With spring just around the corner, a lot of us are looking for ways to refresh our skin after a cold and dry winter. Chemical peels were some of the first cosmetic treatments ever invented, and are still some of our favorite procedures to help brighten-up our complexions!

The ancient Egyptian aristocracy was the first to discover the rejuvenating power of chemical peels – nobles applied sour milk to their faces as part of their beauty regimens. Sour milk contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is still used today in chemical peels and cosmeceuticals. Modern chemical peels date back to the 19th century, when German dermatologists began using a variety of acid solutions to treat pigmentation and scarring. It was only a matter of a few years before dermatologists at the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris discovered the cosmetic benefits of chemical peels – and the rest is history!

All chemical peels use a variety of dilute chemical solutions to exfoliate and remove the top layers of sun-damaged skin. The fresh skin that emerges from underneath is smoother and brighter, with more even tone, texture and pigmentation. Today, we use chemical peels for a variety of cosmetic and medical concerns: melasma, sun damage, acne, fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and even precancerous growths on the skin.

Chemical peels differ in their composition – they can include a variety of chemicals, most commonly glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, malic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or phenol. Peels can also vary in terms of their strength, depending on the chemical solutions used and their concentrations. They range from very superficial peels that provide light exfoliation with little to no downtime, to medium and deep peels that penetrate to the deep layers of the skin to provide more dramatic tightening and collagen stimulation, albeit with a longer recovery time.

Chemical peels are a medical procedure, and it’s always best to discuss your skincare goals with a board-certified dermatologist in order to determine which peel would be best for you. Call us at (520) 797-8885 to schedule a consultation today!