That is the question!
Peels can be both good and bad for the skin. It depends on both the skin and the chemical you are using. I am not a big fan of being overly aggressive with the skin, but I am definitely a fan of progressively challenging the skin. Here’s why: when you challenge the skin, your skin learns to be more resilient. I’ve seen many instances of this in clients and I’ve even noticed my own skin change with the challenges I’ve given it.
For instance, if I client comes in for a peel, and they have never had one or haven’t had one in quite some time, they may get significant peeling IF that is our objective and IF we’ve used the right products. Interestingly, if they come in for a second or third peel, the actual peeling of the skin might diminish. This makes a lot of people think that their skin isn’t responding to the treatment or that the treatment isn’t strong enough, when in fact, it’s showing that it has. The skin becomes more resilient to the challenge of the chemical and so it peels less. This is a good thing!
We want to challenge the skin progressively so that it gets progressively more resilient. A lot of us would like a “one hit wonder” in the skin department, where we can do a treatment and have it fix our skin forever, but that ain’t gonna happen. That would be like going to the gym once and hoping you will get fit and stay fit from that one workout. The skin, like the rest of the body, responds to our consistent behaviors- good or bad. Being a “consistent” smoker is bad (so bad) for the skin, while being attentive to the skin by practicing good skin care and being mindful of the way it responds to different treatments and adjusting accordingly is good for the skin.
So if you get a peel or some other treatment that would typically create some significant peeling or other after effect, but it starts to seem not to work, remember: your skin is becoming more resilient. Congratulations to your face! On the flip side, if your skin seems red, angry, and irritated, it’s time to curb the aggression and have services (and use products) that are calming and balancing to the skin.