Facial peels involve the application of substances such as chemicals to exfoliate damaged skin. Facial peels can benefit the appearance of your facial skin. The peels slough off the top layer of skin, revealing newer, more youthful skin. Going through a facial peel has some risks but also a few benefits. The results you get from a facial peel depend on the depth of the peel and the concentration of the chemicals applied.
Superficial Facial Peel
A superficial facial peel causes the top layer of your skin to peel off. It does not penetrate deep into your skin or dermis, but rather affects only the epidermal or outer layer of facial skin. Superficial peels are often referred to as lunchtime peels because they don’t take up a lot of your time and you can return to your normal activities right after. According to "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cosmetic Surgery," superficial facial peels help make your skin smoother and more refreshed. The book also states that superficial peels such as those using alpha-hydroxy acid reduce fine wrinkles, and improve the texture of skin, skin tone and the skin color.
Medium Facial Peel
A medium facial peel affects the epidermis and the upper layer of the dermis. It causes skin on these layers of your body to peel off. It penetrates your skin deeper than a superficial peel and requires some time off work for healing. According to the book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beautiful Skin," medium facial peels can be used to treat precancerous spots, shallow scars, crow's feet around your eyes, fine to moderate wrinkles and darker brown spots on your skin.
Deep Facial Peels
Phenol, a chemical agent, can be used for a deep facial peel. This type of peel results in the peeling off of your epidermis and penetrates the two layers of your dermis. According to the book “The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beautiful Skin,” deep facial peels require a longer recovery time, involve more pain and have a greater risk of complications. They cannot be used on darker skin types due to the risk of hypopigmentation or bleaching. Deep facial peels are used to treat deep facial wrinkles, severe sun damage, severe skin discoloration and deep acne scars.