The new generation of chemical peels are safe and effective, providing they are done by the professionals.
The potency of these two words – chemical peel – should be daunting enough to encourage you to find the right skincare professional and ingredients before you allow chemicals on your skin. Chemical peels are treatments whereby acid solutions are used to remove the damaged outer layer of your skin, revealing a new skin layer with improved texture and tone.
According to the Mayo Clinic in the US, “In general, when chemical peels and dermabrasion are performed by experienced and knowledgeable providers, they are safe.” There are a lot of chemical peels around involving various chemicals ranging from glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid to trichloroacetic acid.
But how do you know which is right for you?
The Mayo Clinic explains that mild chemical peels include salicylic acid or glycolic peels, and these are done at the salon or spa, and sometimes at a dermatologist’s office. They typically take off the epidermis, and results are not as long-lasting. The side effects are usually skin reddening and some skin peeling.
The medium-depth peels are applied in a dermatologist’s office, using trichloroacetic acid. These peels not only remove the top layer, they also remodel the second layer of skin and as a result, as the second layer of skin heals, new collagen forms and the old collagen tighten.
“Chemical peels are very popular and normally carried out by beauty centres. It was these salons and spas, which had confidence in our brand, that pushed us to create a Dermalogica peel. Hence the creation of the BioSurface Peel which we are now offering to clients,” says Annet King, director of Global Education at The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica USA.
“Our ingredients and peel system consist of four products, while other peels rely on two. Also, a specific methodology controls how products are applied, layered and how long it is left on the skin,” King adds. Esthetics International Group Berhad (EIG) is the authorised distributor for Dermalogica in South-East Asia and Hong Kong.
The four products used in four steps in the Dermalogica BioSurface Peel include the Prep Solution, Enzyme Active, Acid Active and De-celerator.
Active ingredients used in the Prep Solution and Acid Active steps include salicylic acid. It causes weakening of cell connectors allowing for sloughing of skin cells. Combined with a low pH, keratin bonds are loosened, creating a burst of exfoliation, addressing signs of ageing.
The BioSurface Peel is touted to reduce skin roughness, appearance of fine lines, treat razor bumps and acneic inflammation. The brand claims that it offers benefits of traditional chemical peels, but with little to no post-peel redness or downtime.
“Due to the intensity of the powerful active ingredients, we provide in-depth training before a therapist is permitted to handle this peel, and only certain salons with certified therapists are allowed to carry this product,” King stresses.
If someone is already doing a weekly scrub and mask, is a chemical peel really necessary?
“A peel gives your skin a better effect. A DIY scrub and mask is not very concentrated on your skin, and will only remove the top two layers, whereas a professional peel goes much deeper.”
According to King, the peel was created for ageing skin, but “we found that it decreases inflammation and redness, and is beneficial for skin with acne. Even stress acne in adults, darker skin and pimples clear up”.
“Anyone who wants to see better results for their skin can undergo this peel. You can be in your 20s with an unhealthy lifestyle, or in your 30s or 40s with lines and brown spots on your skin. Even a teenager having a skin breakout, especially if it is not cystic acne, may benefit from a chemical peel,” she adds.
There are several factors to be considered.
“If you have very sensitive and dehydrated skin, waxed the day before, undergone IPL (intense pulse light) or microdermabrasion, just gotten off a flight, on flu medications or pregnant, then this treatment is not recommended as the chances of having a reaction is higher,” she explains.
Therapists are trained to regularly check with customers to ensure that they are not experiencing discomfort.
“After treatment, customers get a post-care kit. Some residual peeling is expected between five to 11 days. For about five days, avoid the sauna, sun, alcohol, exfoliation and active products, and vigorous exercise to reduce the likeliness of an adverse reaction.”
The BioSurface Peel is suitable for both women and men. She advises men against shaving the day before a chemical peel. For those who suffer from razor bumps or pseudofolliculitis (ingrown hair), a chemical peel reduces ingrown hair.
“At Dermalogica, everything is through education to ensure customers are not misled about skin ageing, and they learn what is good and bad for their skin,” King concludes.
> The Dermalogica BioSurface Peel is priced at RM299 per treatment. Available at all AsterSpring centres and participating Dermalogica skincare centres nationwide.