Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) The main benefit of an alpha hydroxy acid is its ability to exfoliate the skin. They essentially remove the “glue” from the upper layer of skin that holds onto the old, dead skin cells. By effectively removing that top layer of skin, the alpha hydroxy acids serve to help new skin grow. Alpha hydroxy acids reduce the look of wrinkles, help to reduce the likelihood that winkles will develop, make skin smoother and (with months of daily use) can help skin that’s uneven and hyper pigmented become smoother and more even. It’s also believed that in addition to helping new (younger looking and fresh) skin to grow, alpha hydroxy acids also stimulate the growth of elastin and collagen, both of which become depleted with age.
Mandelic Acid Peels A mandelic acid peel contains the AHA mandelic acid, which is derived and extracted from bitter almonds. However, it differs from glycolic and lactic acids in that its molecules are larger and do not penetrate the skin as deeply. As a result, there is less overall irritation when compared with other AHAs, which is beneficial for those who have sensitive skin that is prone to inflammation. In addition, mandelic acid has an antibacterial effect on the skin, which makes it a viable choice for those with acne-prone skin who want to have a chemical peel but are worried about clogged pores and irritation as a result. A mandelic acid peel is also a possible choice for those who have never had a chemical peel before and want results that are gentle on the skin.
Glycolic acid peels Glycolic acid is currently a popular treatment for winkles and acne. Part of the alpha hydroxyl family of natural ingredients, glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is a fruit acid. When applied to the skin, it helps to remove the “glue” that holds the older, rougher and dryer skin on the surface. When it removes that top layer of skin, the fresh, new layer is visible. It’s this layer that’s without damage and which looks fresher. People who have glycolic acid peels are often amazed with the results – they look younger, with fewer fine lines and wrinkles and if they have acne, they often notice their skin is quite a bit less oily and is much clearer.
Lactic Acid Peels Lactic acid peels help to remove germs, dead cells and toxins from the skin. People who have them done often report that their skin feels much smoother and looks more toned than before. Lactic acid peels are best for people who have very sensitive skin that might not be able to tolerate the slightly more intense glycolic acid peels. Although lactic acid peels are gentler, they usually provide many of the same benefits as the other peels, but in a less intense version.
The most intense – 50% — is good for mature skin and helps to reduce the look of wrinkles. The lactic acid peel that contains a 40% concentration is good for normal skin that needs a little toning or skin that’s dry or dehydrated. This is the ideal concentration for bringing back some moisture to the skin. A 30% peel is perfect for very sensitive skin, skin that’s prone to acne and skin that’s very oily. Many times people who have never had a lactic acid peel will choose the 30% concentration because it is a great “starter” peel. Once they know their skin can handle it, they can move onto a peel that contains a bit higher concentration. This concentration, however, still provides numerous benefits to the skin.
Salicylic Acid Peels Salicylic acid is part of the beta hydroxyl acid family. It’s a natural product that is usually fairly gentle to the skin. Salicylic acid is often used as an ingredient in products that provide care for acne and those that are used for exfoliating purposes. In these products, the salicylic acid concentration is usually limited to less than 5%. Salicylic acid is also found in chemical peels. In this formulation, salicylic acid might be found in a concentration of up to 30%. When used a chemical peel, salicylic acid is successful at reducing fine lines and wrinkles and diminishing the look of whiteheads and blackheads and is helpful at making the skin look more toned and even.
The information above is designed to help you understand which skin peels may be suitable for your skin prior to your consultation. During your consultation, your skin specialist will assess your skin type and condition and will decide which peel will provide you with the best results.
What can be treated? Unlike some other skin peels we can treat all Fitzpatrick Skin Types (a skin classification system) as well as the following common skin conditions:
Signs of ageing
Acne prone skin
Sun damaged skin
What happens during the treatment? Your skin will be cleansed and prepped and the peel will then be applied, you may experience a ‘tingling’ sensation while the peel is on. Following this, the peel is neutralised and specific cosmeceutical aftercare products will be applied. Your practitioner will then advise you on the best skincare products to use following your treatment to maintain the results of your peel.
How long does the treatment take? The treatment will usually take about 20-30 minutes. How long will the results last? The effects will be ongoing as long as you use your recommended cosmeceutical products following your treatment. You will see the best results if you undertake a course of skin peels every few months.