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Lasers vs. Chemical Peels

It’s hard to overstate the power of good skin care. Proper exfoliation, hydration, nutrition, and cleaning will help you maintain an even complexion and soft, supple skin, while promoting production of necessary compounds like collagen.

However, there’s only so much you can do with products at home. For more advanced signs of aging or damaged skin – like wrinkles, acne scars, or melasma – you will need treatments with a bit more capability. 

Some of the most common clinical skin treatments are chemical peels and laser rejuvenation systems. What’s the difference between them, and which one is right for you?


What to Know About Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are exactly what they sound like – a set of compounds, alone or in combination, which are applied to the skin in order to peel away the topmost layer. They are strictly a surface treatment, affecting only the outermost (epidermal) and upper middle (dermal) layers so that the new skin grows back smoother. Most often, peels are used for exfoliation and to treat minor cosmetic issues, such as wrinkles, discoloration or pigment conditions, or scars.

Peels are popular with (and well tolerated by) almost all patients, with minimal side effects or issues. They are very cost-effective, with a price of about $100 - $250. That range is because the peels can be applied in different strengths, which penetrate to different depths:

1) Very Superficial: If you’re new to peeling, this is a great introduction. It only removes the outer layer, treating fine wrinkles, dry skin, and small blemishes. These will leave the skin feeling healthy and refreshed.
2) Superficial: These reach a bit deeper and are used for more aggressive treatment of more prominent wrinkles or acne scars. These can be done every 2-3 weeks, under careful guidance from a medical esthetician.
3) Medium: Medium peels go down to the dermal layer, improving lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation.  They cause skin to deeply flake and 'shed'.
4) Deep: These are the strongest type of peel - at Bardöt or anywhere else.  They have limits on how frequently they can be used and can only be administered with proper medical requirements and training.

Chemical peels are a good choice for light cosmetic treatments, but they can’t remove deep scars or tighten skin. Additionally, they have downtime built in – your skin will be peeling, after all – which can leave the area red, raw, and tender for days or weeks afterward. 

chemical peels for skin

Because of the chemicals used, the potential for infection, and interference from existing conditions, peels require proper preparation before and care after the treatment – which would be discussed during your initial appointment.


Facts About Laser Skin Treatments

It might seem like sci-fi, but the science is totally sound: laser light can be one of the most effective rejuvenating treatments your skin can have.

Laser light is very energetic, with extremely precise control of the wavelengths they affect and the pulse time involved. Because of that, estheticians with specialized equipment (like our broad band light laser, or BBL) can target and destroy damaged cells in the specific dermal layer beneath the epidermis, matching the laser to their exact ‘chromophores’ and overloading them with energy. 

This stimulates the growth of collagen and fresh, new cells and makes laser the method of choice for treating lax skin and significant wrinkles, or for those with a medical condition that might interfere with the chemicals in a peel.

Laser treatments start at about $200 for a session at Bardöt, depending on the depth required, and it generally takes 1-4 sessions to reach desired results. They have little to no downtime, thanks to the pinpoint capabilities of the light itself – it often can hit the target area without any damage to or interaction with the neighbouring tissue. 

One thing to note is that results may show up immediately, or they may take up to 4-6 weeks. Every person and their reactions are different, but you can rest assured that we will be here to help if you have any questions.

More clinical information on laser technology can be found in this summary from the National Library of Medicine.

Genetic Rejuvenation with Broad Band Light

A 2013 study of BBL therapy on human skin found that not only did the treatment stimulate new growth, but it actively ‘rejuvenated’ certain genes within the body. This means that BBL patients can experience smoother skin, a more youthful and even complexion…and potentially even a reversal of skin aged by time or UV light at the molecular level. As the study itself states, “BBL treatment can restore gene expression pattern of photo-aged and intrinsically aged human skin to resemble young skin.” BBL is an amazing technology!


Skin Laser Treatment and Chemical Peels in Calgary, Alberta

Whether this is your first adventure into the world of medical esthetics or you’re a long-time client ready to try something new, the staff here at Bardöt Beauty in Calgary’s trendy Mission neighbourhood are here to help. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know at your first appointment, give you tips for after-care, and everything in between!

We offer much more than just laser treatments and chemical peels, too. From medical Botox to thread lifts, fillers, microneedling, and more, contact us today to get started on your most beautiful look yet!

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