As a Complementary Therapist with a special interest in natural treatments, ie those using natural ingredients, I often get asked about chemical peels. It is a treatment that I offer within my salon, however, I sometimes wonder if the name ‘chemical peel’ gives the impression that it is harsh or damaging treatment for the skin. These thoughts led to me writing this so that I may answer some common questions and reveal the facts behind the treatments that I choose to offer at Tranquility. There are different types of Skin Peels, the deep level peels offered by medical practitioners and nurses and superficial peels that work only on the upper layers of the skin offered by Beauty and Skin Professionals. It is the latter, the superficial peels that I wanted to talk about here.
First, we need to understand the skin and how it renews itself. You will often hear the term ‘skin renewal’ or ‘cell renewal’ being used when selling products or treatments as a benefit. The skin consists of layers, three main layers, the Hypodermis (the deeper layer) and the Dermis (the mid-layer), and the Epidermis (the upper layer).
So in basic terms, the layers of the Epidermis have
new cells at the basal layer and these gradually move upwards, becoming
harder, flatter, and thinner until they for the uppermost layer, the Stratum
Corneum. It is this layer that holds the dead skin cells on the surface. It
is there to protect our skin, keeping out water, impurities and generally
In normal skin, these cells ‘renew’ or slough off the dead layer approximately every 28 days or so, although, this depends on skin types and skin conditions, revealing a fresher, newer, more ‘glowing’ skin.
This process can be slower as our skin ages, or on a drier skin type or condition. Oilier skins can also hold onto these cells as they ‘stick to the surface more readily. If this tougher layer is left on the surface of the skin, it can create a number of problems including:
* Dull looking skin
* Clogging pores
* Worsening the appearance of fine lines
* Making skin products less effective
* Patchy, uneven make up
These are just to name a few. In short, to keep our skin looking glowing, clear and youthful we need to remove this layer. How do we do this? Exfoliation of course! Keeping up so far? Excellent! Most of us are familiar with the good old face scrub (which should be gentle I may add) and we usually use these between 1 and 3 times a week depending on our skin. These scrubs loosen any dead loose, flaky skin cells from the surface leaving our complexion a little smoother and brighter. Fab! I hear you say! Job done? well… no actually, sadly not. Whilst a scrub is definitely a good thing, it does not necessarily remove all of our dead skin cells.
There is another form of exfoliation that is key to
achieving the most glowing of complexions. Chemical Exfoliation. A chemical
exfoliator basically dissolves the bonds that adhere the dead skin cells to
the surface, thus, removing the ones stuck and left behind that our friend,
the scrub, did not remove. This brings me on to the Chemical bit.( yes…I
know I get there in the end!) These ‘chemicals’, are primarily made up
of acids, of which there are many types having different actions upon and
within the skin. Here I want to talk about the ones most commonly used in
beauty treatments and products. These are AHA’s, BHA’s, and the newer PHA’s
( although these are much newer but are starting to filter down into our
skincare brands). AHA’s or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are derived from natural
substances such as fruits and sugars and usually contain a blend of Glycolic
Acid, Lactic Acid, and Vitamin C and BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acids usually
involve Salicylic Acid which originates from Willow.
These are all derived from naturally occurring substances. These ingredients are used in skin peels as an intensive skin treatment to exfoliate the skin at different levels depending on the strength of the ingredients used. For example, Vitamin C has a brightening effect on the skin whereas Salicylic Acid is renowned for its ability to clean down within the pores whilst also being very calming on the skin so is therefore very helpful in treating acne-prone skins. This type of peel is usually best taken as a course as prescribed by your Specialist to gradually brighten and smooth or resurface the complexion. There are also ranges of products to use at home in a lower strength formula designed to be used more frequently to keep the skin glowing and enhance the effects of the peel. These treatments and products have considerable benefits to a great many skin concerns including ageing, pigmentation, spot-prone skin and acne.
Are they damaging? If used correctly, and according to instructions, then no, I do, however, believe that ‘over exfoliating’ can have a negative effect on the skin, causing dehydration and sensitivity but these would all be temporary and again all Specialist recommendations should be followed. Along with most things in life….all things in moderation!
So….this brings me to our original question. Chemical Peels… Friend or Foe?….For me? They are a ‘Girls (and a boy’s!) best friend!
I feel it is worth mentioning that I would never advise a deep skin peel unless advised to do so by a Qualified Medical Professional. This type of peel usually involves removal of the Epidermal layers and therefore requires healing time. The superficial peels discussed above do not require any healing time as they are only removing dead skin cells.
This peel treatment is tailored to your individual needs. The full facial experience cleanses & tones the skin, incorporating a scrub followed by the application of the MONU Peel. A hydrating mask is then applied whilst you relax into a sensuous head massage.
Effectively reduce the signs of ageing with the
intensive Hydra Lift Collagen Facial. Formulated using freeze-dried
collagen, this unique treatment delivers an instant boost of hydration to
rapidly increase the skins ability to retain moisture. Wrinkle depth is
reduced and fine lines smoothed for a refreshingly younger look.
This luxury treatment is ideal for those wishing to treat dry, dehydrated or prematurely aged skin in one simple step. Providing instant and concentrated hydration to the face and neck, our use of a 99% Collagen Veil quickly plumps and firms skin whilst restoring optimum moisture levels.
The use of a 99% Collagen veil actively targets signs
of ageing by improving elasticity, restoring optimum moisture levels and
preventing water loss whilst renewing and repairing skin cells. As a result,
skin is firmed, wrinkle depth reduced and vitality restored.
* Ideal for anyone with dry or dehydrated skin in need of soothing and hydrating.
* Elasticity and cell renewal is increased to reveal soft, smooth and vibrant skin.
*Improve hydration by up to 75%
*Reduces wrinkle depth by up to 40%
We shed on average 20,000 skin cells daily, this is a
natural process that enables fresh new cells to come to the surface of the
skin. When we are young the shedding process takes 28 days, but as we get
older this process of cell renewal and skin shedding slows dramatically.
Peels speed up this process to give your skin a fresh and healthy look.
The incredibly effective treatment leaves you with a clean, clear and brighter complexion, evening out skin tone, texture and fine lines. The peel effectively exfoliates and resurfaces the skin.
It helps with a range of skin concerns by bringing all the goodness from the new healthy cells to the surface, great to reduce the following:
*Wrinkle depth & fine lines
*Breakouts, blocked & open pores
The MONU RESURFACE SKIN PEEL is recommended in a course to get the full benefit. Monu recommends one treatment a week for 6 weeks, then once a month for maintenance. The strength of the peel will be gradually build up as your course progresses.