I absolutely love peels! They are wonderful treatments to do on their own or to combine with other procedures like micro-needling, laser skin rejuvenation, oxygen therapy….the list is endless.
Peels give the skin a much needed boost; they clean away the debris, pollution and grime our skin is exposed to every day and leave a clean, radiant surface. In addition to the damage from environmental aggressors, the skin’s renewal processes slow down with age and peels lend it a much needed helping hand.
Peels date back to Cleopatra’s milk baths and became more widely used for medical treatments in the 1980’s. The earlier peels were more aggressive, however, over time formulations have become much more sophisticated making peels the most versatile treatments available. The important thing is to know what kind of peel you are signing up for along with following skin preparation guidelines and post treatment advice correctly.
Last but not least – when used correctly, peels don’t ‘thin’ the skin! Skin is a living organ, the skin’s cells renew themselves every 28 days, peels only take away the lazy and stubborn cells that don’t want to shed on their own.
Here is a guide to everything about peels!
A Peel is a quick and safe procedure that involves the application of formulations to resurface and regenerate skin tissue. A peel can be tailored to a client’s specific requirements, skin type and skin condition.
Which Skin Conditions Can Peels Treat?
☑ age lines ☑ wrinkles ☑ uneven skin tone and texture ☑ pigmentation ☑ dull and sallow skin ☑ acne & oily skin ☑ dark circles ☑ scar tissue Types of Peels
Enzyme Peels: These are gentle plant enzyme based peels that can be used on all skin types , even sensitive skin, for a gentle exfoliation. The results are glowing radiant skin making them an excellent pre-event treatment.
Enzyme Peels have no downtime and skin preparation requirements. They work wonderfully in combination with other treatments like micro-needling.
Resurfacing Acid Peels: These peels use naturally derived hydroxy acids to break down the protein bonds between the epidermal cells to give a brightening effect, help the skin to renew itself and promote product penetration in to the deeper layers of the skin.
Gentle resurfacing peels are great for giving the skin a boost; the seldom require skin prep or have down time.
Medium Depth Peels
These peels penetrate in to the deeper dermal layer of the skin where they trigger the body’s own healing mechanism and bring about skin regeneration.
These peels almost always have down time. They may cause skin sheathing for almost a week after the peel. Skin preparation with home-care products is essential.
These peels cause skin renewal by destroying the the upper layer of the skin. This stimulates collagen regeneration which can continue for up to 12 months post treatment.
These peels are usually doctor led. They have considerable down time and require skin preparation prior to treatment to get the best results and avoid post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
These are the most diverse peeling agents. They are water soluble and cannot penetrate the oily barrier of the skin without degreasing with an alcohol / acetone solution before application.
Glycolic Acid: This is derived from sugar cane, it penetrates the skin very quickly because of its small molecular size. It is great for hydrating and exfoliating.
Lactic Acid: This is derived from sour milk. It is gentler than glycolic acid. Also excellent for hydrating and exfoliating Malic Acid: is derived from apples. Works
on oilier skin to unclog pores.
Mandelic Acid: is derived from bitter almonds, It is the only lipid soluble AHA. It has an anti-bacterial effect and works to clear oily, acne prone skin.
Citric Acid: is derived from citrus fruits. It is great for brightening the skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acids
There is only 1 lipid soluble BHA
Salicylic Acid: This is derived from the bark of willow trees. It can penetrate the oil barrier of the skin and therefore works on acne prone skin to unclog pores.
Poly Hydroxy Acids
These are next generation acids. They are specifically engineered to have a gentle exfoliating and anti-oxidant effect for treating sensitive skins
Lactobionic Acid – Glucoronic Acid
Kojic Acid: derived from natural sources such as
mushrooms. It can be added to a peel formulation as a natural pigment inhibitor. Azelaic Acid: derived from wheat, rye and barley. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and decongesting properties
Arbutin: derived from mulberry root- it is a natural skin lightening agent.
Retinol: a form of Vitamin A. It works on skin resurfacing, renewal and regenerating properties.
What to look out for while having a Peel
Many factors other than the ingredients and the strength that they are used in contribute to the impact of a peel.
The PH of a Peel: this is a measure of acidity. It has a direct correlation to the strength of a peel. On a scale of 1-14, the lower the PH the stronger the peel. Therefore, a peel with a high acid concentration will be mild if it has a high PH and vice versa.
Number of Layers: The impact of a peel can be varied with the number of layers of solution applied. The effect becomes more intense with each application.
Timing: How long a peel is left on has an impact on how aggressive the peel will be. The longer the peel is left on, the stronger the impact.
How to take care of your skin after a Peel
In order to get the best results from a chemical skin peel it is very important to follow the recommended home care regime. If you do not support the skin through the healing process your skin will struggle to repair itself and this may lead to an unsatisfactory result.
Protecting your skin from the sun is an absolute must after any peel. An SPF 30- 50 is ideal. In general the skin shouldn’t be over heated, exposed to harsh chemicals such as perfumes , hair dyes etc and all sensible hygiene steps should be followed such as not reusing towels or cleansing sponges on the face. All in all be kind to your skin, don’t clog pores with make-up for the first 24-48 hours, don’t over exfoliate with hair removal treatments.