Microdermabrasion & Chemical Peel Treatment

What is the difference between chemical peels and Microdermabrasion?

Both treatments are forms of professional exfoliation that can accelerate your cell turnover rate. As you age your rate of epidermal cell turnover slows down and professional exfoliation can trigger your skin to regenerate faster. Microdermabrasion is a manual removal of excess dead epidermal tissue. Chemical peels use enzymes and acids to dissolve the excess epidermal cells. The two procedures can be done together to allow the chemical peel to penetrate more deeply into the epidermis.

I want to have a resurfacing treatment, but which one should I choose?

There are a number of factors that go into the decision: your age, the extent of the damage, and your skin sensitivity to name a few. The best thing to do is to come in for a consultation and let your esthetician do a comprehensive diagnosis, and recommend which treatment plan will be best for you. Consultations are always free of charge.

What types of conditions are successfully treated with skin resurfacing?

Skin resurfacing can be used to even skin tone and texture, treat brown spots (hyperpigmentation), treat melasma (mask of pregnancy), reduce the appearance of large pores, and reduce light to medium depth wrinkles. Resurfacing does not treat: broken capillaries, deep acne scars, deep wrinkles, or vascular moles.

How much downtime should I expect?

The wonderful thing about resurfacing is that there is little to no down time. Redness will subside in about 1 - 3 hours and you will feel tight for the first 24 hours with a peel. After that, your skin will begin to shed lightly, and the shedding will last 2 - 10 days. As long as you keep your skin properly hydrated you won't even see the shedding. In fact, optimally, the epidermal tissue lining the hair follicle will shed and you won't see the skin layers come off. With Microdermabrasion the results are immediate, and you will have no epidermal shedding outside of the treatment room.

Does it hurt?

Both procedures are fairly painless, though you can feel some heat with chemical peels that can be alleviated through the use of a fan to cool the skin. Peel application can be compared to a strong tingling on the surface of the skin, and Microdermabrasion uses a light suction to gently abrade the epidermal tissue. People who generally report a lot of pain with their procedure have usually had it performed by a poorly trained provider. We use only the best providers to perform exceptional treatments.

Can I peel along with my IPL or Cosmelan treatments?

You should absolutely choose chemical resurfacing to enhance the results of an IPL or Cosmelan series. Reduction of dead epidermal tissue will allow your medical treatments to penetrate deeper, enhancing the results of both procedures. Time frames vary by individual, but the best rule of thumb is to have the procedures performed about a week apart.

What is an herbal peel, or green peel? Should I choose this over a chemical peel?

An herbal peel is a new marketing term for a peel that contains acids from plants. It is a product gimmick used to enhance the marketing of an inferior product. Herbal peels typically are not as effective as professional resurfacing treatments, and in most cases are not even FDA registered organic! Our peels are 100% natural ingredients obtained from self-sustaining sources. You are better off not receiving a home-made alternative.

Select a professional or medical grade chemical peel, performed by a specially trained and licensed provider.

What kind of results will I have?

Results vary by individual, but typically you need several treatments in order to achieve the desired result. This is because resurfacing works progressively, each time removing slightly more epidermal tissue. Each treatment goes deeper than the last one, and each time the results are longer lasting. With a series of 4 - 6 peels typically your results will last 6 months or more, depending on the depth of the skin damage. With a combination of IPL or Cosmelan with resurfacing treatments, the results could last much longer.

What do I use on my skin post treatment?

You must use sunscreen! Your epidermal tissue serves as your protective barrier against harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. If you go out in the sun unprotected following a treatment, you run the risk of causing the sun damage to penetrate far into the dermis where it can cause a variety of issues from dark sun spots to skin cancer. The best protections are use of a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and wear a hat during prolonged sun exposure. In addition, hydrocortisone can reduce redness and soothe the skin post-procedure.

Toner can increase hydration, and hide peeling skin. Here is a helpful list of things to avoid for 48 hours

following a peel, and for 7-10 days following a peel:

For 48 hours post-procedure DO NOT:

  • Go Swimming
  • Participate in activities that will cause excess perspiration
  • Apply ice or ice water to the treated areas
  • Put your face directly in a hot shower spray
  • Use loofahs or other means of manual exfoliation

For 7 - 10 days post-procedure DO NOT:

  • Exfoliate
  • Use Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's) or Retinol based products (including Tazorac, Tretinoin, or Retin-A)
  • Have electrolysis, collagen injections, facial waxing, or use depilatories on the treated area.
  • Pick or pull at peeling skin (cutting or trimming is OK)
  • ABSOLUTELY do not go to a tanning booth!

Good luck and happy peeling!
Michelle Macomber
, M.Ed., Skin Care Educator and Licensed Esthetician