What happens when you get a chemical peel?

I bet when you think of a chemical peel the image of Samantha from Sex and the City immediately enters your mind. Banish it. This is what happens when you get a chemical peel.

Sore, angry and a bright red face for days. That's the visual Sex and the City managed to insert into the minds of women everywhere when they came to think of a chemical peel. I wasn't immune and that pre-conception was an immediate turn off for me. Lucky, it turns out that that is not the reality. This is what happens when you get a chemical peel, and there's very little to be scared of.

First, don't let the word 'peel' put you off. It doesn't mean you will be hiding under a rock for the next four weeks or even that you will have to take time off work.

So, what is it?

A peel is a gentle exfoliation. A chemical peel involves professional using medical grade ingredients like salicylic acid and lactic acid to remove the buildup of dead skin cells and neutralise bacteria. It's still gentle, it just requires a pro to apply the correct level of ingredients for your specific needs.

What exactly are the benefits?

The purpose of a chemical peel is mainly to brighten and rejuvenate the skin, improve the texture and tone, reduce lines and wrinkles, rebalance skin, remove acne and red marks, and prevent breakouts. That's all! Lol.

The treatment should be carried out by a registered medical professional, which would in itself completely put your mind at ease. When you are working with acids, it's always best to make sure you go to the right person so they can get choose the right course of action for your skin.


The process

The whole treatment takes only 45 minutes. I got one recently, which you can read about here, but in a nutshell, it's most enjoyable. It starts off with a gentle facial. After (in my case) the nurse analyses your skin type, she chooses the right peel for your skin needs. For me, she chose two separate ones for different parts of my skin as my t- zone is oily and my cheeks were more dehydrated.

When the peel was applied, there was a feeling of warmth and slight itchiness, but no pain or discomfort. I just felt like it was working.


It takes about a week for you to notice a change in your skin, however, everyone reacts differently. Some people do experience skin peeling, but it's nothing to be concerned about Initially, there is some slight redness but that goes down in about an hour. Then after about seven days, you will see a brighter, clearer, calmer and more rejuvenated looking skin.

What's really important to remember, though, is to avoid sunlight for 24 hours and to wear high-level SPF for a week at least (although as you know, you should be wearing it every day, including in winter!). Acids make your skin very, very sensitive to the sun which could lead to pigmentation and damage if you're exposed.

I got my chemical peel in River Medical where the cost is €160 per treatment. Ideally, a course of three treatments will give you the best results and the price will reduce when you buy in bulk at River Medical. 


What is your favourite skin treatment that you have ever tried? What do you think really, really works? Would you consider a chemical peel?

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