WHAT IS PEELING?
Peels are a salon only treatment performed by a trained Beauty Therapist.
Simplistic answer is it involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove its outer layers. Depending on how much skin they remove and how deep they penetrate will depend on the type of peel used, its strength and how long it is left on.
There are three types of peel: Light, medium and deep.
These have varying percentages of active ingredients and different PH levels.
What really matters when it comes to peels is their PH level. This indicates how deep the peel will penetrate into your skin and how much irritation you will get. The thing to remember is; the lower the PH, the deeper the peel.
Light peels are the gentlest type of peels available, they only remove the top layer of the skin, known as the epidermis, and give your skin an instantly brighter look as well as a smoother, more even texture. They can be used to minimise fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, mild acne scarring, age spots and dry or flaking skin. They are usually made from alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids, known as AHAs and BHAs and include glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid. These types of peels use active ingredients to penetrate and deliver anti-oxidants and vitamins deep into the skin encouraging the new cells to grow stronger and healthier. A course of between six and 10 treatments is usually recommended to achieve the best results. Superficial peels do not hurt, you only feel a slight tingling or stinging sensation, and have virtually no recovery time. You can be a little bit pink afterwards and may get some mild flaking of the skin.
Medium Depth Peels
Medium depth peels give more dramatic results than light peels. Usually derived from TCA (trichloroacetic acid), they penetrate deeper in to the skin and can be used to treat sun damage, pigmentation and wrinkles. The downside of medium peels is that you will have a longer recovery and more side effects. You may also feel more discomfort during the treatment than you would with a superficial peel including burning and stinging, which can last for 30 minutes to an hour after treatment. You may want to hide yourself away for a few days following a medium peel as your face can become swollen, pink and itchy following treatment and you will get more ‘peeling’ of the skin than you would with a superficial peel. You can also get patches of brown and white skin on your face during the healing process and in rare cases you can get scarring from medium depth peels. Generally recovery takes around a week.
Deep peels are the strongest type of chemical peel available and can achieve amazing results for sun damage, scarring and deep lines and wrinkles but be prepared to look quite scary after your treatment. They usually use carbolic acid (Phenol peels) or high strength TCA to penetrate the deeper layers, or dermal layers, of the skin. However this type of peel is painful and can take months to fully recover from. Your skin will be very red and feel almost like it is sun burnt after the procedure. Although you will heal in one to three weeks the redness can still be visible for months after the treatment but the results of the peel are long lasting. The side effects of deep peels can look quite horrific. Your whole face will be swollen for a couple of days and will then scab. You will also get a lot of peeling and your skin may be quite itchy. For some people it can take up to two weeks before they want to go out in public