Chemical peels have been around for so long treating photo-ageing, pigmentation and other signs of ageing. Through a thorough skin- resurfacing exfoliation they are able to to improve the skins appearance by reducing poor skin texture, acne, scars, pigmentation, sun damage and even fine lines. All by removing the top layers, speeding up cellular renewal resulting in smoother and brighter skin. Are you sold yet?
This treatment involves creating a controlled chemical burn which helps remove those damaged dead skin cells which usually leave your skin looking dull. #nothanks
Different peels, target different depths;
Very light peels can be done at home
(The Ordinary AHA 30%, BHA 2% Peeling solution) which are your superficial peels and then the more moderate to deep peels are performed by your trained skin therapists or Doctors.
Some peels are also known as your fruit acids derived from natural sources like the one mentioned above. For example:
BHA's: Beta hydroxy acids
Are oil soluble acids and can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. Primarily for acne and sun-damage skins. Example: Salicylic Acid: Found in Willow Bark trees.
AHA's: Alpha hydroxy acids
With there primary purpose to exfoliate, brighten and even out skin texture and tone. They can usually be found in enzymatic exfoliators, scrubs and toners. Products I love that contain AHA's: The Ordinary Glycolic 7% Toning Solution & Skoon Papaya & Pineapple enzyme exfoliating mask.
Glycolic Acid: Found in sugar cane
Malic Acid: Apples
Lactic Acid: Milk derivitives
Citric Acid: Citrus fruits
Tartaric Acid: Grapes
They penetrate only into the epidermis (top layer of your skin) and at a variety of depths so they can be low to medium strength depending on the concentration, the time it’s applied for and how many layers applied. A superficial peel has a high possibility to go deeper and deeper if you leave it on too long or apply too many layers. That is why I wouldn't recommend you try too many of these at home, rather leave it to the experts... Unless I've reviewed safe ones ;)
The goal with chemical peels are usually confined to areas of concern in the Epidermis, while maintaining minimal downtime, side effects or risks. If the area of concern is deeper down reaching into the dermis light chemical peels usually won't necessarily reach your main goal such as acne scaring pigmentation (which I had, then alternative treatments can be used in combination with chemical peels as maintenance.) Often you won't think your first peel did much but that is why regular peels are recommended usually a course of 6 or more to reach your skin goal.
Heres an idea of how small your Epidermis is and what a chemical peel can treat. Deeper ones performed by Doctors have the ability to reach right down to the Dermis which will result in a longer down time and side effects.
Recover times and which peel for what concern:
Light Peels: Intense exfoliation, fine lines, uneven skin tone and removes only the outer layers of the epidermis. Can be done every 4-6 weeks.
Medium Peels: Fine lines, acne scars, hyperpigmentation which removes deeper layers of the epidermis. Can repeat after 3-9 months.
Deep: This can only be performed once and is recommended by a doctor. This reachers mid to lower layers of the dermis.
What are TCA peels?
This is a more potent peeling agent that contains trichloroacetic acid. What a mouthful... It's a modified synthetic chemical based on common vinegar, or acetic acid. This chemical is a powerful solution that effectively removes the outer layers of the skin without any toxicity risks. TCA is a great acid that any skin enthusiast can incorporate into her or his treatment to focus on pigmentation and aging. It is brilliant if combined with other chemical agents like Salicylic Acid which will help with common acne breakouts as well as post-inflammatory pigmentation often what acne leaves behind. Let's have a look at what it can treat: Smooth fine surface wrinkles, removes superficial blemishes, corrects pigment problems, reduces brown spots and age spots, improves the texture of leathery & sun damaged skin.
Image 1: Stopped drinking milk & went on Serra Cleaning gel from Lamelle.
Image 2: Only 12 days after stopping milk and high lactose products. Now only left with post inflammatory pigmentation & scarring.
Image 3: Couple days after my first micro- needling session.
Image 4: Current skin, after 2 micro-needling sessions & one chemical peel (Lacti 30 from Lamelle) I have also been doing at home peels with The Ordinary AHA 30%, BHA 2% Peeling solution. My scarring has improved immensely & I'm scheduled in for 2 more micro-needling sessions & a chemical peel :) Will definitely keep you posted.
Hope this gives you a little more understanding about the world of chemical peels and what results you can expect to see. I am always open to answering questions!
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