Whats the Deal with Peels?
What is a peel & why should I care?
Peels have been a popular exfoliating technique for many years and have great benefits like reducing fine lines, evening out skin color and texture, stepping up circulation, helping with dehydration, reducing pore size, and giving a smoother and younger appearance. Exfoliation is one of the most important things you can do for your skin. Removing the dead skin layers will go a long way in restoring healthy skin and AHA’s and BHA’s (peels) are great for this.
What is are AHA’s & BHA’s?
Peels are generally made up of AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids). AHA’s dissolve the intercellular cement that binds your skin cells together and BHA’s break down the cells themselves. Popular AHA’s would be glycolic and lactic acids derived organically from fruits like citrus, passion fruit, sugarcane, etc. or can also be created synthetically in a lab. BHA’s use enzymes to break things down such as salicylic acid from willow bark or bromaline from pineapple or papaya.
How strong is too strong?
Lower strengths like 3% or less will not compromise your skin and can be safely used on a regular basis (up to once a month). When using a high strength AHA of 10% or more it’s much better to use them on a semi regular basis (up to 3 times per year) and should not be done through the summer months or when planning to be outside for much of your day. When sticking with a lower dose it becomes more of a slow and steady process of assisting the shedding of your skin and will not compromise the integrity long term. Stronger peels can create real sensitivities over time such as redness and broken capillaries. Our suggestion is to focus on rest, nutrition, & lifestyle as well as a good at home skin care routine while incorporating monthly facials for a deep clean & cellular turnover.
Remember exfoliating at home is still necessary to help assist the AHA’s process. AHA’s help break down the “glue” but does not remove it from the surface so its always a good idea to gently exfoliate on a regular basis to get the best results from your peels and in doing so you eliminate the buildup that the AHA’s have broken down.
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