Newport Beach

Vincent C. Hung, MD, MOHS Surgery, Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery

Are Chemical Peels an Alternative to a Facelift?

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Almost all men and women want to fight the aging process, which is why the cosmetics and anti-aging industries are so massive. Unfortunately, there will come a time when over-the-counter creams and lotions are not strong enough to get the job done. Fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, volume loss, and skin irregularities all occur due to age, sun damage, harsh environments, and lifestyle choices.

Woman getting a chemical peel.

There are many different anti-aging cosmetic procedures available today, ranging from non-invasive treatments to surgery. Two of these are chemical peels and facelift surgery.

Potential cosmetic patients are often interested in learning about which procedure will give them the best results in the least invasive way. While non-surgical procedures are preferred by many, they are not always, if ever, able to match or rival the results provided by cosmetic surgery. 

What Is Achieved With Facelift Surgery?

Facelift surgery addresses aging and laxity on the lower two-thirds of the face. This procedure can reduce or eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and jowls on the face and neck. Facelift surgery makes incisions in the hairline that start at the temple and continue down and around the ear. Loose skin is trimmed, underlying tissues are lifted and tightened, and the remaining skin is redraped over the new contours. 

Facelift surgery restores smoother, tighter, and more youthful skin.

Why Should Patients Still Consider a Chemical Peel?

Just because a chemical peel cannot achieve that same level of correction as a facelift, it does not mean that chemical peels do not have significant benefits. Like facelift surgery, chemical peels have the power to address common signs of aging such as fine lines around the mouth, crow’s feet, and forehead furrows. However, unlike facelift surgery, chemical peels also have the power to restore and improve the overall tone and texture of the skin. Some of the tone and texture issues that can be addressed by a chemical peel include dark spots, acne scars, and uneven pigmentation.

There are different levels (or strengths) of chemical peels. This not only determines your recovery period and length of peeling, but it also determines the quality of your results. Light chemical peels are surface-level peels that improve the texture of rough or dry skin. Medium intensity peels target texture irregularities as well as fine lines and minor skin imperfections. Deep peels penetrate deep into the skin and allow for the most significant correction. Unfortunately, they also require the most significant amount of downtime, and some can only be applied to the face once so that there is no lasting damage.

Croton Oil Peels

The croton oil peel is a deep chemical peel that delivers noticeable improvement to smoker’s lines, forehead lines, and crow’s feet. This resurfacing peel restores skin health and leaves you with a radiant, healthy-looking complexion. Croton oil peels are safe and effective for patients of all ages and can be performed after you have healed from facelift surgery for enhanced results.

Before and after image showing the results of a Croton Oil Peel.

                             Before and after image showing the results of a croton oil peel.

How Do the Recoveries Differ?

After facelift surgery, patients need to take two weeks before returning to work and any regular activities, and more strenuous activities require a longer break. Chemical peels take anywhere from five days to two weeks to recover from. The recovery after your chemical peel will depend on the depth (strength) of your peel. Light peels do not require much in the way of downtime. Most patients look sunburned; however, they can go about their regular routines with very little concern. The medium or deep chemical peels require more in the way of downtime. Deep peels can cause severe swelling around the eyes, which can make normal activities more difficult.

To find out if you are a candidate for a chemical peel or a facelift, contact Dr. Hung by calling (626) 432-5032 or by filling out our online contact form.