If you are anything like me, the term "Chemical Peel" has a scary sound to it. I considered anything with the word chemical in it to be a bad thing. Certainly not something I was ever willing to pay for and apply to my face! Boy was I wrong. All these years I have never wanted to explore this strange world of chemical peels and thought they were for acne scars and really bad complexions. There are so many types of new treatments out there, spas are offering green peels, photofacial's, detox treatments, microdermabrasian...the list goes on and on. Maybe the term chemical peel should be phrased "Skin Beautifying and Brightening Facial" I certainly would have tried it many years ago! Why do all these beautiful and famous women have such fresh and glowing skin? Well I can assure you they are using quality skin care products, having facials and chemical peels. The latest to arrive on the beauty scene are laser treatments and dermal-infusion. Let's talk about chemical peels for now! Tried and true, peels have been around for over a hundred years. In 1882 Dr. Unna, a German Doctor realized the benefits of phenol or carbolic acid, derived from coal tar. Chemical peeling of the face was born! Dermaplaning was also an option, yes, scraping of the skin with a sharp blade!! Why even the Eqyptians knew something about peels even though they hadn't a clue why. Cleopatra would bathe in sour goats milk as this made her skin soft to the touch. What she didn't realize was that the sour milk had turned to lactic acid. We have come a long, long way!!
Here is the skinny on chemical peels:
Firstly, you can be any age to enjoy the benefits of a chemical peel, over time the peel can actually help stimulate collagen and skin will look fresher and brighter. Collagen production is key to fresh and young looking skin. The chemicals used aren't so scary! They are derived from natrural sources such as fruits and sugar cane for example.
A chemical peel is basically exfoliation. As we know, our skin rejuvenates itself and as new skin cells produce, the old, dead cells come to the surface making room for new ones. This is called keratinization. Every 28 days or so our skin is rejuvenated. As we age everything slows down including this process. Even by the age of 25 things slow down. Our skin needs a little help to exfoliate the dead skin cells, bringing fresh new skin to the surface. We can use daily scrubs or face masks and these products do work, however they are very "safe" and gentle enough for anyone to use. With that being said, they don't provide a major exfoliation and you won't notice a huge difference.
A lactic acid peel is very gentle, this form of acid is attracted to water molecules and will help to soften and hydrate skin, great for dry skin. A glycolic acid peel will get a little deeper and exfoliate well into the stratum corneum. It has the ability to inhibit the production of oil and create the appearance of smaller pores. TCA peels are the hard core peels. This type of peel is suggested for oily skin that is prone to acne. You will have deep exfoliation and smooth out rough textured skin.
Chemical peels will reduce fine lines and blotchiness, scarring for example can also be reduced. Peels encourage collagen production and reduce break outs as well as leaving a radiant look to your face. Skin is left so fresh, you will feel like a million dollars!
There are many websites out there where you can purchase these acids and do your own peels, I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS!! You really don't know the quality you are getting and strength. The bottle may say 30% acid but it really depends on the PH level. Here in Canada, only a doctor can purchase the proper medical grade products and Aesthetic professionals under a doctor's supervision can apply these peels. If any average person can purchase the product, chances are it's so weak anyway that you are just wasting your time and money. Let the experts work out a plan for you combining treatments over the course of six months and I am convinced that you will include chemical peels in your beauty routine.