Some people hear the word “peel” and get nervous. Think of Sex in the City, when Samantha got that peel that no one will ever forget!
The reality is, receiving a peel can help your skincare work even better! We tapped Matthew Miller, of Matthew Miller Skin in NYC, to give us the low down on peels and to answer some common questions.
COSMEDIX: How do I know which peel is safe for my skin tone?
Matthew Miller: A professional aesthetician should provide a thorough assessment of your skin before any peel, treatment or facial begins. One of the assessments is a Fitzpatrick Scale ranking. If your ranking is 4 or higher, your skin may be at risk for hyperpigmentation (dark spots) or hypopigmentation (light spots) if peels are too aggressive. Ask your aesthetician to help determine which peel is right for you and your skin needs.
C: Are peels safe for deep and dark skin tones?
M: Yes. The problems that people with darker skin tones experience with peels is due to technical error, not the peels themselves. Clients with more pigmentation may react differently and become more sensitive to certain active ingredients than clients with lighter skin tones. It is to seek an experienced aesthetician and peels that are gentle yet effective on highly pigmented skin.
C: What peels are safe for clients with pigmented skin?
M: Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Retinol and Jessner's Peel have proven to be less problematic for African-American skin. If your skin tends to be reactive it is important to work your way up to more aggressive peel treatments to get the results you want and to avoid complications. It is important to disclose as much information about your skin condition and lifestyle to help an aesthetician recommend the right peel for you and your skin goals.
C: How will my skin react to a peel?
M: It depends on the peel. All peels can cause your skin to be sensitive to the sun. Some peels cause redness. Other peels with gentler ingredients will exfoliate your skin and renew your complexion with little to no downtime. Medium to deep peels may cause your skin to peel or shed for days or weeks. Ask your aesthetician about recovery time and typical aftereffects of your peel of choice.
C: How can I find out if I will have an unfavorable reaction to a peel?
M: A good aesthetician will always want the best for your skin. If you are unsure about a treatment, ask your aesthetician to do a spot test on the skin in an inconspicuous place. This will give you an idea of how your skin may react to peel and foreshadow how long your recovery time may be. Give your skin up to 30 days to recover from the spot test to see final results.
About Matthew Miller:
Matthew attended the Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill for his Esthetics certification, as well as the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences for Massage Therapy. Matthew brings over six years of experience to his craft. Years invested in retail, management, education, and clinical services have culminated into the experience of the Matthew Miller Skin Suite. Here, you can experience a vast array of Matthew’s specialties, including: sugaring hair removal, skincare treatments, and body treatments.
Follow Matthew on Instagram!