Peel Away Skin Problems – Chemical Peels

There are no two words that evoke more fear in the skin care industry than ‘chemical’ and ‘peel’. Whilst the association sounds likes some evil concoction designed to make one’s face drop off, the reality is far less Samantha from Sex And The City.

The word ‘chemical’ refers to a form of exfoliation that is not mechanical or reliant on granules. The word ‘peel’ is derived from the Latin ‘to remove’. A chemical peel therefore is a type of exfoliation that relies on specific blends of solutions that can accelerate cellular turnover. With regular application, the skin becomes softer, smoother and more hydrated, whilst signs of ageing, uneven tone and breakout become cumulatively reduced and corrected.

Chemical peels have been used since ancient times to refine and improve skin quality. Cleopatra’s milk baths were rich in lactic acid providing her skin with its signature glow and youthful texture. The Romans utilised the citric acid in lemon juice to gently decongest and clarify acne prone complexions. Today’s medical grade peels however are far more sophisticated in their mechanisms providing targeted treatment to address aged, sun damaged, pigmented, dehydrated and problematic conditions.

Medical grade chemical peels applied by a paramedically trained clinician allow for a deeper exfoliation and skin treatment than an at-home scrub can provide. Emphasis is placed on creating a controlled re-surfacing that can provide versatile precision to target a variety of skin concerns simultaneously. It is for this reason that The Australian Laser & Skin Clinics offer 7 different types of chemical peel, each delivering a different treatment objective, depth and level of rejuvenation. Unlike Samantha, Kath or a Housewife Of Beverly Hills, treatments may be performed in as quick as 15 minutes with no discomfort, downtime or classic ‘red-face’ symptoms.

A professional skin consultation is always paramount to assess exactly what problems need to be addressed whilst ascertaining which type of chemical peel will deliver maximum results. Only a qualified cosmetic nurse or paramedically trained clinician can diagnose and prescribe the best course of treatment ensuring the upmost duty of care and results. Just like a medical-grade laser hair removal treatment, the expertise lies not only in the professional tools implemented, but the practitioner’s experience and understanding of skin function and behavior.

Although the resurfacing agents used in chemical peels are laboratory-developed by chemists to ensure quality control and efficacy, they are also naturally occurring substances found in many everyday foods and plant-life.

  • Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids (or AHAs) include sugar-cane derived Glycolic, milk derived Lactic and almond derived Mandelic.
  • Beta-Hydroxy-Acids (or BHAs) include willow bark derived Salicylic which is also the same plant that naturally produces Aspirin.
  • Enzymes include paw paw derived Papaya and pineapple derived Bromelain.

It is the expert blending and varying concentration of these actives that enable such a variety of chemical peel treatments. The addition of other actives such as vitamins A, B3, B5 and C can further enhance results especially for the treatment of uneven skin tone.

Most chemical peels create a warming or tingling sensation when applied to the skin. This is a sign that the peel is working and rapid results will ensue. Depending on how deep the peel is working affects how often they are performed. Lighter peels require fortnightly appointments whereas deeper ones every 1-2 months. The best results are created with a course of 6-8 treatments and may be sustained with top-up peels or even combined with a Microdermabrasion.

The daily use of a sunscreen and cosmedical grade skin care is essential to maximise the benefits of a clinical chemical peel. A professional skin assessment will establish the best products and ingredients to prepare the skin and prolong results. Chemical peels are suitable for most skins, The Australian Laser & Skin Clinic even has an ultra-mild peel to treat and relieve the symptoms of rosacea and flaky, sensitised complexions.

With the fear factor removed… now is the time to get smooth!!

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