We SAID: Anatomy of a Peel

Staff Writer

Beauty for SS/16 is more about the natural skin shining through than coverage with makeup or light reflecting pigments and creams. That means a flawless finish has to begin with skin care that sets the perfect canvas for the ultimate SS/16 Beauty expression. If you’re ready to go beyond the daily ritual of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing, it may be time to dive deeper with a peel.

Chemical peels are a great way to ‘refresh’ your appearance by breaking the proteins on the skin’s surface to accelerate the revelation of fresh skin underneath. Done safely (read; by a professional), peels can do away with acne, blemishes, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles and even out overall skin tone. The kind of peel you choose depends entirely on your skin’s needs, potential for side effects (scarring or hyper-pigmentation), and commitment to the recovery process.

Glycolic Acid: Essentially low-to-medium risk; a light glycolic peel can refresh the skin without any actual ‘peeling’ action. The percentage of your peel (average %15-%30) should be determined based on expected results and recovery care and time. Although there are a wide range of glycolic peels available on the internet, many of them are not PH balanced and can end up doing more harm than good, even if left on the skin for a few minutes and neutralized immediately after. Consult a professional and do a patch test first.

TCA: Higher risk peel that uses Trichloroacetic Acid to encourage actual ‘peeling’ of the surface skin. TCA peels are applied in ‘layers’, so the more it’s layered onto your skin, the stronger the peel becomes. A cautious professional will used a self-neutralizing formula; once the peel is done working the surface of the skin becomes tight, breaks, and begins to peel away to reveal fresh skin underneath. During this process it is imperative that you do not agitate the skin in any way with excessive heat, steam, or exfoliation. Failure to do so can result in deep scarring, cystic acne and even contact dermatitis.

Fraxel: Instead of chemical topicals, Fraxel uses a laser treatment to delve works below the skin’s surface to stimulates your skin’s natural collagen. It is absolutely safe to say that Fraxel is not for everyone, particularly those predisposed to keloids or hyper pigmentation. There is also a chance for blistering and burns and infection. But patients who’ve undergone the treatment (and been diligent during recovery) absolutely swear by its results.

No matter what peel you decide, after care is extremely important and sunscreen is non-negotiable.



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