We offer professional carbon peels in Surrey (near Vancouver), using activated charcoal. It’s an excellent solution for sensitive skin that is also suffering from acne. Plus, being suitable for sensitive skin makes it perfect for a mild facial, when you need to heal quickly.
Our Surrey carbon peel (i.e. charcoal peel, carbon chemical peel) is different than a carbon face mask that you would use at home. The formulas used in professional skin clinics contain more than just carbon. That includes high potency exfoliants and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). The word “acid” should not scare you though – these substances are clinically shown to be beneficial for skin health. Further, the difference between over the counter products and our chemical peels are the percentages of these acids in our formulas. They penetrate more deeply in the dermal layer.
Please note: our carbon peel is not the same as the carbon peels that go on very lightly, and are then blasted with a laser. We use the thicker, standalone carbon peel at our clinic. It is basically a type of mild chemical peel. This lets the carbon product do its own job, instead of the laser over-powering its added effects, which can be minuscule in that type of application. If you’re looking for a photofacial with lasers, we do that too!
What is there to love about our Surrey carbon peels?
Carbon peels made with activated charcoal offer a perfect combination of benefits for all skin types, and especially sensitive or acneic skin.
Carbon itself is an inert substance, meaning it won’t cause irritation, nor allergic reactions. This is useful for those with eczema or other skin conditions.
Activated charcoal – the kind used in this peel service – is very, very porous. So, it can absorb skin impurities, like excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells and blackheads. This makes it great as an acne solution, a hyperpigmentation solution and an anti-aging solution.
The healing time of carbon peel is near-immediate, for many people. By contrast, a chemical peel would require about a week or so of ‘skin shedding’ (which is intentional, in those use cases).
What can carbon peels be used for?
Carbon peels have three main uses:
- To purge the skin’s pores of dead cells, and spur new cell growth (i.e. collagen renewal).
- To deeply cleanse away excess dirt and oil, causing acne.
- To infuse beneficial ingredients into your skin.
It does all of the above in one formula, and in one session.
That makes it a great solution for the following skin conditions and needs:
- Pre-acne, active acne (including whiteheads and blackheads) and macular, flat acne scars.
- Pores that look enlarged.
- Maintenance facials for glowing, even-toned skin, or to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
Of course, many products you see at the drug store make the same claims, including charcoal masks (which are not peels, by the way!).
So why get a professional carbon peel?
The answer is simple: the strength of our carbon peel is much, much more intense. It can only be used by trained aestheticians in medical clinic settings. It is not sold over the counter.
How does a carbon peel work?
During a carbon peel, a professional, potent formula of active ingredients is brushed on to your cleansed face. It is left to sit there for about 10 to 20 minutes, and then removed.
When we use the word “peel,” we are not referring to the type of mask that goes on wet, dries up, and is peeled off like a sticker. That is a very harsh way to use this type of product. Our carbon peel formula is washed off, kind of like the clay masks you use at home (except, it’s not a clay mask).
So then, have we incorrectly labelled this service? Nope! The term “peel” is used industry-wide for this service because of the way carbon facials remove old skin layers from your face. The concept is the same as chemical peels. Except, carbon peels are not necessarily as strong as traditional chemical peels, which you can learn more about below.
A carbon peel is, essentially, a mild-to-moderate chemical peel. It is stronger than our laser peel and Vivier peel, but not as strong as a Jessner or TCA peel. It is definitely not as strong as a skin resurfacing procedure, either.
Some spas and skin clinics use a laser treatment on top of a thin, carbon peel film. We do not do this at our clinic. The laser would then do most of the work on the skin, rendering the carbon layer useless (almost). Instead, we let the activated charcoal, and its added ingredients, do their own job, with a thicker application.
Why is an activated carbon peel so great for skin?
Activated carbon is regular charcoal that has been infused with oxygen gas to give it sponge-like properties, at a molecular level. It is very absorbent.
While activated charcoal has made headlines in the beauty and health industry lately, it’s nothing new. It has been used medically for years to treat poison ingestion. Though – keep in mind that doesn’t mean it will do any so-called “detox” on your body if you eat or drink it.
Using carbon on the skin is a different story, however. Healthy skin requires cleaning, and carbon is especially good at doing this. It has a ‘pull’ to it, which is believed to reach inside the crevices of pores, where pre-pimple bacteria lives.
You see, at a microscopic level, activated carbon has plenty of ‘holes’ and edges. This curvature gives it a very large surface area. The extended surface area is what makes it so good at absorbing particles we don’t want on our skin. Like dead cells, dirt, oil and so on.
Also at a microscopic level, things often ‘bond’ to each other. And that goes for all things. With activated charcoal, the impurities on our skin have lots of room to stick to the charcoal. So, when your facial is over, and we remove the charcoal, the yucky stuff goes with it.
If you’re into chemistry, you’ll know that this is the same concept as using soap (surfactants). Soap attracts dirt, where bacteria resides. When you give soap enough time to ‘stick’ to dirt, then wash it off, you take the bacteria off with it.
But with activated charcoal, we’re talking about a lot more ‘stick,’ thanks to its expansive surface area. This formula also goes deeper into pores than soap would. Again, this is all happening at a microscopic level.
With this procedure, carbon, is the main ‘workhorse’ ingredient that is drawing out impurities on your face. But in addition to that, our spa-grade formula also includes other beneficial additives. These are substances that have long-standing reputations in the world of cosmetic chemistry. For example:
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like:
- Lactic acid (up to 10%) – a skin lightener for even complexion.
- Glycolic Acid (up to 5%) – a skin lightener and exfoliant.
- Mandelic acid (up to 10%) – an exfoliant.
Skin helpers like:
- Ascorbic acid – a Vitamin C derivative, for antioxidant anti-aging properties.
- Ferulic acid – a free radical fighter and booster to other vitamin-based skin care ingredients.
- Glycerin – a water-balancer and moisturizer.
- Ginger root extract – an antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant helper.
- Licorice root extract – an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and oil control substance. It also lightens skin when combined with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
How many carbon peel treatments will I need to see results?
This is a mild face treatment that will require repeated sessions to see results. The true determination of how many treatments you’ll need should be decided by an in-person consultation at our clinic.
To give you a general idea, however, we can say that you should plan for:
- 5 peels, every 10 days for treating acne.
- 3 to 5 peels every two weeks for healthier skin and complexion.
- 1 peel every month or so, in rotation with other facial treatments, for beauty maintenance.
That said, as a standalone treatment, it is a great mild option for a spa-grade facial. It can be perfect for achieving better skin right before an event. Or, you can use it as part of a monthly face maintenance program, along with microdermabrasion, HydraFacial™, laser peels (photofacials), and so on. In that sense, it can only help. It will also likely have more effect, since you are taking care of your skin routinely, already.
Is there downtime with carbon peels? What about side effects?
Your face may be a bit red, or feel tender after a carbon peel. Some people experience skin shedding, too. This may last a day or two, or even about a week, depending on how sensitive you are.
You also MUST wear a high-grade, broad-spectrum sunscreen after this treatment, even if you won’t be in direct sunlight (which, you shouldn’t be). Not doing so could risk hyperpigmentation and further irritation. We sell quality sunscreens at our clinic.
You should not be using retinol or any retinoid products before and after this treatment, to reduce your chances of sensitivity. If you use retinoids or other products, our Skin care consultants or doctor will highlight any further specific instructions for you during your initial consultation with us.
It is highly unlikely that the carbon content in our peel formula will cause side effects, since it is inert (meaning, chemically inactive).
However, there are other ingredients in a carbon peel, which are well-studied as being beneficial for most skin types. They’re also found in many, many skin care products. If you have a specific allergy, or very sensitive skin, it’s possible you’ll experience a reaction to these added ingredients. We will ask you more about your skin, during your initial consultation with us, to avoid this issue.
Unlike other clinics, we do not use lasers with our carbon peels. So the common (but rare) risks associated with laser treatments would not apply here.
What is the cost of a carbon peel?
A single carbon peel can cost roughly $250 per session (this price is an estimate, and could change). However, if you are aiming to treat a skin condition, we will recommend at least 4 treatments, at specific intervals, before saying this solution is right for you.
The best way to find out if a carbon chemical peel is a fit for your skin type, is to come in for a consultation at our clinic. That way, we can get to know more about you, and take a closer look at your skin (including with advanced tools to see under your visible skin layer). From there, we can make recommendations on where we think your investment will best be spent.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.