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Happy Thursday y’all! In this post, I’m going to give you an overview of different corrective peels for acne!
What is a peel?
A peel is a treatment to the skin using a chemical acid that causes the top layer of skin to be exfoliated and eventually slough off. There are different depths of peels- Light, Medium and Deep peels. For best results, peels should be done in a series of 3-4, every 2-4 weeks depending on your skin type. For today’s post we will be discussing a few medium peels for troublesome acne.
Peels for Acne
Retinol Peel- This type of peel utilizes Vitamin A in the form of retinol to help stimulate a quick cell turnover while also increasing skin’s thickness (think: exfoliation with less damage to the skin!) Peels can be applied in different percentages of retinol (for example, 3% retinol) Retinol promotes a bright, even complexion because it is a tyrosinase inhibitor.
Salicylic Acid Peel- Salicylic Acid, also known as a Beta Hydroxy Acid (or BHA) is derived from asprin. It is a powerful exfoliant and for a medium to deep peel for acne usually 20% is applied to the skin (and possibly in several layers!) It also has keratolytic and anti-aging effects, and from my rosacea post, it is very beneficial to rosacea patients (although in a lower concentration). It helps to control future breakouts, reduces sebum production, decreases comedones, refines pore size and improves skin texture.
Glycolic Acid Peel- Also known as an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (or AHA), glycolic acid promotes exfoliation, smooths the skin’s surface while also having a plumping affect on the dermal matrix. Glycolic peels can come in different strengths, ranging from 15% to 70% (in the U.S. anything over 30% requires administration under a physician). These peels are often used for anti-aging protocols as well.
The body is exceptional at efficiency and energy conservation. If you imagine your skin as bricks and mortar, the basal layer (or the bottom layer) establishes a pattern as the skin cells are born and layered on top of one another. If this pattern becomes interrupted by acne or a build up of dead skin cells, the basal layer records this and stores it in the cell’s memory, and then replicates it. This is extremely efficient for the body because it does not have to expend energy in creating a new pattern. What it means for acne sufferers however, is that the skin keeps repeating this breakout cycle over and over again. A peel is like taking an eraser, and wiping out that pattern, and starting again. Retraining the skin, and establishing a new pattern with a regulated cell turnover rate, regulated sebum (or oil) production, and of course the added bonus of sloughing off the dead skin cells at the top layer which improves the overall appearance of the skin!
What to Expect
Your Licensed Aesthetician, RN, NP, Dermatologist or PA-C who will be performing the peel will help you to determine your candidacy, which peel would be most effective, and a treatment plan for future peels. They will also prep you as to what to expect discomfort wise. Most patients on a scale or 1 to 10 (1 being nothing and 10 being “get this off my face NOW!) experience lighter peels as a 3-5 and medium peels as described above no higher than a 7 or 8). Usually a fan is provided and the peel is neutralized in a short amount of time (usually under 5 minutes). They will advise you in your post peel care regimen and also on what to expect as far as down time (the time it takes for your skin to recover, heal, and see your results!)
In my experience, especially for acne patients, receiving a series of peels is life changing and confidence boosting. Your peels may be combined with other modalities such as LED light therapy, Cryotherapy, Blue light laser, and many others for even better results!
Have further questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for stopping by! XO Ashli