Saturday, May 2, 2009


Peels - what are they and how are they different?

Peels are preformed in either a salon/spa/or physicians office.  When I first started having peels done for my acne they were only performed by a physician AND they were paid for by insurance.  That was in 1995.  Not the case now to my knowledge no peels are covered by insurance now and most are given by an aesthetician or clinician. Peels range from very mild(with very little peeling) to having to be given some type of anesthesia because you are going very deep in the skin.  

Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular peels out there..

A glycolic acid peel is actually the same thing as an alpha peel.  Meaning alpha hydroxy and glycolic acid are the same thing.  When people hear the word acid they immediately become frightened.  Don't worry it is a very mild acid not battery acid.  Glycolic peels are excellent for sun damaged, rough skin.  They help to turn over dead skin cells making room for fresh cells to come forward.  They help with freckling, fine lines, and sun spots!  Great for anti-aging!!  You can expect to flake or "peel"  - peeling is what you want thus the name "peel".  You will not start flaking or peeling for about 3-5 days and then can expect to be flake free in about 10 -12 days.  You will be pink/reddish when you leave the salon or clinic - this is normal and expected.A series of these peels is recommended - I prefer a series of 6 and then a maintenance of 1x per month depending on the skin condition and texture.  

***Make sure that whomever is applying your peel is a licensed aesthetician with many years of experience.

Salicylic peels or beta hydroxy is another type of peel.  Salicylic acid is great for acne, pimples, blackheads, oiliness, and rough textured skin.  Again these are very safe and you can expect the same type of results from this type of peel.  

Combo of glycolic and salicylic peels  - these are one of my favorite peels!  I believe that by combining different types of acids you can provide the very best results!!!  This type targets anything from acneic  skin to fine lines.  Again you can expect the same type of reuslts as above.

Retinol peels - another excellent choice!!  These peels mainly target fine lines and deeper wrinkles.  Retinol is the cousin of Retin-a (tretenoin) - it is the over the counter version of the prescription treatment.  Retinol is a great way to target lines on the skin.  Your skin will peel anywhere from 4-5 days later and continue peeling for 10-12 days.  

Vitamin C peels  - light peels for those of you scared of the word peel this is your option.  Slight peeling occurs with this one.  You will not get the cellular turn over that you would from the others previously mentioned.  It is extremely mild.  These can bee added to a facial to brighten the skin.

There are many different types of at home peels.  I would recommend that after having a professional peel that for the best results and to keep your skin looking as fresh as possible that you use an at home peel or an alpha/beta hydroxy product 2-3x a week.


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