Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's the deal on facial peels.....

As we get older it becomes more and more important to exfoliate. As we age our cellular turnover rate slows down and peels "trick" our skin into thinking it's younger by removing the bonds that hold the dead skin cells to the surface and stimulating the collagen underneath the surface which gives us a smoother surface but a more plump dermis underneath which will make our skin look healthy, glowing and tighter. If you want the look of smaller pores then peels are a must. Scrubs can make them looks bigger since you are massaging a granular object into the pore - over time this can stretch your pores. Dead skin cells do not reflect light the way the new ones do so exfoliating will also give you that healthy glow. It will also allow the expensive serums and moisturizers you use to penetrate better thus allowing them to be more effective. When the serums are sitting on top of dry dead skin cells they can't work very well.

Peels also because they remove the intercellular glue make our pores more compact. There are lots of acids and enzymes also can be used. It's important to use the right type of acid/enzyme for your skin type.

I generally will recommend light gentle peels instead of scrubs since scrubs can cause tiny tears in the pores which can lead to larger pores over time, slackened skin and dehydrated skin which can get "cracks" in it where bacteria can hide and cause more breakouts. A gentle polish with a very fine scrub is definitely okay once in a while. We just never want to over-exfoliate.

10 Quick Facts about Peels:

1. It's best to do peels at night and then apply your serums, moisturizers - while you sleep your amazing body is hard at work and  naturally repairs. You wake up with smooth glowing skin!

2. Mandelic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid which comes from the Bitter Almond is an ideal acid for oily and/or acneic skin because of it's lipophilic properties.

3. Our dead skin cells do offer protection from the sun so if you are doing peels make sure you are using a broad spectrum SPF 30 every day and being careful about the sun.

4. Glycolic Acid is derived from the Sugar Cane and was discovered in the late 1960's  by Dr's. Van Scott and Yu-  and still considered to be the "gold standard" in the skincare world.

5. Lactic Acid is a very gentle AHA that is also very hydrating.

6. Citric Acid is a powerful brightening AHA - makes it a great treatment for sun damage (brown spots) and/or PIH - Post-inflammatory pigmentation and acne scars

7. Salicylic is a BHA (it's lipophilic like Mandelic) and is good for acne and is anti-inflammatory

8. PolyHydroxy acids "PHA's" are very hydrating and are my personal favorite way to exfoliate since they bind moisture, exfoliate well and cause no irritation even in the most sensitive of skin.

9. Glycolic Acid is the smallest AHA and penetrates skin the quickest which can feel like stinging from mild to severe. If you are sensitive start with a lotion with Glycolic in it and use a couple nights a week and apply your moisturizer over it. I don't recommend applying AHA's during the day. Protect during the day - exfoliate and correct at night.

10. Too much exfoliation can lead to sensitized skin so we want to only exfoliate when we need to. A licensed Esthetician  or a Dermatologist can help you navigate the stronger peels. There are home peels that are super gentle and can be done daily and the peels in an Estheticians's office are usually 30% plus AHA's. Some peels are self neutralizing while others are washed off.

A lot of us saw the Sex and the City Episode where Samantha had a chemical peel and are afraid of peels and rightly so after seeing that episode...It stayed in our minds as a blister-ridden visual reminder that peels can be dangerous. More is definitely not better when it comes to exfoliation.  I always tell my clients to think of peels as "passive" exfoliants while scrubs are of course physical exfoliants and start with very gentle, yet safe and effective peels and talk to your Esthetican if you want the strong stuff! I like to use very gentle peels that don't cause inflammation. There is a new field of study called "inflammaging" and it's all about how inflammation leads to aging and the gentle treatments will get you to the same goal without any downtime so I would give them a try. You have nothing to lose but dead skin.

I use a very gentle peel whenever my skin starts to look a little dull or if I'm getting a break-out and  peels always refresh my skin, heal the blemishes quickly and bring it back to life.
Have you ever done a peel? If so what did you think?
Happy Peeling!

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