Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a body treatment technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Thus the term chemical peel is derived. Some types of chemical peels can be purchased and administered without a medical license, however people are advised to seek professional help from a dermatologist, esthetician or a plastic surgeon on a specific type of chemical peel before a procedure is performed.

Alpha hydroxy acid peels

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk and tomato juice. This is the mildest of the peel formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Alpha hydroxy acids can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin’s texture. There are five usual fruit acids: citric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid and tartaric acid. Many other alpha hydroxy acids exist and are used.AHA peels are not indicated for treating wrinkles. AHA peels may cause stinging, skin redness, mild skin irritation, and dryness.

Beta hydroxy acid peels

It is becoming common for beta hydroxy acid (BHA) peels to be used instead of the stronger alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels due to BHA’s ability to get deeper into the pore than AHA Studies show that BHA peels control sebum excretion, acne as well as remove dead skin cells to a certain extent better than AHAs due to AHAs only working on the surface of the skin. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid.

Jessner’s peel

Jessner’s peel solution, formerly known as the Coombe’s formula, was pioneered by Dr Max Jessner, a German-American dermatologist. Dr Jessner combined 14% salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol in an ethanol base. It is thought to break intracellular bridges between keratinocytes.It is very difficult to “overpeel” the skin due to the mild percentages associated with the acid combination, and does not penetrate as deeply as other chemical peels.

Retinoic acid peel

Retinoic acid is a retinoid. This type of facial peel is also performed in the office of a plastic surgeon, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or a dermatologist in a medical spa setting. This is a deeper peel than the beta hydroxy acid peel and is used to remove scars as well as wrinkles and pigmentation problems. It is usually performed in conjunction with a Jessner; which is performed right before, in order to open up the skin, so the retinoic acid can penetrate on a deeper level. The client leaves with the chemical peel solution on their face. The peeling process takes place on the third day. More dramatic changes to the skin require multiple peels over time.