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Chemical Peels vs Microdermabrasion

chemical peels vs microdermabrasion

In today’s world, we’re all looking for solutions to healthy, youthful, and glowing skin. While there are an array of treatment options, two popular options in advanced skincare are chemical peels and microdermabrasion. These two procedures can help address various skin concerns, such as acne, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin texture. While both of them aim to treat the skin, they do so through different methods! In this blog, we’ll go over the differences and benefits of chemical peels and microdermabrasion. 

What Is A Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing treatment used to treat wrinkles, skin discoloration, and scarring. As an outpatient procedure, peels are performed in various locations: day spas, doctors’ offices, medical spas, and surgery centers. It’s an exfoliating treatment that employs a chemical solution to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new, healthier skin. As the skin heals from a chemical peel, smoother and younger-looking skin grows back in its place. 

Types Of Chemical Peels

  • Light chemical peel: removes the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Light peels treat fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, and dryness. Light chemical peels can be repeated as often as every two to five weeks to achieve the desired results.
  • Medium chemical peel: removes skin cells from the epidermis as well as portions of the top section of the dermis, or middle layer of skin. A medium chemical peel is also used to treat wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone, but also helps reduce or remove the appearance of shallow acne scars. Medium chemical peels can be repeated after four to six weeks to maintain or improve results.
  • Deep chemical peel: removes skin cells from the epidermis and parts of the mid to lower layer of the dermis. Deep wrinkles or scars are often treated with deep peels.

What Happens During A Chemical Peel?

During a chemical peel, a controlled chemical solution is applied to the skin to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. The procedure is performed by a licensed professional and involves cleansing the skin, applying the chemical solution, and removing it after a specific time. Sensations like warmth or tingling may be felt during the peel. Afterward, the skin may experience redness, flaking, or peeling as it heals. 

After A Chemical Peel

After a chemical peel, your skin goes through a recovery process that varies depending on the type and depth of the peel performed. Here’s what typically happens after a chemical peel:

  • Redness and Sensitivity: This is a normal reaction and usually subsides within a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the depth of the peel.
  • Peeling or Flaking: Depending on the type of chemical peel, you may experience peeling or flaking of the treated skin. This is a natural part of the exfoliation process as the old, damaged skin is shed, making way for the new, healthier skin underneath.
  • Dryness: Your skin may feel dry and tight after the peel, as the exfoliation process can temporarily reduce the skin’s natural moisture levels. It is essential to keep your skin hydrated by applying a gentle moisturizer as recommended by your esthetician.
  • Avoiding Sun Exposure: Your skin will be more sensitive to the sun after a chemical peel, so it is crucial to avoid direct sun exposure for several days following the treatment. If you need to go outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Avoiding Harsh Products: During the healing process, it’s essential to avoid using harsh skincare products, including products containing retinoids, exfoliants, or strong acids. These could irritate the newly treated skin and impede the healing process.
  • Soothing Products: Your esthetician may recommend using soothing products, such as a cooling mask or the Growth Factor Serum Plus, to help alleviate any discomfort and reduce redness.

What Is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion, like a chemical peel, involves removing the top layer of the skin using a combination of abrasion and suction. It is a treatment for uneven skin tone, mild acne, acne discoloration, dark spots, and superficial acne scarring. Using a small hand-held sprayer or a bristle-tip wand, a skin care technician will gently exfoliate the epidermis to rejuvenate it. Microdermabrasion is a minimally-invasive, in-office procedure that takes approximately an hour to perform.

What Happens During Microdermabrasion?

At Peak Day Spa, our technician will cleanse your skin before moving a bristle-tip wand over the skin. A small vacuum removes the exfoliated skin cells. The wand moves over the skin using sweeping motions while the loose skin is suctioned off at the same time. The sensation is frequently compared to the feel of a cat’s lick. As a general rule, the depth of treatment depends on the speed of the application, and the number of passes made over the skin.  However, the pressure and speed can be easily adjusted depending on the sensitivity and tolerance of the skin.

After Microdermabrasion

After a microdermabrasion treatment, your skin goes through a recovery process. Here’s what typically happens and what you can expect after microdermabrasion:

  • Mild Redness: After the treatment, your skin may appear slightly red, similar to a mild sunburn. This redness is temporary and usually subsides within a few hours to a day.
  • Sensitivity: Your skin may feel slightly sensitive and tender to the touch immediately after the procedure. This sensitivity is a normal reaction and should improve within a day or two.
  • Hydration: It’s essential to keep your skin well-hydrated after microdermabrasion. Apply a gentle, non-irritating moisturizer to help soothe and hydrate your skin.
  • Sun Protection: Since your skin will be more vulnerable to sun damage after the treatment, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 before going outside. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevents post-treatment complications.
  • Avoiding Harsh Products: To avoid further irritation, avoid using products with strong active ingredients like retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids immediately after the treatment.
  • No Downtime: One of the advantages of microdermabrasion is that it typically involves no downtime. You can resume your regular activities immediately after the treatment.

Benefits Of Chemical Peels And Microdermabrasion

Both chemical peels and microdermabrasion offer a multitude of benefits for achieving radiant and rejuvenated skin. Chemical peels are highly effective in improving skin texture, evening out skin tone, and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. They also help manage acne and stimulate collagen production for increased skin firmness. 

On the other hand, microdermabrasion gently exfoliates the skin, leading to enhanced skin radiance, minimized pore size, and reduced fine lines. It improves the absorption of skincare products and stimulates collagen production as well. 

Choosing The Right Treatment For You

While both chemical peels and microdermabrasion offer distinct benefits, the ideal treatment for you depends on several factors, including your skin type, concerns, and desired results. It is recommended to consult a skilled esthetician at Peak Day Spa who can assess your skin and recommend the most suitable option. In some cases, a combination of both treatments might be suggested for optimal results.

Let’s Get You Scheduled! 

Whether you choose a chemical peel for its deep exfoliation and skin-renewing effects or microdermabrasion for its gentle, radiant-boosting results, your skin will undoubtedly thank you for the pampering. If you’re ready to get scheduled, click here to make an appointment. We’re excited to help you achieve your dream skin!

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