‘Chemical peel’ is a scary term if you’ve never had one (me, a week ago), but it’s actually a gentle, painless process that’s as enjoyable as an ordinary facial – and has wonderful benefits for your skin.

OPTIPHI® is one of my favourite skincare brands and a great match for my 40+ skin. So when the company offered me a Skin Rejuvenation glycolic peel, I was slightly wary as I’d never had one before. However, I have implicit faith in the brand, so booked the appointment with only a slight bit of trepidation…

I was visiting family in PE in December, so decided to have the treatment while I was on leave, in case I needed to lie low and hide my red and peeling skin for a few days afterwards. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The result: no skin irritation or any negative evidence that I’d had the peel. (I actually showed off my glowing, healthy and rejuvenated skin at a lunch with old school friends less than 24 hours later.) There are only continuous subtle improvements…

But let me give you the lowdown of my personal experience and tell you exactly what chemical peels do (and won’t do) for your skin:

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Fact: Chemical peels are one of the least invasive treatments used to turn back the age-dial

If you suffer from pigmentation changes that occur with age or as a result of birth control pills, pregnancy or genetic factors, or acne scaring, you might be battling with an uneven skin surface.

Did you know that these problems, as well as certain other skin conditions, may be improved by skin resurfacing?

Jenny Malherbe, the owner of Optiskin in Sunridge Park in Port Elizabeth, took time to explain the process – and the benefits of my Skin Rejuvenation glycolic peel, before she began the treatment.

Why have a chemical peel instead of (or in addition to) a regular facial?

Chemical peeling is used to improve the skin’s appearance by applying a chemical solution, which causes superficial damaged and dead layers of skin to detach and peel off. The result: refined skin.

First question: is skin resurfacing for you?

Chemical peels are one of the best ways to refresh your skin when it’s feeling dull and rough. A wide variety of peels are available, utilising various topical agents at various concentrations.

Jenny chose the 25% concentration for my first treatment, but this can be increased to a 50% solution in some cases.

She recommended one of the most popular peels: glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid), as it’s a proven great exfoliant, stimulates cellular activity, evens out skin tone, improves fine lines and the appearance of sun damage, as well as improves the elasticity and firmness of the skin.

Glycolic acid also increases the synthesis of collagen and has a rejuvenating effect in the skin. It’s also suitable for all skin types.

These are just some of the fabulous benefits offered by the optiphi® Skin Rejuvenation glycolic peel:

  • Evens out skin tone
  • Helps to reverse sun damage
  • Aids in the management of acne
  • Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
  • Assists with the treatment of age spots
  • Boosts collagen production

What chemical peels can’t promise

Before undergoing any kind of treatment, it is important that you are aware of results which cannot be achieved with a skin resurfacing treatment such as a chemical peel.

Skin resurfacing procedures cannot produce perfect skin; rather, the goal is to remove dead skins cells, bringing new fresh undamaged skin cells to the surface – improving the appearance of the skin as much as possible. And chemical peels cannot correct sagging skin or halt the ageing process.

The treatment can be done in your lunch hour

The entire chemical peeling treatment takes about 40 minutes, so you can be back in the office by the end of your lunch break.

My skin was cleansed, the solution was applied to my face, neck and décolletage, and left on for about seven minutes (with only a slight tingling in a couple of places, that disappeared after 30 seconds).

Jenny then applied a neutraliser, followed by optiphi® Intense HA serum and the MOST wonderful neck massage.

I was in and out of the treatment room in less than an hour and ready to face the world – no downtime required!

Bet you’re wanting to ask this question now…

How long before I see results?

Your skin will immediately start looking better, but it might not be as obvious to you as to the trained eye of your therapist. Since it works from the inside out, you’ll start to see positive effects in a few days.

How to look after your skin post-peel

optiphi® peels can be used in conjunction with other skincare products, so you can continue with your usual beauty routine immediately: either by using the OPTIPHI brand or your usual cleaner, toner, moisturiser, serum and night cream

Find your nearest OPTIPHI® stockist here

Watch this 30-second YouTube video from my treatment below to hear Jenny explain how the peel process works: