Gentle chemical peels can do wonders for the health of your skin. They can also be damaging to the skin if certain supporting factors are not considered. As your skin cells age they move up the layers of the epidermis, dumping their nutrients as they migrate to the surface where they die and lay flat as a protective barrier. Once a certain thickness is achieved, your skin cells get the message from “corporate” to stop producing new cells. This would be a great thing if you were running low on skin cells and needed the extra protection, but the truth is that you have more than 50 trillion cells in your body, many of which are located in your skin. Keeping these cells active will keep you looking good.
Using chemicals like alpha hydroxy acids will break up the cellular “glue” that holds dead skin cells on the surface. A chemical peel, or use of hydroxy acids in home care products, will stimulate the Krebs cycle (which is responsible for creating new cells and setting cell metabolism in motion.) Optimal skin health is achieved by keeping skin cells in motion. Compare your skin to your muscles. You work out and lift weights in order to break down the muscle tissue so that it can build back up stronger – making you look better in your bikini. You stimulate your skin with acids in order to break it down so that more healthy new cells are produced, making you look better in the mirror.
Any form of gentle exfoliation will remove dead skin cells, but alpha and beta hydroxy acids give you one other important benefit that manual exfoliation alone cannot: a low pH. Your skin is naturally acidic in order to protect your body from harmful bacteria. When you apply an acidic ingredient, you are lower the pH of your skin even more. This allows for better absorption of topical vitamins and antioxidants.
However, two very important steps must be considered!!
In order for chemical peeling to truly work, you must them with proper skin nutrition. Think about it, you are stimulating the skin with the peel, and your skin will need certain nutrients like Vitamins A, C, A and Omega Fatty Acids in order to produce healthy new skin cells. Using AHAs or other chemical peeling agents without skin supplementation is the fastest way to exhaust your skin and that is asking for trouble (i.e. skin damage, hyper pigmentation, sensitivity and premature aging.)
You must also respect the resting period. Over stimulation without resting can tire the skin as well. Professional peels are best every 2-4 weeks, depending on the skin condition and health. Home care products that exfoliate the skin are best when not used everyday (with some rare exceptions.) Use alpha or beta hydroxy acids or facial scrubs every 2-3 days for optimal results – and please send any questions to our esthetician!