Chemical peels are used today to improve skin's texture, smooth out skin tone and lighten dark patches or hyperpigmentation, and to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They use chemicals to remove the surface of the skin, allowing healthier, smoother new skin to grow in its place. Deep peels, performed with phenol, can treat excessive scarring, severe hyperpigmentation, deep wrinkles and even precancerous growths. Skin peels have a long history, going all the way back to ancient Egypt. « Back to Top
The ancient Egyptians believed that cleanliness was vital to the health and beauty of skin. They were the first to use skin peels. Cleopatra was known for bathing in sour milk, a practice that was common at the time. Sour milk contains lactic acid, an ingredient still used in mild chemical peels today.
The ancient Egyptians also bathed in old wine to achieve the same effect. Wine contains tartaric acid, a fruit acid that is still used in mild chemical peels today. « Back to Top
Sour milk and old wine remained in use as skin peels during the Middle Ages. Europeans in the Middle Ages began using lead oxide as a main ingredient in facial chemical peels and skin lightening creams. They borrowed this practice from the Greeks, who used lead oxide to whiten their faces. As pale skin became more fashionable from the 15th century onward, skin whitening creams and chemical peels made with lead oxide became more popular. The side effects of applying lead oxide to the skin include disfigurement, muscle paralysis and death. « Back to Top
In the early 20th century, Americans and Europeans received chemical peels at spas and health resorts. These facilities produced their own chemical peel solutions. They guarded their chemical peel formulas closely. These chemical peels were mild and no doubt contained some of the same gentle acids that have been used to perform mild peels for centuries.
Medium-depth and deep peels weren't developed until the mid-20th century. In the 1950s, dermatologists began administering medium-depth and deep peels using new ingredients, like trichloroacetic acid, resorcinol, salicylic acid and phenol. These ingredients are still in use today, along with newer ingredients like pyruvic acid and glycolic acid.
The advent of medium-depth and deep peels meant that chemical peels were no longer strictly a cosmetic procedure. Dermatologists could, for the first time, begin treating skin conditions with chemical peels. While mild and medium-depth peels are still used cosmetically, dermatologists can now treat severe scarring, deep wrinkles, severe discoloration of the skin, and even skin cancer using deep chemical peels.
Today, mild and medium-depth chemical peels are popular among those who want to improve the appearance of their skin. Mild and medium-depth peels are appropriate to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, mild hyperpigmentation, and mild scarring. They are sometimes used to treat mild skin conditions like acne. Mild and medium-depth peels are administered on an outpatient basis, and many people have chemical peels regularly for cosmetic reasons.
Deep peels, however, have a much longer recovery time than mild and medium-depth peels. « Back to Top
This skin peeling method is used to treat a variety of skin conditions including acne, rosacea, fine wrinkling, blotchy pigmentation, ingrown hairs, yellow complexion and dry skin. Chemical peels are most often performed on the face but may also be beneficial on the neck, chest, back, hands, arms and legs. « Back to Top
Chemical peels are used for the treatment of photoaging (from sun damage), wrinkles, scarring, acne, pre-cancerous lesions, and discoloration (dyschromia) or uneven skin tone. Chemical peels produce controlled injury to the skin to promote the growth of new skin with an improved appearance.
Many different chemicals are used including glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid, “Jessners“ solution, and phenol. The different chemicals produce different degrees of injury to the skin. « Back to Top
Superficial peels (e.g. glycolic acid) produce very superficial injury, confined to the epidermis. Superficial peels can help improve conditions, such as acne and dyschromia. Deeper peels, (e.g. phenol peels) produce injury within the dermis and can reverse moderate-to-severe photoaging and wrinkles. In general, the deeper peels offer the most dramatic results but require longer recovery periods and carry a higher risk of complications. « Back to Top
It's best not to assume that a low % of acid is less abrasive than a higher percentage. For example: Salicylic Acid 20% is almost as strong as Glycolic 50%. TCA 30% is a completely different peeling agent and can penetrate into the upper layers of the dermis, causing burns if not used properly. « Back to Top
Chemical peels however, are not for everyone. Those in poor general health, for example, should not receive a chemical peel. Active infections and certain medications (i.e. isotretinoin (Accutane) may preclude the use of certain types of chemical peels (especially medium and deep). Those with abnormal scarring, certain skin diseases, or recent surgeries should also not have a chemical peel. Consultation with a physician is recommended when making the decision whether a chemical peel is right for you. « Back to Top
Our Pre-Peel Solution is recommended. The depth of the peel depends on the chemical used. Very light peels (low potency glycolic acid 10%- 20%) penetrate only the dead skin cells that sit atop the epidermis and produce almost no injury. Sometimes this level of peel is called “exfoliation”. Medium peels (Glycolic 30%-40%) injure the epidermis and stimulate the regeneration of a new epidermis. This level of chemical peel may produce a burning sensation during the procedure. Recovery from light-medium peels is quick- thus the name “lunchtime” peel.
Improvement in the appearance of photoaged skin and scarring is noticeable. Injury to the dermis stimulates formation of collagen and “plumps” up the skin. « Back to Top
Apply a drop of peel solution to a small area of your face. After 30 seconds, rinse liberally with cold water. This technique is called patch testing.
It may sting or have some redness. Excessive stinging or redness may indicate that you need a lower strength peeling acid. Our products are designed for those experienced with skin peeling treatments. If you are unsure of your tolerance level, we recommend using a low strength peel to build tolerance. Only leave it on for 30 seconds the first time.
Wash face with mild cleanser to remove dirt and oil or makeup.
Apply a small amount of peel solution to a gauze pad and apply to face - avoiding eyes, lips, and insides of nostrils (see diagram below for proper technique).
After 30 seconds to 1 minute (application time may increase with tolerance), rinse face with cold water and use a neutralizing solution, if face continues to sting.
Gently pat skin – no rubbing.
Apply moisturizer to nourish new skin. SPF 30 or higher is essential.
The application of a specific solution to the surface of the skin to peel away the outermost layers, revealing the fresh skin beneath. This skin peeling method is used to treat a variety of skin conditions including acne, rosacea, fine wrinkling, blotchy pigmentation, ingrown hairs, yellow complexion and dry skin. Chemical peels are most often performed on the face but may also be beneficial on the neck, chest, back, hands, arms and legs. « Back to Top
Chemical peels, also known as chemical resurfacing, are chemical treatments to produce an improved appearance of the face. Chemical peels are used for the treatment of photoaging (from sun damage), wrinkles, scarring, acne, pre-cancerous lesions, and discoloration (dyschromia) or uneven skin tone. Chemical peels produce controlled injury to the skin to promote the growth of new skin with an improved appearance.
There are two layers of the skin. The outer layer is called the epidermis and the inner layer, the dermis. Superficial peels (e.g. glycolic acid) produce very superficial injury, confined to the epidermis. Superficial peels can help improve conditions, such as acne and dyschromia. Deeper peels, (e.g. phenol peels) produce injury within the dermis and can reverse moderate-to-severe photo aging and wrinkles. In general, the deeper peels offer the most dramatic results but require longer recovery periods and carry a higher risk of complications.
Depending on the type of chemical used. It's best not to assume that a low % of acid is less abrasive than a higher percentage. For example: Salicylic Acid 20% is almost as strong as Glycolic 50%. TCA 30% is a completely different peeling agent and can penetrate into the upper layers of the dermis, causing burns if not used properly. « Back to Top
Glycolic acid has long been heralded as a cure-all for dull, lackluster skin. Used in a plethora of skin care products, this natural acid boasts the ability to refine and renew the skin, diminishing fine lines, sun-spots, and acne. « Back to Top
Glycolic acid is the smallest type of alpha-hydroxy-acid and has many applications in skin care products as a natural skin exfoliant. Its capability to penetrate the skin is key when allowing old, sun-damaged skin cells to shed, renewing the skin’s texture and vitality.
By loosening the glue-like substance that keeps dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, glycolic acid can help you gain back that healthy glow. This exfoliation process may help reduce wrinkles and hyper pigmentation, and promote an overall rejuvenated appearance.
Through stimulating new cell and collagen production, fine lines and shallow acne scars are reduced, improving the skin’s tone and texture. As well as promoting new skin cell growth, glycolic acid can also help unclog pores -aiding those with acne prone skin. « Back to Top
There are many options for using glycolic acid at home. Low concentrate glycolic acid can be found in creams and moisturizers, and unlike regular moisturizers, have the ability to promote the ongoing creation of revitalized skin cells.
Higher glycolic acid content can be found in glycolic acid peels, with results more instantaneous. Peels provide the most effective at-home treatments, as the glycolic acid is formulated in a way that is safe, yet very effective. Non- invasive and non-surgical, glycolic acid peels can refine the skin’s texture, leaving skin younger-looking and rejuvenated.
The lower the pH level of the glycolic peel, the deeper and quicker it will penetrate into the skin. Physician strength peels can have a pH level as low as pH0.6. Though low-level pH peels can be highly beneficial to severely damaged skin, they must be administered by a dermatologist.
While store bought peels are less potent, they are easier to use, safe for use without medical supervision and can garner similar results from the comfort of your own home.
An at home glycolic peel, capable of removing pore-clogging debris, improving skin tone and texture, is thus the perfect, affordable solution to beautiful skin. « Back to Top
Jessner's Solution is a skin peel made with a mixture of AHA Lactic Acid and BHA Salicylic acid with the Phenol derivative of Resocinol. This peel, which has also been known as the Combe's Peel was made popular by Max Jessner, a New York dermatologist. He originally formulated the solution to reduce the toxicity and high potency of the individual ingredients. « Back to Top
This peel is ideal for an extensive range of skin conditions such as lightening hyper-pigmentation areas, treating acne and acne scars, treating aged, photo-damaged and sun-damaged skin. (Darker skin types particularly African American, should proceed with caution due to an increased risk of post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation from the Resorcinol exposure). « Back to Top
However, the Jessner's Solution should only be applied by experience professionals. When the professional is applying the solution, they will gently paint onto the skin (it can be layered). Up to 4-6 coats are applied until a white frost develops (this means the peel is getting rid of your dead, dull skin) or until the pain sensation is too intense.
Then rinse your face throughly with cool water and pat dry. Be sure to wear a light moisturizer or a sunscreen for a few days following the Jessner's Solution Peel treatment.
The three individual ingredients, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Resorcinol in the Jessner's Solution work together to give you the best results. « Back to Top
Lactic Acid The Lactic Acid in the peel accelerates the skin’s cells renewal rate which then softens the epidermis and stimulates collagen growth.
Salicylic Acid The Salicylic Acid exfoliates deep into the lining of the pores to rid of dirt, sebum and debris that can cause blackheads, whiteheads and enlarged pores.
Resorcinol The Resorcinol breaks down dead, uneven and rough skin due to it's anti-septic properties it actively sterilizes bacteria upon contact. Combination of these three ingredients in the Jessner's Solution result in a even toned, clear complexion.
Jessner’s Solution can be used in conjunction with other peels, such as Glycolic peels, and TCA peels to enhance the effectiveness of the peel. « Back to Top
TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) is an effective chemical agent used to exfoliate and renew the skin on a more superficial level. TCA is most frequently applied to the face, neck, chest, and hands. In addition, TCA is also an excellent “spot treatment” and can be used to exclusively peel isolated areas of the skin.
The range of depth that the TCA peel achieves varies according to concentration potency(available strengths range from 10% -30%), application methods: time and pressure, and of course skin type. When applied, the solution penetrates deep into the skin continually seeking protein to neutralize itself.
Unlike the progressive peels such as Glycolic or Salicylic, TCA Peels exfoliate the skin more rapidly upon initial contact.The long-lasting results make it an ideal peel for those who prefer less peeling sessions at the cost of moderate downtime.
TCA’s ability to treat a wide range of skin conditions makes it the perfect chemical peel for individuals with multiple concerns. « Back to Top
Salicylic acid is a powerful tool to fight acne and wrinkles. Despite its dramatic results, the salicylic acid chemical peel retains a mild and extraordinarily non-irritating approach to skin restoration. The well-rounded composition of salicylic acid eliminates skin abnormalities including an excess of dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria. « Back to Top
Acne is a multi-staged and progressive skin condition involving three critical factors: clogged pores, bacteria and inflammation. The salicylic acid peel counteracts all three by targeting each individually:
Clogged Pores: Clogged pores don’t stand a chance against beta hydroxy acid, which exfoliates excess dead skin in and around the pore lining.
Bacteria: The antimicrobial properties of salicylic acid render it highly effective against the acne bacteria responsible for inflammatory acne. In addition, eliminating bacteria will substantially minimize any existing inflammation.
Inflammation: Due to its close relation to the popular anti-inflammatory aspirin, salicylic acid also functions as a potent anti-inflammatory.
From both a preventative and curative standpoint, the salicylic acid peel is clearly a triple threat against acne. By and large, salicylic acid peels are considered a “textbook option” for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions related to a surplus of bacteria, dead skin and/or sebum. It is no wonder the FDA approved the use of salicylic acid as an OTC acne medication! « Back to Top
There was a time when cosmetic procedures, from facelifts to liposuction to chemical peels, were considered almost exclusively the domain of women. In those bygone years, a man would probably have been embarrassed to even consider going in for appearance enhancing treatments, much less actually making an appointment at a spa or clinic. But those days are gone! In the modern era, men are heading to the cosmetologist in ever greater numbers, and with head held high. Men, we now know, have as much right to looking younger and more healthy as women do.
One of the procedures that men are seeking out in ever growing numbers is that called chemical peels. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, some 86,000 men were treated with chemical peels in 2008 alone. That’s not a trifling number. So why are so many men seeking out this treatment? Read on to discover the benefits to your skin, and to your appearance, of the various types of chemical peels. « Back to Top
As a man puts on a few years, his skin can begin to look a little tired. Whether on his face, his chest, his neck, or even his hands, the effects of time and the environment will begin to show through in lines and wrinkles, dark patches or uneven pigmentation, enlarged pores, or a more pronounced appearance of acne scars from youth as the skin loses its suppleness. Chemical peels stop and even reverse this effect of time by rejuvenating the skin.
During the peel procedure, a caustic agent is applied to the face or body. This agent effectively removes the outer layers of dead skin cells, revealing the newer, more supple layers just below. In doing so, the chemical peel lifts out fine lines and wrinkles, scars, sun and age spots, and enlarged pores, all without the trouble and risk of face lifts or other surgeries. The whole procedure can take under an hour and can be easily scheduled into your busy day. What’s more, because the chemical peel is an intensive procedure, it will require only periodic maintenance treatments or can be a once in a lifetime treatment, depending on the type you receive. « Back to Top
Chemical peels fall roughly into three categories, depending on the strength of the agent used in the procedure. Men may receive chemical peels that are relatively mild in action, intermediate in their intensiveness, or peels that work to rejuvenate the skin at the deepest of levels. Which variety of peel you will require depends on the condition of your skin and your desired level of appearance enhancement.
At the mildest end of the spectrum, your clinic or spa will apply an agent such as one of the alpha hydroxy acids that will gently exfoliate dead skin cells. These often all-natural agents work over the course of several days to lift off the dead layers of skin that can cause you to look older than you are.
The next level of chemical peels involves the use of an agent such as trichloroacetic acid. This chemical is stronger than the alpha hydroxyls and thus works at a deeper level to smooth out scars and wrinkles. A peel at the intermediate level lasts several months without maintenance treatments, thus reducing trips to the cosmetologist.
Finally, the chemical peel at the deepest level of penetration uses strong caustics agents such as phenol to produce the most dramatic of appearance enhancements. The phenol reaches deep into the skin layer to lift out and smooth scars, uneven pigmentation, and enlarged pores. Because this treatment is so intensive, it can be a once in a lifetime procedure.
Whichever type of peel you desire, the key issue is you—how you look, how you feel, the side of yourself you show to the world. Looking your best is your right and your prerogative, whether you are a woman or a man. « Back to Top
As we get a bit older, our skin begins to take on the all too familiar signs of aging: the appearance of small wrinkles around the eyes and corners of the mouth, enlarged pores that interrupt the smooth surface of the skin, and a gradual dulling of the skin’s natural luster. But although these changes are part of the aging process, there is much we can do to delay, halt, or even reverse the appearance of aging. Two of the most popular techniques available to do so are chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
While the two procedures involve different techniques and use different active agents, the treatments have similar goals. Both microdermabrasion and peels are undertaken by people looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, the appearance of enlarged pores and acne scars, and discolorations to the skin caused by sun exposure or age. The procedures are both mostly done on the face but are also useful for skin rejuvenation of the hands, back, chest, or neck. The two procedures are similar in that they work to remove the outer layer of the skin, the dermis, thus uncovering the firmer, more supple and younger skin that lies beneath.
Many people consider microdermabrasion the less invasive of the two treatments. In this procedure, the skin is showered with microscopic crystals made from aluminum oxide. The effect of this is something like having you’re the skin of your face or other body part gently sanded to remove the dermis, the outer layers of dead skin cells. The procedure is less intensive than chemical peels, resulting in a less rigorous removal, and thus rejuvenation, of the skin.
In the chemical peel, an acidic agent is applied to the skin, ranging from the relatively mild glycolic acid peel, to the more intermediate trichloracetic acid peel, to the strongest of peels that utilize phenol. These treatments work by having the caustic agents loosen, remove, and dissolve the older skin that results in wrinkling, enlarged pores, dark spots, and scarring. The effects of chemical peels, because the agents used are stronger than those used in microdermabrasion, are that much more dramatic, leaving the skin looking fresh and supple. « Back to Top
In addition to the deeper treatment offered by peels, another advantage of chemical peels is its much longer lasting effects. For good results, microdermabrasion requires approximately 6 to 12 initial sessions with the cosmetologist, with maintenance sessions performed every 2 or 3 months after that. Peels, on the other hand, might require maintenance sessions every few months for the milder varieties of the technique, or may only require a single, life-time session for the most rigorous of the agents used. Certainly this is not only a significant time saver compared with microdermabrasion but a cost saver over time as well.
Of course, as with all cosmetic procedures, safety is important. Chemical peels use intensive chemicals in the process of rejuvenating your skin, so you will want to make sure you are visiting spas or clinics well trained in these types of treatments. Chemical peels, although not entirely without their risks of side effects, are very safe when performed by those well familiar with the technique and the aftercare of your skin. Discomfort and chances of side effects can be greatly reduced with proper follow up and care.
In the end, it is up to you which procedure you will chose, and you should consult with your cosmetologist on the treatment that will best serve your needs. Most important is that you are happy with the results, that you, and your skin, look great and feel great. The possibility for you to look healthier and years younger is right there at your fingertips. « Back to Top
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