared for down time due to angry looking skin.  Expect to be red, swollen, flaky, tight feeling peeling, and down right not anywhere near ready for any Glamor Shots!  TCA or multiple layers of a moderate peel (perhaps even combined with a single pass microdermabrasion) fit into this category.

So lets peel it all together…it is not a must to have to look like a snake shedding its skin to have great looking skin. However, you must do more frequent light chemical peels (2-3 weeks),  moderate peels (about every 2-3 months), or the scary deeper peel – please please go to a professional!!! – (about 1-2 per year).  The key to remember that we expose our skin to daily wear and tear by sun exposure, pollutants, make-up, and any other gunk that winds up on our lovely faces.  In order to help our skin maintain the flawless results acheived by a peel, a skin care regiment and a series of peels MUST be planned during the year.

BREAKING NEWS… The best news is that skin care companies are getting smarter and are now making peel formulas in such a way that we get to “get our cake and eat it too”! New formulas from companies like Skin Medica & Glo (both of which are found at SAGE – yay!), have created peels that create changes in our skin deep beneth the surface to decrease pigmentation, fine lines, and pore size with minimal down down.  No more monster face. You start seeing visable changes in your skin about 2 weeks after. A series also must be done for this type too, but who cares so long as you don’t have to hide from the public or look like someone that been in an accident  – you get to look radiant all year round!!!

SAGE Aesthetic Gems by Wendy NP