What is Chemical Exfoliation?

Chemical exfoliation is used to remove the outer-most layer of the skin and reveal the fresh, less-wrinkled layer below. In these procedures, a chemical formula is placed on the skin, which then peels off, eliminating dead cells and leaving the skin with clarity, luminosity, and showing an improvement in fine lines.

Who Can Benefit from Chemical Exfoliation? Chemical exfoliation is used for age management and effectively improves the feel and appearance of the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun exposure, aging, and genetics. It can also treat age spots, freckles, and other superficial hyperpigmentation. Most skin colors and types can benefit from chemical exfoliation, though it is best to check with your esthetician about which type might be right for you. If you’re taking acne medication, Retin-A or Accutane, talk to your esthetician about stopping the medication before and during treatment to avoid complications.

How Should I Prepare for Treatment? Check with your esthetician and/or doctor about stopping any of your current medications that might interfere with the treatment. Your skin care professional can review any other contraindications with you prior to your treatment to determine if chemical exfoliation is right for you.

What Can I Expect During Chemical Exfoliation? The skin is cleansed thoroughly with an oilreducing solution, and protective materials are placed on the eyes and hair. One or more chemical mixtures, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or barbolic acid (phenol), are dabbed onto the areas of the skin to be treated. The chemicals then react with the skin to produce a “controlled wound,” allowing fresh skin to regenerate and emerge. A warming or stinging sensation may occur during the treatment, and may last about five to ten minutes. After most chemical exfoliation treatments, the skin may look as though it has been slightly sunburned. Then it may begin to flake. This is a normal reaction to the treatment and is the process of the skin rejuvenating itself. This process takes about three to seven days. Your esthetician may recommend a series of treatments for maximum results.

What About Home Care? There are a few measures you can take to help your skin heal. Aerobic exercise or vigorous physical activity should be avoided for the first 48 hours. Avoid rubbing or scratching areas of the face that have been treated. Direct sunlight/ indoor tanning is to be completely avoided following the treatment. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should become a part of daily skin care regimen as your skin will become more sensitive to the sun as a result of the exfoliation. Finally, avoid applying moisturizers or other products that may contain harsh chemicals, dyes, or perfumes to your skin until it has completely healed. Your skin care professional will explain the home care regimen that is right for you and send you home with written instructions.