Today’s Question: Is it okay to have a chemical peel in the summertime? Kylie, Winona Lake
Kylie, I’m so glad you asked this question! It’s a question I hear on a daily basis at my practice. Not only are chemical peels safe in the summer, they are recommended as long as you are faithful with sun protection when you are outside. No one expects you to be a hermit this summer, we just expect you to be smart! With summer comes class reunions, family picnics and parties that you want to look your best for and have healthy, tighter, glowing skin. However, with summer also comes increased oil production, sun damage, brown spots and increased environmental pollutants clogging up your skin which makes chemical peels as much of a summer staple as strawberry shortcake!
I live on a lake and am outside all summer long in my flower garden and on my pontoon. I also have a chemical peel every four weeks. I am diligent to reapply a broad spectrum sunscreen every two hours when I am outside along with wearing a cute wide-brimmed hat. Regardless of whether you have a chemical peel or not, these rules for sun protection stay the same. I recommend wearing a zinc-based sunscreen as it provides a physical barrier on your skin blocking out the harmful UVA and UVB rays. After a chemical peel, the fresh, new exposed skin is more sensitive to the sun, so it is extra important to keep it protected, Kylie.
One benefit of having chemical peels in the summer is that it will help keep your brown spots under control. If you stop having chemical peels during the middle of the summer, your pigment will get a lot worse and there will be more work in the fall to undo the damage. For the summer months, I recommend having a superficial peel instead of a medium-depth peel if you are going to be outside a lot. These peels use alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic. These lighter chemical peels will help improve the texture of your skin, lighten brown spots, help with oil production and remove the dead, dull skin giving you a healthy glow with minimal to no peeling. Kylie, if you are planning a summer vacation to the beach, you will want to not have a chemical peel two weeks before or after your trip.
Don’t let summer scare you away from chemical peels, Kylie! As long as you are careful and conscientious about your sun protection, as you should already be, your skin will benefit from chemical peels all summer long. If you have any questions about your summer skin care, be sure to talk with your medical skin care professional.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw and Ft. Wayne. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medical Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com.