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Retinol Peels Are the Super Potent Anti-Aging Treatment That’s Trending Now

by Brittany Fallon Treating your skin to a professional-strength peel can be like hitting the reset button on your complexion. You shed all the dead skin cells that build up on the surface of your skin over time and make it look dull, and start fresh with new, younger-looking skin underneath. Most peels you’re familiar with use acids or fruit enzymes to loosen this dead skin layer, but there’s another option that uses retinol, and although it’s not new, it’s recently become a much more popular request at dermatologist’s offices and spas.

“Retinol peels use vitamin A as the exfoliating agent, although they are sometimes combined with other peeling agents depending on the client’s skin type and individual needs,” says Chicago dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD. Vitamin A gives skin the smooth, rejuvenated results you’d expect from other peels, but with even more anti-aging benefits.

According to Greenwich, CT, dermatologist Mitchell Ross, MD, retinol peels are highly effective because pure retinol is able to penetrate into deeper layers of skin due to its small molecular size. “They’re suitable for most skin types, but are particularly effective for those with acne, pigment issues and visible signs of aging. As people become more educated and understand the abundance of benefits retinol offers, these peels are becoming more popular. In the past, people only associated retinoids with acne, but today most women are adding a retinoid, whether over-the-counter or prescription, to their skin care routines. So, it just makes sense that they would want it in the form of a professional peel, too.”

Dr. Ross says you will notice both short-term and long-term benefits from a retinol peel due to how retinol works in the skin. “Your skin will feel more hydrated, fine lines and wrinkles will be reduced, your skin’s elasticity will be boosted for a plumper look, and the breakdown of natural collagen in your skin will slow down,” he explains. “For acne-prone skin, breakouts will be calmed and flare-ups will be reduced. Overall, retinol peels help maintain the general appearance and health of the skin.”

As with most in-office peels that tend to be much stronger than the versions you use at home, there will be some downtime. “Depending on the strength of the peel [6 percent retinol peels are commonly offered], there is typically mild flaking for two to three days after the treatment,” says Dr. Jacob. And as Dr. Ross recommends, “It’s always wise not to plan on attending a big social or work event for about a week after getting a peel.”

Male patient receiving an Emsculpt NEO treatment to the abdominal area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can EMSCULPT NEO do for me?

EMSCULPT NEO is an amazing noninvasive body sculpting treatment. It’s perfect for patients who are looking to get summer body ready! With this state-of-the-art, two-in-one technology, you build muscle and burn fat at the same time! This treatment provides a 30% reduction in subcutaneous fat and 25% growth in muscle on the treated area after a recommended number of treatments.

How does EMSCULPT NEO work?

While you lie down and relax, EMSCULPT NEO sends high-intensity energies deep below your skin, making your muscles contract in a big way that is like doing thousands of crunches or squats in a few minutes. While your muscles are contracting, the energy from the applicator simultaneously sends warmth to your fat cells, heating them up to the point of destruction. So you build real muscle from the contractions while destroying fat cells that are later naturally eliminated by your body.

How many EMCULPT NEO treatments will I need?

The recommended treatment plan is 4-6 treatments, one week apart. Depending on the patient, you may see improvement in your muscle tone, core strength and posture within a few weeks. And you’ll see fat reduction continue for about 12 weeks after your last treatment.

Are there any patients for whom you do not recommend EMSCULPT NEO?

EMSCULPT NEO is great because it has been shown to be safe and approved for all body and skin types. Contraindications include hernia, recent surgery, and pregnancy, so if a patient has any of these conditions, they should wait until they don’t to get EMSCULPT NEO.

What is the difference between CoolSculpting and EMSCULPT NEO?

CoolSculpting is a well-known treatment that is excellent for reducing unwanted fat in targeted areas. EMSCULPT NEO also reduces fat, but it has the benefit of building muscle, which is what its predecessor EMSCULPT was made to do.

Which treatment you choose depends on what your body needs and your personal goals. If you have great muscle tone and only need to get rid of some extra fat in a specific area like your abdomen or below your chin, CoolSculpting is an excellent option. But if you have loss of muscle tone and need more of a lift or tightening to a certain area like your abs or butt, EMSCULPT NEO is your two-in-one solution.

What is your favorite thing about EMSCULPT NEO?

Not only is this treatment super convenient with one treatment lasting only 30 minutes, but there is also no downtime! Patients can go about their day as they normally would immediately after their visit.

Greenwich Med Spa