If you’d like to watch a 12 minute video explaining resurfacing treatments (peels) and watch and hear about Lisa’s journey click below:
What are Resurfacing treatments?
These are also known as peels. That really is a misnomer as modern-day resurfacing treatments often do not create any shedding of the skin, but this depends on what depth of the dermis you are aiming for and whether your skin has had preparatory home skin care with decent active ingredients. Remember Samantha in Sex in the City? It looked like she had a phenol peel. It doesn’t have to be like that, you can have a shed free one. There are mild to moderate depth peels available, depending on your skin concerns and tolerance for down time.
What do peels do to the skin?
Put simply, they revive the skin, giving it a deep, healthy look and feel. They are particularly good at dealing with acne, rosacea, pigmentation, sun damage, fine lines, pore size, dull skin, acne scarring and much more.
How do they work?
Peels usually have similar ingredients to the “actives” in skincare but are delivered in more potent concentrations. Some ingredients however, such as Trichloraectic Acid (TCA) or phenol, are only found in resurfacing treatments. They work by releasing proton ions that penetrate through the gaps between skin cells and often disrupt the weaker, less robust skin cells. This means that resilient light reflecting cells remain that give the skin a deep healthy radiance immediately after. And that’s not all, bio signalling will stimulate your skin’s factory floor “the basement membrane into producing more skin cells by cytokine stimulation of interleukin IL6 to promote Epidermal Growth Factors. These cytokines also stimulate interleukin 1 alpha, which boosts your fibroblasts into creating more collagen, hyaluronic acid and glycosaminoglycans. These, you may recognise, as the building blocks of youthful, springy and hydrated skin.
Who are they suitable for and what concerns do they help with?
Skin resurfacing is for both men and women, anywhere from 20 to 80 years old and any skin type (Fitzpatrick I-VI). It is particularly effective on wrinkled, sun-damaged skin, brown spots, blotchy colouring, fine lines around the mouth, eyes and upper eyelids, even scars from acne, chicken pox or facial injury. It can help those suffering with skin ailments such as melasma, acne, rosacea and sensitive skins.
As an example, ingredients such as retinoic acid, niacinamide, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, 4- Butylresorcinol are useful for reducing bothersome skin pigmentation that often comes with sun damage or ageing. There are specific combinations that target acne such as salicylic acid, azelaic acid, niacinamide, lactobionic and retinoic acid to name a few.
There are also specific ingredients that help build up resilience in sensitive rosacea prone skin or target dull and ageing skin. Please see someone who knows what ingredients to avoid if pregnant. A great practitioner will choose a concoction specific for your skin type.
When will I see the results?
Both immediately after the resurfacing treatment (a.k.a. peel) and after 1 skin cycle which means 8- 12 weeks later. As common sense would dictate, a course of 3 or 4 will give you more noticeable skin changes than just 1. However, even 1 treatment will give some results and you can “bank” the collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid which slows down your skin’s rate of ageing. With the phenol peels you will shed from about day 3-7 and once the shedding is complete you will see a difference.
Can peels be used with other skin treatments?
In general, yes. My favourite combination are regular peels alongside potent homecare. The peels remove all the old skin cell debris so home care creams have fewer obstructions on their journey into the deeper layers of the skin. This will achieve greater results than just topicals or peels alone.
A lot of my patients, when they come for their repeat Botox, will have a superficial peel just before the injectable. Ask about adding this to your next toxin appointment.
Peels are included in the radiofrequency microneedling and the BioReStimulation packages. It makes sense to get your collagen working like it did in your youth, with these bioregenerative treatments that have scientific backing. Having facial skin that looks glowing, radiant and blemish free is so attractive, no matter what your age is.
When I'm preparing my patient for their full face regeneration with Botox, dermal fillers and/or thread lifts, I often prepare the skin with peels and topicals. When your skin looks good, it makes your injectable results shine and improves the longevity of your injectables.
Who are peels not suitable for?
There are some peel ingredients that aren’t suitable when pregnant or breast feeding but there are plenty that are safe. Your doctor may consider salicyclic acid however not for those who are allergic to aspirin or other anti inflammatories. You can’t have a peel if you have inflammation such as an active cold sore, open wound, sun burn, wind burn at the treatment site. They are not suitable for people who will not adhere to 2 weeks of the application of SPF 30 (or above). This is because there is a risk of blotchy hyperpigmentation if your skin is injured with UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds.
What should I expect as usual downtime?
This again depends. If downtime is an issue for you, please let your doctor know as this can be tailored. Unfortunately, it is often the case, the more effective you want a peel to be the more down time is associated with it. If you don’t want down time then you may need a few more visits to get the results you want.
Most patients immediately after a superficial to moderate peel look fresh faced and seldom have any redness. Some who do may also experience some swelling around the eyes. This usually subsides within a day or two. Those who suffer acne may see a transient breakout, but again this is often short lived. Your doctor may need prescriptions to help control this. The more sessions you have the less frequent these effects occur. In those who are used to peels it is sometimes recommended to have a peel on the morning of a big event as the skin looks great in the evening.
If you have a phenol based peel you will experience skin shedding from day 3 for a few days. At this time use the aftercare creams given as per instruction.
Are there side effects?
Possible side effects include lightened skin, temporarily darkened skin, redness that can last for months, and scarring. However, if you choose your practitioner wisely, these are very rare events. If you are prone to cold sores please let the doctor know so precautions such as antiviral prescriptions can be considered.
How long will your results last?
Again, this depends. If you smoke, drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, have a poor and sugary diet, sun bathe frequently, or are post-menopausal you are going to age more quickly than the person who does not have these risk factors. Nonetheless, we all continue to age and nothing lasts forever, so it’s important to note that the results of a chemical peel aren’t permanent. You can have repeat mild and medium peels on a regular basis to renew your results and keep your skin replenishing itself. Because phenol peels are stronger your doctor will advise on the frequency of these.
For more details Click here for info on peels
If you are a new patient please book for a peel consultation for a detailed assessment and treatment plan. You can be assured that you will never be ‘upsold’ treatments and will only be recommended on what will make a difference. Sometimes people are discouraged from having procedures that are unnecessary, giving you reasons why.
My private clinic is 1/2 way between Chester and Wrexham in a countryside setting. I have over 25 years of experience as a medical doctor including GP, aesthetics and dermatology. I give honest trustworthy advice on what will deliver results. I've trained as a doctor and will try to help you get to your skin goals. You won't be "upsold" in my clinic, however, as common sense will tell you, the more you invest in yourself, the better the result. It's that simple.
Call 07711190079 now to book in. If we are unable to pick up the phone please leave a message. The online booking system may be temporarily disabled.