We know what you’re thinking, chemical peels, HELL NO! People always get nervous when they hear the words Chemical Peel. But, this need not be the case. The basic concept of a chemical peel is rather simple and the results? Well, they’re awesome…
The Ph of your skin is 5.5, slightly acidic, and anything applied to the skin deviating from this 5.5 Ph will cause some form of irritation and burn the skin…This burning of the skin that occurs causes a natural healing process. It is this process of healing in which the benefits of a chemical peel are obtained.
The effects of this are so good for so many irritating, confidence sapping conditions. Let’s take acne for example. This may be caused by an alkaline skin Ph or unstable acidic mantle. When the skins Ph is no longer acidic, bacteria can constantly cause those horrible pimples we all hate. In order to treat acne, we need to focus on restoring the skins Ph to its original acidic levels which will help to stop those nasty breakouts!
The acid mantle is a fine film with a slightly acidic Ph on the surface of the skin that protects the skin from bacterial and fungal infections. The acid mantle is created by sebaceous and sweat glands, as well as, free fatty acids from the sebum, amino acids and pyrrolidine carboxylic acid that are produced as a result of the cornification process of the skin.
The skin is the first line of defence against the onslaught of everyday environmental elements we each battle every day such as microorganisms, sun, wind and pollutants in the air.
A chemical peel consists of the application on the skin of one or more exfoliating agents to cause controlled damage. This is followed by the release of cytokines and inflammatory mediators resulting in the regeneration of the top layer of skin (your epidermis). It additionally causes the formation of new collagen, the restoration and reorganisation of elastic fibres and an increase in dermal volume. Basically, making your skin glow and you look more refreshed than ever!
Chemical peels or resurfacers are basically an accelerated form of exfoliation induced by the application of a chemical agent. Superficial peels promote faster exfoliation of skin cells from the stratum corneum – the outer most layer of skin - whereas deeper peels create necrosis – killing of the cells.
SO… WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Well essentially many skin problems are caused by excessive build-up of dead skin cells. Peels provide unparalleled results in a short period of time. This helps remove the damaged surface layer of the skin to promote more even pigmentary disorders, roughness and superficial scars.
The result depends on 3 things:
1. The acids used
2. The concentration of acids
3. As well as the method of application
Contact time, skin condition and preparation all count towards the result and the depth of the peel determines your discomfort during and after having a peel. Our express facial bar in the Young LDN Lounge for example, uses very light, but very effective and fast working peels to leave you looking radiant and glowing all within 20 minutes. These are great if you just want to look refreshed after along week at work or Uni and are great for people with minimal photo damage or acne. For those with more severe acne, ageing or photo damage, you want to visti the Young LDN Lab where we use stronger peels.
THE BENEFITS OF CHEMICAL PEELS
- Normalisation of the epidermal keratinisation (basically when your skins looking a little like that leather boot you bought a few years ago…) promoting skin renewal!
- Enhance the natural skin turnover process, shedding damaged cells and replacing them with new fresh bright ones for a glowing, smoother and softer skin
- Peels are great for treating acne skin conditions, they reduce and eliminate superficial acne scars, help minimise pores, treat post acne hyperpigmentation, treat comedonal acne and mild to moderate acne vulgaris
- Reduce and correct skin pigmentation disorders, age spots, sun sports, freckles, lentigines, melasma, keratoses, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation,
- They help restore even tone and skin appearance
- Peels improve texturally rough skin, erasing fine lines and wrinkles
- They have great antioxidant properties
The majority of chemical peels utilise Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHAs & BHAs). These are known to have biologic importance and clinical value for both the younger skin and older skin with a variety of hyperkeratotic (leather boot thickening) and ageing relating conditions such as acne, rosacea, warts, dryness, rough skin, wrinkles and photo ageing
ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS
AHAs are derived from fruits, milk or sugars. Most known AHAs used in skin care treatments are:
GLYCOLIC ACID the mother of all AHAs, glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and has incredible effects on cell regeneration, diminishing of fine lines, wrinkles, superficial scars and mild skin imperfections. It’s great for evening out skin tone, reducing hyperpigmentation and improving dry skin!
PYRUVIC ACID is derived from honey, vinegar, apples and fermented fruits. It’s great for medium to deep wrinkles, aged skin, acne scars, actinic keratosis and acne alterations. Unfortunately though, you cannot use cider to the same affect, even though that also comes from fermented fruits…
LACTIC ACID comes from sour milk. This is awesome for sensitive, dry and photo aged skin. It has moisturising properties, stimulates collagen and elastin production and reduces fine lines.
CITRIC ACID from citric fruits has great antioxidant and anti-ageing properties.
MANDELIC ACID which comes from bitter almond extract is highly effective for treating photo aged skin and hyperpigmentation. Mandelic acid contains phenyl group that provides increased lipophilicity over conventional water soluble AHAs. Great for oily and acne prone skin.
MALIC ACID which comes from apples has great exfoliating and antioxidant effects.
TARTARIC ACID from grapes has awesome antioxidant properties.
BETA HYDROXY ACIDS
SALYCILIC ACID is the Daddy and one and only beta hydroxy acid. The main difference between this guy and those above is their lipid solubility. AHAs are water soluble only, while BHA is lipid soluble, meaning it's able to penetrate into the pores containing sebum and exfoliate dead skin cells that have built up inside these pores. This guy is awesome for acne and those horrible pimples!
THE BOTTOM LINE WITH CHEMICAL PEELS?
Chemical peels or Resurfacers are fantastic, but they are not a one time procedure. They should be repeated with maintenance peels to achieve maximum improvement and to prevent reoccurrence depending on the skin type and nature of the problem.
The benefits however are countless. Not only will your skin get an overall youthful appearance but also, you’ll reduce hyperpigmentation, repair imperfections from sun damage or acne and restore even skin colour. Leaving you looking more hydrated and luminous and being the envy of all your friends!