Did you know that chemical peels have been utilized to improve skin for centuries? It is believed that Cleopatra frequently took milk baths to smooth her skin. The smoothing effect is from the lactic acid found in milk, as well as many plants. Lactic acid is still used frequently today by estheticians and medspas, along with many other wonderful peel blends. It’s always best to have your skin analyzed by a professional to determine which peel is appropriate for you.
Professionally applied peel solutions exfoliate dead skin cells and help healthy skin cells rise to the surface. These treatments allow deeper layers of fresh and untouched skin to be revealed. The result of monthly treatments can even skin tone, clear acne, improve the appearance of aging skin and make dull complexions glow.
Immediately after a peel, your skin’s appearance will vary depending on the type of peel. In the days following the peel, the skin may begin flaking or even peeling in larger sheets. Darker spots from sun damage may appear darker before flaking off. Once the peeling process subsides, your skin will appear smoother and more radiant. The degree of peeling and improvement varies by person and type of peel utilized. Not everyone will peel the same, and not everyone will peel. An absence of peeling does not indicate an unsuccessful peel. Frequent use of exfoliating products and treatments can cause variances in peeling. Peels do more than just exfoliate our skin though, and the peels will still be effective in doing their particular job.
We’re going to review some of the best peel options available:
Also known as an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), glycolic is derived from sugar cane and is the simplest in structure and has the lowest molecular weight. This means it is the best acid to penetrate our skin, although it’s first ability is as an exfoliant. It works to loosen the bond that holds our dead skin cells together on our outermost layer of skin. This promotes cellular turnover and causes “peeling” to occur. Since glycolic acid is a smaller molecule, it’s able to penetrate deeper into the skin and stimulate fibroblasts which help to stimulate collagen. This helps skin feel firmer and minimizes fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. Glycolic works best on normal to oily skin types, and for those with tough or resilient skin. It is not the go-to choice for dry, sensitive or darker skin types.
A bit milder than it’s sister Glycolic, lactic is a great choice for those with sensitive or dry skin. Lactic acid will also help exfoliate the skin, but has the added benefits of brightening and hydrating the skin. It’s also a safer choice for darker skin tones.
Is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that is oil soluble, therefore working best on oily skin types and those prone to clogged pores and acne. This great exfoliant also has antibacterial properties and helps to reduce inflammation and oil production. Suitable for most skin types, except those who are pregnant, nursing or allergic to aspirin.
Trichloroacetic acid peels are considered as deeper peels, although there are variations from light to deep. They are designed to target medium depth in the skin and should always be administered by a trained and licensed esthetician, nurse or physician (in the case of very deep). TCA peels work great on stubborn discoloration, sun damage, and deeper wrinkles. Prepping skin for these types of peels is a must in order to enhance the outcome and minimize the potential for complications. Your provider can help design a home care regimen that may include products like Obagi NuDerm System.
Combine a balanced blend of resorcinol, lactic and salicylic acids and have light and deeper concentrations. These peels are wonderful multi-taskers with their peel blends; however, they also have the potential for complications. Again, proper pre-peel prep and post-care are important to prevent complications. Patients should be prepared to experience peeling for three to seven days.
Chemical peels are a wonderful way to rejuvenate your skin and enhance its appearance. The fall and winter seasons are also an ideal time to start a peel series. Call us today for your complimentary consultation or to reserve a spot at our upcoming Peels & Prosecco Event!