Jeune Skin Care: Ask the Experts

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Jeune Skin Care Aestheticians

Q. What's the difference between professional and at-home chemical peels?


woman's face; UW Health Transformations Plastic Surgery and Skin Care, Madison, WisconsinA. There are a variety of "chemical peels" available - from at-home treatments to spa chemical peels and in-office peels that can only be performed by licensed specialists or physicians.


The confusing fact is that most of the at-home peels contain many of the same ingredients as office peels, so it is very important for a patient to know the difference.


Chemical peels done in a physician's office contain higher concentrations of acid, such as glycolic and salicylic. A chemical peel can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes.


When the acids are applied, careful attention is needed because most acids do not neutralize on their own. They penetrate the skin very quickly and reach the skin at deeper levels than peels done at home. These more aggressive treatments can treat more serious skin conditions, such as acne, scarring and dark patches on the skin.


In-office treatments are medical and should only be performed by experienced specialists, especially if you have dark skin. Dark skin requires special attention, needing lower concentrations of glycolic or salicylic acid to prevent worsening irregular pigmentation.


At-home peels can offer some benefit to the skin, containing similar acids used in professional peels. They are usually applied nightly for a week or so to reach desired results. Unfortunately, the concentrations are just not strong enough to truly speed cell turnover. The results are minimal and at-home peels are mostly used to refresh the skin.


Choosing the right peel for yourself can be difficult, and considering the financial investment, our best advice is to see a medical aesthetician who specializes in chemical peels. If peels are not an affordable option, or if you aren't a good candidate for a peel, a medical aesthetician has the expertise to recommend other products you can use to improve your skin.


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