Skin Routine: Facial vs. Chemical Peel

September 19, 2023
William Hanner D.O.

Maintaining healthy and radiant skin requires a consistent skincare routine. Notably, Americans invest more in the skincare industry than any other country globally, with an annual worth of up to $21.09 billion, as reported by Statista.

This article provides a comprehensive evaluation of different skincare options, enabling you to make an informed decision about which option best suits your needs.

What is a Facial? 

Facial treatments are a skincare procedure that aims to clean, exfoliate, and nourish your skin. This luxurious experience will leave your skin revitalized and rejuvenated. 

A casual facial treatment involves cleansing the skin, sloughing off dead skin cells, and hydrating with a moisturizer. Different types of facials are used for various skin goals, such as anti-aging, acne, or deep cleansing treatments.

What is Chemical peeling?

Chemical peeling is a cosmetic procedure that utilizes a solution infused with chemicals to reduce skin impurities, resulting in a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing appearance. As we age, our skin undergoes a natural aging process resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, uneven skin texture, and tone. Environmental factors such as sun exposure, pollution, and unhealthy lifestyle habits can accelerate the deterioration of our skin quality. Therefore, chemical peeling has become a popular cosmetic technique to address these issues and enhance the overall skin appearance.

What are the types of chemical peels?

There are different types available with their own particular ingredients and strengths. Superficial peels may utilize alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), like glycolic acid or lactic acid, for the purpose of exfoliating the skin and improving its texture. On the other hand, beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) - such as salicylic acid - are often used in deeper peels to address acne and greasy skin issues. For more extreme cases, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is employed in medium to deep peels.

Side effects of chemical peels

Adverse side effects can arise when chemical solutions are applied to the skin. Common side effects include redness, interference with your skin color, peeling, and discomfort. Severe issues could arise, such as cold sores or changes in skin pigmentation. 

To minimize the risk of side effects, it is crucial to consult with a certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist before undergoing the treatment. Taking this precautionary step lets you approach the treatment process with confidence and peace of mind. If you are considering a chemical peel, understand the potential side effects and consult with a professional beforehand.

How often should I get a chemical peel? 

The frequency of chemical peels depends on your skin type and the peel you receive. Superficial peels can be done every 4-6 weeks, while medium and deep peels require more time between treatments. It is essential to discuss the recommended frequency of chemical peels with your plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

Would a facial or chemical peel be more effective?

The choice between facials, skin procedures, and chemical peels ultimately depends on your skin concerns, goals, or lifestyle. While facials are suitable for regular maintenance, chemical peels may be a better option for more intense and long-lasting results. It is essential to consult with a skincare professional to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

Is it possible to get a chemical peel and a facial on the same day, or should they be done separately?

Both procedures are intensive for your skin; doing them together can increase the risk of irritation, inflammation, or other complications. It's usually better to space them out and give your skin time to recover between treatments.

It's best to consult with a skincare professional who can assess your skin and advise you on the best course of treatment.

How do facials and chemical peels differ in terms of cost, and is one option more cost-effective than the other?

Facials are a luxurious indulgence intended to nourish the skin, enhance the complexion, and promote relaxation. Some facials include cool compresses that cleanse, exfoliate, and nourish the skin in a series of steps, including gentle exfoliation, facial massage, and various masks and serums—the cost of facials ranges from $80 to $150, depending on the location.

On the other hand, chemical peels are a more intensive skin treatment that uses acid-based solutions to exfoliate and remove the damaged outer layers of the skin. The process aims to promote cell renewal, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, improve skin tone and texture, and enhance collagen production. Chemical peels are typically more expensive than facials, ranging from $150 for a light peel to over $1000 for a deep peel.

Determining the most cost-effective option depends on your desired results. A facial may be an optimal choice if you aim to pamper yourself and improve your skin, and this affordable treatment can help sustain healthy and refreshed skin.

However, if you're looking for more drastic results or have more significant skin concerns, chemical peels might be the way to go. While they're more expensive, they can dramatically improve your skin which lasts for months. Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of acne scars, sun damage, and fine lines while enhancing the tone and texture of your skin.

Ultimately, the decision between facials and chemical peels comes down to what you want to achieve with your skin treatment and what your budget allows. Whether you go for a facial or a chemical peel, both options can help you to achieve beautiful, healthy-looking skin.

What natural alternatives to facials or chemical peels can improve skin health and appearance?

Natural alternatives to facials or chemical peels can improve skin health and appearance. Here are a few examples:

  1. Exfoliating with natural ingredients such as sugar, oatmeal, or coffee grounds can help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. 
  2. Applying a facial mask made from natural ingredients such as honey, yogurt, or avocado can help nourish and hydrate the skin.
  3. Using essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, or peppermint oil can help soothe and heal the skin.
  4. Drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can help improve overall skin health.
  5. Getting enough sleep and managing stress can also positively impact your skin's appearance.

Moreover, a skincare expert can evaluate your skin type, suggest specific products and ingredients that suit your skin, and offer tailored recommendations for daily care. They also propose professional treatments, like laser therapy or chemical peels, to address specific concerns and improve the health and appearance of your skin. You can guarantee optimal skincare and achieve your desired results by seeking professional guidance.

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