Chemical Peel vs. laser skin resurfacing: which treatment is best for you?

polyclinicSeattle skincare

If you are bothered by acne scars, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or sun damage you’ve likely heard a lot about the many benefits of both chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing. But which of these popular treatments is right for you? 

Fortunately, both peels and lasers are great treatments to help you address common skin issues. Both are resurfacing procedures that help heal damaged skin while also encouraging skin regeneration. The end result of either will be smoother, revitalized, and more luminous skin. 

Are you wondering how they are different? What differentiates chemical peels from laser treatments is the treatment itself. One utilizes chemical solutions and the other uses lasers.

To help you decide between these two popular options, read on to learn more about the benefits.

What Is a Chemical Peel? 

A chemical peel is a treatment that uses acid solutions of varying strengths to treat the skin’s outer layer. Peels work to improve skin’s overall appearance and target issues such as wrinkles, acne, scarring, and uneven skin tone. 

There are three types of peels: superficial (mild), medium, and deep so you can tailor your peel to your particular skin type and the issues you want to address. Mild peels are gentle and use mild acids to lightly exfoliate the skin. Medium peels penetrate both the outer and the middle layer of the skin. Deep chemical peels are the strongest and use more powerful acids to penetrate the skin and remove damaged skin cells. These will require more downtime.

Mild to medium strength peels are safe for all skin types and are great for addressing surface irregularities. However, the stronger peels should be used with caution on darker complexions which tend to be more prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Here at Polyclinic Plastic Surgery’s Aesthetic Center in Seattle, we offer an array of In-office peel options that can be customized to meet your unique complexion concerns. The good news is that many of our peel options don’t involve any downtime at all. You may experience a bit of redness and/or flaking, but that’s about it. While some lasers offer mild resurfacing with little or no recovery period, others (namely ablative) can leave you looking pink and swollen for up to a week so that is something to keep in mind when deciding between the two options.

What Is a Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment utilizes beams of light to penetrate the skin removing the outer layers one at a time. This treatment is often used to help address deep wrinkles, acne scars, and sun-damaged skin. Lasers also allow for a more precise removal process than chemical peels.

There are two types of lasers: ablative and nonablative. Ablative lasers are more intense and as a result, tend to provide the best results. Nonablative lasers are not as powerful so multiple sessions may be required for best results.

If you are looking for a treatment that targets deep skin issues, lasers will likely be the best option. For deep wrinkles, stubborn pigment, or vascular issues, one of our Master Estheticians, Haley Trudeau or Dina de Guzman, will need to penetrate more deeply into the skin with lasers. They typically deliver faster results than peels. Lasers are more expensive than peels so that is something to consider depending upon your budget.

What’s best for your skin?

Overall, chemical peels and lasers share the same goal: to improve your skin’s overall appearance. While both procedures tackle many similar concerns, including discoloration, fine lines, and uneven texture, they are not interchangeable.

Ultimately the best treatment for you will depend on the issues being treated, your particular skin type, how quickly you want to see results, and your budget.

The best choice for you will essentially come down to what goals you have in mind for your complexion. For certain conditions, it’s worth investing in laser treatment for best results, whereas, for more minor concerns, a peel may definitely do the trick. When in doubt, seek out the advice of one of our talented Master Estheticians to help guide you.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation at our Aesthetic Center, call us today at 206.860.5582.  Our talented Master Estheticians would love to help you get your skin glowing!