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Chemical Peels the Fountain of Youth?

By: Jennifer O’Connor (Esthetician/Skincare Specialist Fusion Face & Body over 15 years)

The search for the fountain of youth is inundated with new technologies coming to market almost daily. Procedures such as laser resurfacing, photo rejuvenation, dermabrasion, and fillers are taking over the market to reduce wrinkles and sagging skin. However, superficial and medium peels continue to be the treatment of choice for giving skin an overall more youthful appearance by improving skin tone & texture.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chemical peels are the second most common non surgical procedure performed by medical professionals and clinical estheticians today. The cornerstone of topical treatments offers numerous advantages to the skincare professional and the client/patient.

Safe & Effective

Chemical Peels have come a long way since they were introduced over 50 years ago. Newer peel formulations have evolved into skin friendly blends to minimize irritation. The combination of ingredients feeds & strengthens the new skin while exfoliating away dead surface cells. The changes often occur at a cellular level and aren’t always apparent to the naked eye.  This feature increases the popularity of superficial peels to the busy client who is seeking treatments that can be done quickly with little to no downtime.

Treatment Conditions

Superficial peels have a proven track record for correcting many different skin conditions including:

  • acne  – look for modified jessners, salicylic & glycolic acid or lactic for more sensitive skins. Addition of kojic acid, licorice, bearberry for reducing acne pigment and kill bacteria. Light tca peels combined with any of these other peels are great too.
  • hyperpigmentation/melasma – look for lightening ingredients such as kojic, azelaic, arbutin, vitamin c, lactic acid, mandelic acid for more sensitive skin. Combining light tca peels with any of these peels is great also.
  • rosacea & psoriasis- Light tca peels combined with anti-inflammatory ingredients and aloe
  • aging- light to medium tca, glycolc, lactic, mandelic, jessners, salicylic, vitamin c and retinol are great options and combining theses work well too.

Application techniques

The method of application can also play an important role in depth of penetration and customizing the treatment. Applications where thick layer is applied and allowed to sit on the skin’s surface can be deeper than applying thin even layers depending on the formulation of the peels. Massaging the peel or ultrasound in will increase penetration. Also what is applied prior to the peel is important. A light toner all the way to alcohol can be applied prior to peel and will effect penetration. Creamy or gel cleansers will also effect penetration.

Gauze can be used but caution should be used with very abrasive gauze as it can aggravate the skin and cause inflammation.

Cotton is a safe way to start. The cotton can absorb a lot of the product though and more product may be needed.

Fan brush is popular but will provide a deeper peel than cotton but peel depth can be uneven as the first area of application will have the heaviest application leading to increased depth. Caution must be used to avoid dripping product into the eyes, ears, etc.

Sponges can be used but are more absorbent than cotton leading to waste of product.

As mentioned above peels can be layered either all over the face or in specific areas of concern. At Fusion Face & Body http://www.fusionfacebody we also offer specific eye and lip peels and body peels. Peels can be layered as the client continues to come in for treatments thereby increasing the strength slowly and carefully minimizing risks.

Treatment intervals are important for optimal results

How often you receive your peels will also effect your results.

Acne- every 2 weeks until acne is cleared. By exfoliating every 14 days, the follicles remain clear, and oil and bacteria are unable to proliferate below the surface. Once breakouts are cleared and if there are pigmentation concerns a 3 week interval is recommended. Maintenance would be every 4 weeks

Hyperpigmentation/Melasma – every 3 weeks. The three week interval works with the skin’s natural cellular turnover cycle. Healthy cell turnover occurs every 28 days. By treating at day 21, the skin care specialist can prevent the pigment from appearing darker as it rises to the surface.

Rosacea/Sensitive Skin & Aging – every 4 weeks. Administering a gentle to medium exfoliation every 30 days will help lighten, tighten and brighten the skin improving skin texture and tone by stimulating collagen and reducing visible signs of aging.

Home Care

While professional treatments are very effective, home care can have even greater importance. Treatments results can be enhanced and prolonged with a customized home care program. This combination can help maintain healthy skin and a smooth, clear and radiant complexion as well as:

  1. prepare the skin for treatment
  2. balance moisture levels
  3. boost collagen production
  4. help control pigment
  5. help heal treated areas
  6. sooth and reduce inflammation
  7. control oil & acne
  8. diminish fine lines and wrinkles

Consult with your skin care specialist to be sure your home care addresses all your skin concerns. We offer free consultations at Fusion Face & Body and will go over your current regimen and see where what you may need to add to help get you better results.

As you can see many skin concerns can be addressed with peels. They remain a popular antiaging treatment because they are able to be customized, layered and rotated with each visit to reduce side effects and down time.