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Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:56

Facial Peels 101

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The Appeal, When to Use & the Best Options for You

Aging is inevitable, and so is the evidence of aging on the skin ( including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or age spots). Women and men alike are all searching for ways to keep themselves looking and feeling good, and hopefully not break the bank while doing it. Hence why facial peels have become an increasingly popular skin care treatment, they are relatively inexpensive and not nearly as invasive as other anti-aging treatments, like surgery or injections.

So here is a little Facial Peel 101 to help you decide which peel is best suited to you: 


Enzyme Peels

Enzyme peels typically use active fruit or vegetable enzymes to eat (literally) the dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin. Typically enzyme peels work more like an exfoliant than a peel so they're good for all skin types.  Enzymes are the most superficial (although if they are used wrong, left them on the skin too long, or if the actives are too high, they have the potential to burn your skin.) If you just want a softer look and an exfoliation, this is the route you should go, but if your concern is reducing fine lines, wrinkles, or sun damage you will want a stronger type of peel.



Acid Peels

Acids penetrate the skin to varying degrees depending on type of acid , concentration (percentage strength) and pH level (lower pH being more deeply penetrating). Some people refer to acids as chemical peels, however, they are not because acid peels are only light to medium penetration of the skin.  Glycolic acid have best penetration because it’s the smallest AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid), but lactic acid peels are also similarly effective. These acid peels will produce minor tingling during the procedure with a red flush of the skin, but has no downtime. An acid peel is a quick, effective treatment (popular due to its no-downtime) that will promote clear skin, cell growth, and a more even complexion.



Chemical Peels

Chemical peels have the deepest penetration, with Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Jessners being the most popular. The Jessners is a solution containing a combo of Resorcinol (a compound containing caustic soda and benzenedisulfonic acid), L-Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid. The non-resorcinol version (for treating sensitive or ethnic skin) contains a combo of L-Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid. These peels are more effective because they reach a deeper level of the dermis than enzyme or acid peels. The skin will be flaky and red for a few days after treatment, but the end result will show diminished fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, leaving a fresh and youthful face.

There is also a range of at home peels, while not as intense or as high a concentration as those performed by professionals, they help to exfoliate the skin and keep the skin looking fresh and youthful. However, they all work in a range to peel away the skin’s layers to remove the imperfections on the top layer of skin.

Winter is a great time to have any type of peel done, because the sun should be avoided after any peel treatment (but sunscreen should be worn all seasons, regardless of temperature!). So, if you’ve been thinking about trying a peel, this is the season!






Changing Skin, Changing Lives,



Lyn Ross