Laser Skin Resurfacing vs. Chemical Peels: Which Is Right for You?

Woman with a cup of coffee considering laser skin resurfacing and chemical peel treatments in Burlington, ON

Chemical peels are sometimes viewed as a low-tech, old-school approach to skin rejuvenation compared to laser skin resurfacing at our Burlington, ON, practice. Still, both treatments offer excellent benefits for addressing specific concerns patients have about their complexions.

There are multiple options within each of those treatment categories, not to mention procedures such as the MicroLaserPeel®, which use light energy instead of chemical solutions to improve the appearance of a patient’s complexion. Knowing which treatment is best for your needs requires an experienced aesthetic specialist who will discuss the expected amount of downtime, how soon you’ll see results, your expectations, and your budget.

In general, patients concerned about their skin’s complexion benefit most from chemical peels, while lasers are best for skin tightening and treating wrinkles and fine lines. The versatility of both types of treatments, though, enable them to treat skin imperfections and sagging skin. The best place to start is to explain how each type of treatment works.

What Are Chemical Peels?

Treatments such as the ZO® Skin Health peels from Dr. Zein Obagi resurface the skin at varying depths, ranging from gentle, superficial exfoliations to aggressive peels that remove more layers of skin to reveal youthful-looking skin.

A Level 1 ZO Skin Health Peel, for example, helps slough off dead skin cells with a gentle papaya and pineapple enzyme peel that doesn’t require any downtime. The Level 2 peel adds a “stimulator peel” that penetrates the skin’s deeper layers with a combination of salicylic, lactic, and citric acids that improve the skin’s tone, texture, and clarity.

For more significant issues, the ZO Controlled Depth Peel is the deepest peel offered at Cosmedica. It is a highly advanced peel that resurfaces and tightens the skin and is an ideal solution for:

  • Brown spots
  • Melasma
  • Rough skin texture
  • Lax skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scars

As you can see, we customize treatments by adjusting the intensity of chemical peels based on the patient’s needs, whether they need mild exfoliation or a more potent peel.

What Is Derm-Eclat™?

The Derm-Eclat skin rejuvenation system is another topical treatment that includes both an in-office procedure and a maintenance cream that patients apply at home. It’s an effective treatment for melasma, especially for patients with darker skin who may not be good candidates for intense pulsed light (IPL) procedures.

What Are Laser Skin Treatments?

Laser treatments precisely vaporize layers of skin by delivering rapid, concentrated pulses of laser energy to the treatment area. The controlled injuries to the skin’s underlying layer, called the dermis, stimulate the growth of new collagen fibres by triggering the body’s natural healing process. Smoother, firmer skin gradually emerges as the new collagen forms.

If you’ve researched laser skin resurfacing online, you’re well aware of the wide range of laser technology available for skin rejuvenation. One of the most advanced and versatile devices available is the Halo™ hybrid fractional laser, the first laser to deliver non-ablative and ablative wavelengths to the same treatment area. This gives us a unique ability to customize treatments to be more or less aggressive, depending on the amount of downtime the patient wants.

The development of fractional lasers—which create tiny channels in the skin without damaging surrounding tissue—has also greatly minimized the downtime needed after laser skin treatments without sacrificing excellent results. Non-fractional ablative lasers essentially sandblast the skin’s top layer, which can require a week or more of recovery time.

When Should You Get a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels have a number of benefits for the right patients. These are 3 times when a chemical peel is the best option:

  1. If you have a darker skin tone. Superficial peels are typically better suited for darker skin, even though certain laser skin rejuvenation procedures can be used on all skin types. Dark-skinned patients face more of a risk of skin discoloration with laser skin resurfacing procedures.
  2. When you’re treating melasma. In some cases, laser treatments can make melasma worse. A series of chemical peels at less than full strength is the best approach for melasma.
  3. When it’s summertime. The sun and lasers don’t mix well. If you have a window of time where you are OK to be resting your skin at home, then this might be the perfect time to have a chemical peel. Keep in mind masks and zoom make it easy to hide any downtime that you might have from the stronger, results-driven peels!

When Should You Get Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing produces dramatic results for patients concerned about extensive sun damage, deeper wrinkles and scars, rosacea, and age spots.

Some specific reasons to choose laser skin resurfacing instead of a chemical peel include:

  1. You want to tighten lax skin. Other than facial plastic surgery, laser skin tightening is the gold standard for addressing sagging skin. The thermal energy delivered by lasers to the skin’s lower layers stimulates collagen and elastin production in a way that chemical peels can’t match.
  2. You have deeper wrinkles around the eyes. Patients with more significant signs of aging are typically best served by fractional laser skin resurfacing.
  3. When you want to minimize acne scars. A series of laser skin resurfacing treatment sessions can produce excellent results if you’re self-conscious about acne scars. Chemical peels remain an option.

Patients considering chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing in Oakville, Hamilton, and surrounding areas can schedule an appointment at our Burlington practice by calling (905) 631-6288 or by contacting us using the online form.

Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are required.

Back to Top