Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor: If I don't have oily skin, can I still have a BHA peel to treat my uneven skin and fine lines?
Pre-procedure prep for BHA peel: Avoid exfoliating your skin in anticipation of a BHA peel.
On the day of treatment: Your skin should be thoroughly cleansed before the BHA peel can be applied. BHA solution can only be applied to skin that's been washed and dried.
What To Expect
About five minutes after the BHA solution is applied, your skin will develop a white "frost." This is a good sign and means the chemicals are working. Once applied, BHA peels are gentle enough that they won't need to be neutralized. Your face may appear red and shiny right afterwards, lasting for several days.
Salicylic acid actually plays dual roles in a BHA peel. Whereas chemical peels often leave the skin with marked evidence of treatment, the salicylic acid acts as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps to decrease the occurrence of redness, swelling, and post-treatment irritation before it has the chance to occur. Any redness or bumps that do appear are merely temporary.
Who should do it: There are no licensing requirements. Mild BHA peels can be performed in your own home, a salon, or by a professional skin technician, like a dermatologist. It is safest to see a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Duration: The acidic BHA solution takes about 10 to 20 minutes to settle into the skin after it's applied. From start to finish, the process takes about an hour.
How Painful Is It?
Mild stinging may be felt when the solution is applied, but not enough to require sedation or anesthesia.
Options for anesthesia: Anesthesia is not used during a BHA peel.