During the summer months, incidental sun exposure and increased temperatures contribute to the appearance of uneven skin tone and texture. This can often be accompanied with a surge of blackheads and superficial congestion. This results from increased sebum production as the humidity rises. What often appears is a lacklustre and bumpy complexion surface, characterized with grey and blotchy undertones.
Whilst many of us associate chemical peels with the application of aggressive, burning agents, the reality is completely different. These exfoliating and resurfacing treatments gently dislodge dead skin cells and embedded congestion to reveal a cumulatively fresher, energised and more vibrant complexion. Like peeling off the layers of an onion, chemical peels remove the damaged and blemished layers to unveil a healthy new skin with renewed clarity and softened sensation.
Many ingredients used in chemical peels are naturally derived and can be found in every day foods and plants. Depending on the type of agent, these are typically classed into 4 categories of material.
These are the most common components used in peels and include glycolic (which is naturally derived from sugar) and lactic (which is found not only in fermented milk, but also naturally in the skin). Alpha hydroxys are water soluble and work to superficially dissolve the ionic bonds (or glue) that holds dead skin cells together. In addition to their exfoliating capabilities, alpha hydroxys (particularly lactic) are potent humectants which bind precious hydration to water-depleted cells. Alpha hydroxys work best for thickened, aged and pigmented complexions. During treatment, the skin will feel a little warm and tingly as glycolic and lactic get to work. For a flake-free and fast procedure, why not try ASAP Glycolic or Skinstitut Peel Accelerator. For even greater results, prep and maintain your skin with Aspect Dr Exfol A+ Serum or Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser.
A newer category of peeling agents, the most common aromatic alpha hydroxy is known as mandelic and is naturally derived from almonds. Although there is a family connection to nuts, mandelic can safely be tolerated by those with a nut allergy. Both water and oil soluble, mandelic features anti-inflammatory and disinfecting qualities. This serves a dual purpose to fight acne congestion and bacteria but to also sedate overactive pigment cells. The result is clearer, brighter and more even-toned skin. Mandelic offers a very gentle delivery system and can be used at higher strengths without irritation, flaking or discomfort. To fight the effects of blotchy and uneven skin tone, why not try Skinstitut Peel Accelerator. This peel can be further customised with a boost of antioxidant vitamin C. Prep and maintain the skin daily with Aspect Dr Multi B Serum.
One of the oldest and most reliable ingredients used in peels, beta hydroxys include salicylic which is naturally derived from willow and birch bark. Salicylic is a salicylin which means it is closely related to aspirin. As it is however used in small quantities, those who are allergic to aspirin can generally tolerate a beta hydroxy treatment. Salicylic is oil soluble which means it effortlessly targets excess sebum and congestion. It also allows for a deeper absorption to target chronic ageing and acne. Salicylic can be re-layered to increase its intensity, depending on what the skin requires. Its effects are characterised by a mild to moderate warming sensation that builds with each application. For a complete complexion overhaul, why not try Skinstitut Purple Peel, this is the most active and concentrated treatment available. Prep and maintain your skin with ASAP Clearskin Gel or Aspect Dr Problem Skin Serum.
These peels work anabolically to deposit high-strength vitamin A into the lower layers of the skin. This physically promotes rejuvenation from the bottom up. A combination of seaweed and laboratory sourced vitamin A ensure greater skin compatibility, even at higher strengths. Retinoids (a term denoting any member of the vitamin A family) not only exfoliate the skin, but promote regulation and balance to simultaneously treat the effects of ageing, sun damage, pigmentation and acne. Retinoid peels feel warm as they are massaged and activated into the skin. As the effects work from the bottom upwards, there may be some minor flaking that occurs 2-3 days following the procedure. For a vital dose of vitamin A, why not try Skinstitut Ageless Peel. Prep and maintain the skin daily with Skinstitut Retinol or ASAP Super A serum.
Depending on skin condition and quality, chemical peels may be performed as often as once a week (for very superficial treatment) or once a month for a deeper skin result. A course of 3-6 treatments is recommended for best results. Daily application of SPF is paramount to protect and prevent against skin damage. To combat any procedural dryness, try Skinstitut Repair Balm to nurture and nourish flaking or tight conditions.
By: Andrew R. Christie
Beauty & Skin Industry Specialist