What exactly is a peel? And does it involve going home with a bag over my head?

This piece is part of an on-going series in which we take a deep dive into our enhancement menu. Enhancements can be added to any 50 Minute or 75 Minute facial without an extra time needed. Each enhancement is $35.

Peels sound a lot scarier than they are and thanks to images like the infamous one of Samantha Jones with a face of red, it's understandable that someone would shy away from it. However, not all peels end in a face you're looking to hide. They're actually a great option for both at home and in treatment. 

What is a peel?

A peel is, at its simplest, a form of advanced exfoliation, whether it be manual or chemical (fear not, chemical is not a scary word here).

What are the benefits of getting a peel?

A peel removes dull, dry skin cells from the skin’s surface to reveal smoother, more radiant skin underneath. Additionally, certain peels can be helpful for skin conditions such as breakouts and hyperpigmentation, as they stimulate rapid cell turnover.

Are there different kinds of peels?

So many! It really comes down to ingredients. Peels may contain:

  • AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) like lactic acid
  • BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acid) like salicylic acid
  • Fruit Enzymes, such as papain and bromelain from pineapple and papaya

Which acids are right for me?

AHA’s are water-soluble acids, resurfacing the skin to a brighter complexion, ideal for sun-damaged, hyperpigmented skin. BHA’s are oil-soluble acids, which fight through excess and built-up oil, a perfect choice for anyone concerned with breakout activity and clogged pores. Fruit enzymes are the gentlest option, perfect for a first-time peel. Think of them like pacmen, who oh-so-gently “eat away” dead skin cells at the skin’s surface, instantly smooth and awaken the skin to glowy amazingness. Your Skin Therapist will choose the most appropriate peel for your unique skin!

Can anyone get a peel?

Considering all we put our skin through, from sun to stress, we all could use a bit of a reset. Almost all skin can receive a peel, however, you should speak with your Skin Therapist if you have any concerns. They would only recommend it if they believe your skin would benefit from it.

They sound scary, should I be scared? Does my skin actually peel?

We agree the word “peel” triggers harsh imagery, we all know that Sex in the City episode! If you’re questioning scary skin aftermath, know that as with the majority of cosmetic treatments, there is a spectrum from most gentle to very aggressive.

In terms of what else you can expect, While the peel is on your skin, you can expect a little tingling. Peels don't remain on for very long – anywhere from 90 seconds to a few minutes depending on the strength and your skin. (This is where we're vigilantly (but not creepily) watching over you!) When it’s done, you can expect to be glowing, with noticeably brighter, clearer skin. And with a series of these treatments, you can see dramatic changes in acne conditions, dark spots, and fine lines and wrinkles.

What peels does Heyday offer?

Here at Heyday, we use professional peels, which efficiently shed layers of dull, discolored skin cells, however, we stay on the top few layers of skin. You will not experience any significant skin flaking, it’s more-so microscopic skin cell shedding! Indeed, for those with skin conditions such as severe scarring or skin trauma, visiting a dermatologist with access to higher strength peels is an option, and yield remarkable results for those who need it.

What are the benefits of those peels?

Our skin is meant to turn over skin cells every 28 days, however, this process majorly slows down as we age. Some of the most common skin concerns from uneven skin tone to dryness and fine lines result from our skin holding onto dull, discolored cells. It is possible, however, to return the skin back to its prime cycle of cell-turnover...by getting peels! To maintain a bright, smooth complexion with healthy, timely cell renewal, most clients can benefit from a peel in their monthly facial!

Is there anything I need to know if I book a peel?

Since a peel is providing much deeper exfoliation, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are the most common questions.

Is there any healing time? Should I not do it right before a vacation?

When applying any sort of chemical exfoliation, we seek to expose the brighter, smoother skin beneath. Sometimes, depending on how accustom your skin is to exfoliation, there can be minor flaking for 24-48 hours following a peel. Best to schedule your facial with peel a week before vaca, and pack plenty of sunscreen regardless. Protect that baby new skin!

When can I use makeup?

If you can avoid makeup for a full 24 hours post peel, this is preferred by most of our Skin Therapists. Giving the skin time to breathe and recover after a deep chemical exfoliation will make for happier skin. If you have an important event that day which requires full makeup application, ask about a gentle enzyme peel, which delivers a seriously smooth glow without any downtime.

When can I exercise?

Our Skin Therapists agree across the board that exercise after a peel should be avoided 24 hours. The resurfacing aspect triggers the shedding of older cells to welcome brand new ones, which shouldn’t be interrupted by an invasion of sweat and bacteria from your Soulcycle bike. In addition, while some rosiness following a peel is common, scheduling a workout following your peel will likely result in hard-to-calm redness. We’re giving you a day off your workout, hello Netflix!