Chemical Peel For Wrinkles – Everything You Need to Know

Chemical Peel For Wrinkles
Chemical Peel For Wrinkles

No matter how great our genetics are, wrinkles are something we will all have to deal with as we age. Some of us age like fine wine, with fine wrinkles, and some of us age like crumpled paper.

Thankfully if you are not happy with your wrinkles they are amazing treatments that can effectively reduce them.

Now in this article, we will explore one of the most effective treatments for wrinkles; A Chemical Peel. We will discuss:

  1. How a chemical peel works on wrinkles
  2. The types of chemical peels used to treat wrinkles
  3. The cost & what to expect from the peel.

What is a Wrinkle

A wrinkle is a fold or crease on the surface of otherwise normal skin. They can be either; fine and barely visible on the surface of the skin, or they can appear as deep furrows on the skin. Citation. 

Wrinkles are caused by;

  • The skin’s natural aging process
  • Habitual sleeping positions,
  • Loss of body mass,
  • Habitual facial expressions,
  • Prolonged and repeated sun exposure
  • Prolonged submersion in water. 

Wrinkles are usually most visible on the face, neck, forearms, and hands. Citation.

How do Chemical Peels Treat Wrinkles

Chemical peels remove the top layer of the skin, making it smoother. This helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the surface of the skin. 

If the wrinkle is just on the surface, a chemical peel may get rid of it entirely by leveling out the surface of the skin. If it goes deeper, then the peel will most likely just minimize it and you will need multiple treatments to make the wrinkle go away completely. 

Generally, chemical peels are very effective for improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to make the skin look younger. Citation.

Best Chemical Peels for Wrinkles

If you have no other skin conditions that you are targeting with the peel, then the most recommended type of peels that are used for wrinkles are

  1. Glycolic acid peel (most commonly used)
  2. Jessner Peel
  3. Mandelic Acid Peel (Recommended for sensitive skin)
  4. Retinol Peel
  5. TCA Peel (Ideal for deeper wrinkles)

But ultimately when it comes to choosing a chemical peel for the treatment of your wrinkles, the best choice will depend on:

  • Your skin type, condition, and sensitivity
  • The kind of wrinkle you are targeting
  • Your dermatologist/doctor

But generally, just about any of the chemical peels available can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The dept of the peel will vary from person to person depending on how deep your wrinkles are. 

1- Glycolic Acid Peel for Wrinkles

A glycolic acid peel can be light or medium depth. Both depths will smooth out your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Now whether you need a light or medium peel will depend on how deep your wrinkles are. 

Please note that a glycolic acid peel, whether it is light or medium-depth, will not cure deep wrinkles. It may improve their appearance after a few applications, but if the wrinkles are very deep, you may need botox or surgery for a permanent fix.  

The percentage of glycolic acid that will be used should be determined by your dermatologist/doctor. Citation.

2- Jessner’s Solution For Wrinkles

Jessner solution is a peel that uses a combination of different types of acid. It can be used to treat both surface-level wrinkles and very deep wrinkles depending on the mixture.

Jessner’s chemical peel solution which contains salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol is ideal for surface wrinkles. This can be applied as a light (superficial) peel.

On the other hand, for a successful medium-depth exfoliation, the modified Jessner’s peel replaces resorcinol with TCA, glycolic acid, and other AHAs. This can be used to treat deeper wrinkles. 

When applied as a medium-depth peel, it penetrates past the first layer of the skin, into the middle layer, and promotes cell turnover. This makes the skin smoother and more firm, reducing lines and wrinkles. Citation.

3- Mandelic Acid Peel For Wrinkles

Mandelic acid is produced from bitter almonds. Mandelic Acid;

  • Is very gentle on the skin and is usually used on sensitive and acne-prone skin.
  • Has a good reputation for increasing skin cell turnover, which makes it a good chemical exfoliant to help smoothen out the skin’s surface.
  • Promotes collagen production in the skin, making it firmer.

These are the properties that make mandelic acid wonderful for the management of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Mandelic acid is more of a long-term treatment rather than a quick fix. So it is most likely that you will need multiple treatments of it to improve the appearance of wrinkles. 

But it is ideal if you have sensitive skin and don’t want to risk using harsher types of peel. Citation.

4- Retinol Peel to treat Wrinkles

We have heard of, and probably used retinol as a serum or cream, but now we can also use it as a chemical peel. Retinol has a small molecular size, which allows it to penetrate deep into the skin. 

The benefits of retinol are:

  • Reduces the severity of sun damage to the skin, it
  • slows the breakdown of collagen
  • increases the skin’s elasticity,
  • encourages the regeneration of new and healthy skin cells.

These properties make the skin smoother, more even, and stronger. This reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and prevents the development of more.  

Retinol is similar to mandelic acid in that it is a long-term treatment rather than a quick fix.

The number of treatments you will need will depend on the results you are hoping to achieve, the condition of your skin, and how your skin reacts to the treatment. Citation.

5- TCA Peel to treat Deeper Wrinkles

TCA peels are usually used for discolorations, scars, and wrinkles. The acid used for this peel is Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which is used to remove dead skin cells and reveal the newer, smoother skin layers beneath. 

TCA peels are medium-strength, which means that they penetrate deeper into the skin (down to the second layer). Therefore, they should only be performed by a licensed skincare specialist.

How TCA Works to Treat Deep Wrinkles

The TCA dissolves the cells in your skin’s top layer (epidermis). New cell growth is stimulated beneath the skin that has been modified by the TCA treatment as it peels off.

After the top layer of skin has peeled away, a layer of fresh skin cells appears. The new layer of skin is usually smoother and less prone to imperfections like wrinkles. Citation.

Video Showing the Effects of a TCA Peel on Wrinkles

Tips to Help Decide Which Chemical Peel to Use for Wrinkles

It is always good to have your wrinkles and lines examined by a dermatologist or professional in order to decide which peel would be best for you. 

You should also always do a patch test first to see how your skin will react to the chemical being used for the peel. 

What to Expect After a Chemical Peel For Wrinkles

The healing process and results after a chemical peel will vary from person to person and based on the kind of peel. Generally, you can expect some redness, peeling, and some discomfort. 

To read more about what you can expect after different depths of chemical peels, click here.

How Much Does a Chemical Peel for Wrinkles Cost

The cost for the peel will vary widely and would mostly depend on the type of peel that you get.

Here is a summary of the average cost per session for each peel:

Type of PeelAverage Cost per session For Wrinkles
Glycolic Acid$200-$600
Jessner’s Solution$200-$2000
Mandelic Acid$200-$600
Retinol$300-$1000
TCA$300-$1000

How Many Sessions of Peel Will you Need for Wrinkles

How many peels you will need and how often you can do them will depend on:

  • The kind of peel
  • The results after the first peel
  • Your skin type, condition, and sensitivity
  • The kind of wrinkle you are targeting

To get an exact answer, it’s recommended that you discuss that with your chemical peel technician.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can you use Chemical Peel for Lip Lines?

Chemical peels can be used for lip lines and wrinkles. They are especially suited for the upper lip.

However, this should never be done at home or by yourself. The skin on your lip is thinner and much more sensitive.

Chemical peels also come in different strengths so a professional needs to evaluate your needs to see what kind of peel is needed and how long it can be left on your lips. Citation.

Can you use Chemical Peel for Eye Wrinkles

Until very recently, people had to avoid the tender areas around the eyes when doing chemical peels. The skin under the eyes and around them is very thin and very sensitive.

However, there are now new versions of peels and techniques that can be applied under the eyes and around them to tighten the skin, diminish wrinkles and brighten the area. 

These peels are usually made up of very light concentrations of the acid and peeling agents. They are always applied by a dermatologist or professional, and they are usually applied for a very short time. Citation. 

Other Alternatives to Treat Wrinkles

Microneedling is another amazing treatment for wrinkles – you can click here to learn more.

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