Understanding the Different Types of Chemical Peels


Unless you were born with the gift of permanently perfect skin – and if you were, consider yourself a fresh-faced unicorn – you’ve probably wished for a way to achieve a celebrity-worthy complexion free from acne, fine lines, and uneven tone and texture. But without a Kardashian-sized beauty budget, is a flawless face even possible?

As it turns out, there’s a not-so-secret treatment that’s becoming the go-to option for women who want to refresh and rejuvenate their skin: chemical peels. A chemical peel can completely transform your skin’s appearance and uncover the smooth, youthful, and healthy complexion you’ve always wanted when performed by a professional. Safe and impressively effective, chemical peels are the ultimate solution to your skin woes – so why haven’t you gotten one yet?

At The Salon & Spa at Focal Point, we’ve helped countless guests achieve stunning results with professional chemical peels and treatments – so it’s safe to say that we know a thing or two about skincare. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about chemical peel treatments, making it easy to slough off the uncertainty of picking the peel that’s right for you.

We’ll cover:

    • What a chemical peel is and how it works
    • The different types of chemical peels available and why a medical peel is completely different from any at-home product
    • Why chemical peels are essential for anyone that lives in the Southwest

So, prepare to say goodbye to dull, aging, acne-prone skin and hello to the gorgeous complexion that will turn you into a selfie queen: it’s time to learn how chemical peels can change your skincare game forever.

What is a Chemical Peel?

Before we dive into the different options for chemical peels, let’s get the basics out of the way: what is a chemical peel, and how exactly does it work?

What are chemical peels, and how do they work?

Chemical peels, sometimes called acid peels, are an advanced skincare treatment that can be applied to your face, neck, and even hands. A customized chemical solution that features varying blends of professional-grade active ingredients is used to induce a healthy peeling process.

Post-peel, your top layer of skin painlessly flakes off, revealing the beautifully fresh and fabulous new skin beneath. Plus, your body’s natural healing process gets a significant boost, kicking cell renewal and elastin and collagen production into high gear – which is always a win in the world of skin care.

What are the benefits of chemical peels?

There are plenty of reasons that our guests sing the praises of chemical peels, choosing the treatment as a way to combat:

    • Wrinkles and fine lines
    • Acne and acne scars
    • Scarring
    • Sun damage
    • Hyperpigmentation
    • Melasma
    • Uneven skin tone and texture

Ask yourself this: would you jump at the chance to literally exfoliate away every one of your most frustrating skin concerns? We thought so. That’s exactly why professional chemical peels are about to become your newest skincare staple.

Types of Salon Chemical Peels

There are three general types of chemical peels you can get at a salon, each one serving its own unique purpose and addressing specific skin concerns and goals. Focal Point Salon and Spa offers different options within these categories, and your aesthetician will help you choose the best fit for your skin.

Superficial Peels

Superficial peels use mild acids, such as alpha-hydroxy acid, to provide gentle exfoliation and penetrate your skin’s outermost layer. These peel types often use a blend of natural acids that may include glycolic acid (from sugar cane), citric acid (from citrus fruits), lactic acid (from milk), or malic acid (from apples). You might have heard of “glycolic peels,” which are one of the best-known kinds that fall into this category.

A superficial chemical peel is an ideal way to tackle dry skin, very fine lines, mild acne, and slightly uneven skin tone, and can be a great option if you have sensitive skin or are getting your very first peel.

Focal Point guests can choose between superficial peels from Skinceuticals and SkinMedica, including:

    • SkinCeuticals Micropeel Sensitive: Suitable even for sensitive skin and perfect for chemical peel first-timers, this peel gently exfoliates your skin to brighten and soften.
    • SkinCeuticals Micropeel Plus: Often recommended for acne-prone skin, this peel fights breakouts now and in the future.
    • SkinCeuticals Micropeel: Nicknamed the “red carpet peel,” this customizable option will reveal your skin’s stunning radiance, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and perfect your natural skin tone.
    • SkinMedica Illuminize Peel®: Another great introductory peel, this formulation brightens and evens skin.

Medium Peels

Medium peels generally use trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, and other medium-intensity acids to penetrate into both the outer and middle layers of skin. This type is a good option for repairing skin damage, especially the issues that occur primarily at medium depth. Sometimes called “TCA peels,” this category of peel is a perfect match for anyone dealing with sun damage, deeper wrinkles, age spots, acne scarring, and severe pigmentation issues.

Some of Focal Point’s most in-demand medium chemical peels include:

    • SkinMedica Vitalize Peel®: Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines with minimal downtime, giving your skin a youthful glow and silky-smoothness.
    • SkinMedica Rejuvenize Peel™: Turns back time by smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines, delivering noticeable results after one treatment and dramatic transformations after a regimen of three to six peels.

Deep Peels

Deep peels completely penetrate your skin’s middle layer to get rid of damaged skin cells, typically using phenol or trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to deliver dramatic results. As the most intense peel option, deep chemical peels can completely transform even the most severely damaged skin.

Some of Focal Point’s most in-demand deep chemical peels include:

    • SkinCeuticals TCA Peel: Considered the gold standard of peels, the TCA peel is the strongest peel. Clinically tested on a variety of skin tones, including deeper skin tones (Fitzpatrick I-IV)

Do at-home chemical peels work?

Many products sound promising when it comes to at-home peels, but they just can’t offer anywhere near the same level of results as a professional, medical-grade peel.

Because the acids used in medical-grade blends require specialized expertise and handling, they simply aren’t available to purchase at your local store. Instead of wasting your time, money, and hope on a peel you ordered online – and risking damage or irritation – trust your skin to the professionals at Focal Point.

Why Chemical Peels are a Must for Desert Dwellers

Here in Arizona, chemical peels are a necessity for our desert lifestyle. Thanks to our incredible weather, we spend more time outside than most people worldwide, and that can wreak havoc on our skin. From hiking Camelback Mountain and spending days by the pool to enjoy a relaxing patio brunch at one of Scottsdale’s newest restaurants, we Arizonians are always making the most of being outdoors.

Unfortunately, constant sun exposure accelerates fine lines and wrinkles and can make sunspots one of your worst enemies. But when you’re taking a proactive approach with the right professional peel, you can keep your skin safe from the Arizona sun.

Focal Point Salon and Spa: Your Destination for Chemical Peels in Phoenix

Now that you know that being an Arizona local means putting extra effort into caring for your skin, you just need the right experts to keep you looking and feeling like a desert goddess. Not all chemical peels are created equal, especially because plenty of Phoenix med spas are just overcharging clients for generic, out-of-the-box solutions.

Focal Point matches you with a medical aesthetician that has the specialized expertise to provide you with completely customized care, taking professional skincare to the next level. Our medical-grade peels go beyond anything you can use at home or find in a standard spa, giving you the dramatic results you’re hoping for.

Our selection of professional peels includes formulations from Skinceuticals and SkinMedica, specifically their products available only for use by a medical aesthetician.

Transform Your Skin with Professional Chemical Peels in Phoenix

You already have the skin you’ve always wanted – it’s just waiting underneath the skin you have now!

At Focal Point Salon and Spa, our expert team will help you start a tailored treatment plan that tackles all your skin concerns. We’ll make personalized recommendations for chemical peels, post-peel products, and more, giving you the individualized care that will really make a difference for your skin. We offer a broad range of the best peels in the industry, so you have plenty of options for achieving perfect skin.

Contact our spa to schedule your chemical peel consultation today!

Featured Image: Trendsetter Images / Shutterstock

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