Skin Care

What is a Chemical Peel

BioSurface Peel

When it comes to your skin there is one treatment that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows when you mention it, or strike fear into the heart of clients: chemical peel.

The idea of a chemical peel is unsettling for many as it denotes red, raw skin and weeks of healing shut away from the outside. While those sorts of chemical peels do exist, in the beauty industry you will not find one being offered that involves that much damage or down time. As beauty therapists we are in the industry to help you with your beauty requirements, but we are not medical professionals so there are limits to what we can actually do.

So what sort of chemical peel can be offered in a beauty salon?

Think of a peel as an extreme form of exfoliation. So the level of exfoliation strength goes from the very superficial, which is your general home use exfoliants such as Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, through to deep peels, available only under the supervision and care of a medical doctor. In the beauty industry we can offer peels that are superficial, so more intense than a regular exfoliation, but won’t require the down time of a deep peel.

What’s the difference?

Very superficial peels are your everyday exfoliants that target the surface of the outermost layer of skin: the stratum corneum. They buff the dead skin cells away allowing for new skin cells pushing up from the basal layer to reach the surface. Regular exfoliation at this level promotes skin cell turnover resulting in smoother, brighter skin and a more even skin tone but it’s not a speedy process. For particularly troublesome skin this sort of exfoliation, while essential, doesn’t offer results quick enough for some clients.

Photo from WebMD

Sometimes regular exfoliation just isn’t enough. For those wanting to target fine lines, pigmentation, and acne a superficial peel can speed up the results desired. Superfical peels like the one we offer at the salon penetrate and remove more layers of the skin than normal exfoliation. In general superficial peels go as deep as the basal layer of the epidermis promoting accelerated skin turnover to help tackle these more difficult issues.

A superficial peel is a repetitive process. So there is not only one application and then voila new skin. Instead the superficial peel works by regular applications over approximately a 6 week period (varies depending on peel). At the salon we use Dermalogica’s BioSurface Peel, which is a biphasic superficial peel involving an enzyme layer followed by one or more layers of acid. Over a course of treatment the client has between 1 and 5 layers applied of the acid part, building up each treatment (not to exceed 5 layers). Due to this approach even sensitive skin can be introduced to a peel, though care should always be taken by the practitioner, and a full consultation carried out to determine any contraindications.

So what is a deep peel?

A deep peel removes the skin deep into the dermis layer, which is a thick layer of living tissue containing capillaries, nerve endings, hair follicles, sweat glands and more. Very few people actually need a peel this deep. Unless you have extensive acne scars (particularly where collagen has been destroyed resulting in a pitted skin), or other serious skin issues, a deep peel will cause more harm than good. A superficial peel can help improve the majority of skin issues, and even severe acne scarring might be successfully treated on the superficial level with the right course of treatment.

A deep peel strips the skin of it’s layer of protection exposing delicate tissues and nerve endings. The down time for a deep peel can be in the region of months as the skin struggles to protect and heal itself. It is an extremely lengthy and painful procedure.

Want to know more?

If a chemical peel is something you are interested in we invite you to our salon open day on Tuesday 31st October. Vicki will be demonstrating a full BioSurface Peel treatment starting at 10:30am. Tickets are £10 which will be donated to charity. Order online here.

Alternatively contact the salon to schedule a FREE skin consultation to discuss the option of a BioSurface Peel (please be aware that a minimum of two Pro Skin 60 treatment facials must be had prior to any peel treatment, speak to us for more info).