What are peels and why you need them?
Here, is a breakdown of the different AHA’s and BHA’s and what you should use for your unique skin condition and type. Your skin condition is very important in choosing the right peel and understanding the whys, whats and when you should use peels.
1. Glycolic Acid: Glycolic is derived from sugarcane and is excellent for congested and dull skin.It helps to loosen the dead skin cells and resurface the skin. It also stimulates the skin to produce collagen,making the skin firmer. It’s more aggressive than lactic acid peel. Skin condition: oily, acne prone, congested, open and large pores, fine lines and wrinkles.
Skin type: oily, normal, combination
2. Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is produced naturally in our bodies and also derived from milk. Milder than glycolic acid and also more gentle on the skin. Essentially improves hyper pigmentation problems caused by acne. If you are a newbie and want to even out skin tone, this is ideal for first time users. It is also popular for lightening pigmentation and sun damage.
Skin condition: dull, sun damage, hyper-pigmentation skin
Skin type: dry, normal, sensitive
3. Salicylic Acid: This is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that helps to dissolve oil and lipids, and sloughs off dead skin cells that clog the pores. This peel is perfect for oily/acne skin that needs deep pore cleansing and loosening of blackheads and whiteheads. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so more suitable for active acne prone skin. Skin condition:oily,congestion,acne
Skin type: oily combination
The Mother Of Them All
4. Retenoic Acid: Also known as Vitamin A peel, RetinA, tretinion. It’s an excellent peel for wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, mild to moderate acne, congestion but this is only by prescription at the dermatologists’office. It is drying, irritating and the skin shedding process takes a few days.
Skin condition: rough skin, wrinkles, fine lines, acne, blackheads, hyper-pigmentation
Skin type: all skin types
All these peels come in different concentration. The glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid varies from 5% to 50-60% or higher. Peels at such high strengths should always be done at a dermatologists.
You could get the medium strength ones from 15-25% at the spa. And if you want to go the DIY face peel route, always stick to 10% or below and you can build up.
How should your skin feel?
While the peel is on, you should expect mild tingling or stinging even but never burning. Burning means your skin is being fried and that can lead to major complications like scarring, hyper-pigmentation and hypo-pigmentation.
What can you expect post peel?
The light peels will only make your skin flake a little in the first two weeks. The medium and deep peels will give you the sunburn effect, so you have to be prepared for redness and excess peeling. The skin needs to be kept moist and protected with such peels or you will risk scarring and infection. So, the rule of thumb is always safety first. And never forget your sunscreen! You don’t want to undo your hard work and risk permanent photo damage.
Have you had a chemical peel before, what were the results, would you have another one? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
You may also be interested in reading: 10 Herbal Skin Care Tips for Glowing Skin