This is first installment of my new “Gen Xers Who Hate the Effects of Aging Series” AKA “Like totally, WTF is happening to us?”
Lately, I’ve been fascinated by what we Gen Xers are doing to look and feel the way we did when we tied our first flannel button down around our shredded hole ridden Levis. I’ve compiled lists of the most popular procedures both surgical and non-surgical and now I’m on a peel kick. Yes, like most Gen Xers I spent the 80s peeling layers of sun-burnt skin from my nose, shoulders and chest and here I am again looking to peel off the dead skin — minus the need for Solarcaine.
Here’s why I’m kinda obsessed with chemical peels: they’re an alternative to lasers, offer a range of potency and effects and they’re a great place to start. I’m focusing on light peels because they’re quick (can get some otc, at a spa or doctors office) easy on the skin, have some nice effects and leave your skin looking tighter, brighter and refreshed. Ohhhh and they’re in my budget.
What chemical peels do: Slough off dead skin cells, diminish fine lines, freckles and sun spots, smooth skin texture and help correct skin damage caused by aging, hormones and sun exposure.
Enzyme Peels – These are non-acid peels usually derived from fruits. These are perfect for people with sensitive skin or with specific sensitivity to acids. They mainly exfoliate skin and refine pores.
Mandelic Acid Peels – These are the least irritating of the AHA peels. They’re good for people who are acne prone. A good choice if your main concern is treating rosacea and uneven skin tone.
Lactic Acid Peels- These are pretty basic and a good peel for first timers. They are less drying than glycolic peels and work well on fading age spots.
Glycolic Acid Peels – These are the most common peels. They come in multiple grades and will give you more noticeable results than the other light peels. They are also the harshest of the light peels.
Salicylic Acid Peels – These are BHA peels. They can get a bit deeper than AHA peels and are often used on oily skin to help with breakouts.
Jessner’s Peels: These are alcohol based peels that often combine multiple acids. The strongest of the light peels, they can be extremely drying and not good for those with sensitive skin. These are usually used for those with oily skin and work well on cystic acne. (The downtime is a bit longer than other light peels.)
Downtime: These peels are often called a lunchtime peels for a reason. They’re quick (they take about 10 minutes) and there is little down time. You may have some redness (like a sunburn) and scaling/peeling which could last up to a week.
You should know: You may need a series of multiple peels to get you desired results. You can repeat the peels about every 2-5 weeks depending on how your skin reacts.
Tips: Use a daily moisturizer and sunscreen to keep skin moist, help it heal faster and avoid sun damage to the fresh layer of skin, which will be exposed.
Note: This will probably be subtle, but you may not look your hottest. Come up with a great excuse as to why you’re so “sun burned,” preferably one that makes co-workers and friends jealous. Then when any redness is tamed and the results are completely apparent those same people will notice how amazing you look and resent you even more.
Also, I don’t mean to pry, but why are your friends and co-workers so petty? (just sayin)
If you know anyone who looks old or is like me and obsessed with not looking that way please feel free to share this with them. If you have any technical or medical questions feel free to post in comments. I will try to get you answers from professionals (or I’ll make something up).
Find my other pieces on aging and procedures at SmartBeautyGuide.com
JENNY FROM THE BLOG