The summer season compromises the skin barrier more than one anticipates. Even if you douse your skin with sunscreen and stay hydrated, there is always major skin damage picked up during this season. If you spend your summer by the pool soaking up some sunshine, your skin is definitely suffering through some stress caused by exposure to chlorine and UV rays. So, if you find your skin showing up more dryness, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and dullness then it’s time for some damage control.
Introduced somewhere around the mid-1800s, chemical peels were one of the popularly used cosmetic procedures in the late ’90s and ’00s. Two decades later, these procedures have once again become the first choice of treatment towards regeneration and rejuvenation of the skin.
There are three different types of chemical peels that are used in skin care procedures – superficial, medium depth, and deep depth. They are safe to use for all skin tones, so those with darker complexions need not worry about facing increased hyper pigmentation as a side effect.
Superficial Peels (Lunchtime Peels) – As the most commonly used peels, these are the mildest and have the least amount of recovery time. They may cause some redness for half an hour upon completion, and some may experience dryness and flaky skin for a few days after but this clears up quite quickly. Although these peels can be done at home, the desired results may be better achieved if done professionally owing to better strength and guidance. Nevertheless, these peels over a long period increase cell turnover and collagen production, making the skin look smooth and radiant.
Generally, such peels consist of Hydroxy acids such as; AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs. AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) work on the skin’s surface, targeting dead skin cells to reveal smoother and softer skin. The most commonly used AHAs in peels are Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid. BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) exist in the form of one acid; Salicylic Acid. This oil-soluble acid is different from AHAs as it can penetrate below the surface of the skin and targets excess sebum production. As this peels leads to reduced oiliness, those with oily, blemish-prone skin tend to prefer this form of peel. PHAs (Lactobionic and Gluconolactone Acid) are best suited for those with sensitive skin. These acids are composed of larger molecules than those in AHAs, thereby penetrating the skin barrier less aggressively and resulting in little to no side effects.
For first timers, there are always gentler options for a chemical peel that can be opted for such as fruit enzymes such as Malic Acid!
Medium Depth and Deep Depth Peels – these peels use Trichloroacetic Acids at concentrations varying between 30% to 70% depending on the skin conditions that are being targeted. These include but aren’t limited to sun damage, mild to severe acne scars, photo damage, and skin elasticity. The nature of the peel can be customised to address specific skin conditions. The recovery time for such peels ranges from a week to two weeks, depending on the nature of the peel and must be performed by a professional.