Regular exfoliation of the skin is important for proper skincare. Exfoliation aides in skin cell turnover and helps to keep our pores clear. Our natural skin cell turnover is about 28 days but that gradually slows over time for a few different reasons, the biggest culprit being aging. By doing regular exfoliation, we are prompting cell turnover, and assisting our skin in something that it would have eventually done naturally. Chemical exfoliation promotes collagen growth and cell turnover and can be your friend in the battle of anti-aging skincare.
There are many different professional and at-home chemical peels available, and they all address different skin needs and situations…
Chemical Peel Acids: AHA vs BHA
First, let’s talk about AHAs and BHAs. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are best used for anti-aging purposes, with the most common being gylcolic, malic and latic acids. An easy way to remember is AHA = anti-aging. AHAs help to break up the bond that holds our dead skin cells together, promoting the cellular turnover mentioned before. These acids also have an affinity for water, attracting the molecules which will increase hydration in the skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) are oil-attracting and help to keep our pores clean and clear by breaking up the oil plugs that cause breakouts and blemishes. The most common BHA is salicylic acid. Depending upon the acid and its strength, its use and effect can cause virtually no downtime to what we call “social downtime,” meaning your skin is not red but rather is actually peeling or flaking off.
Chemical Peel Acids at Home
You can purchase some products to use at home that contain AHA’s and BHA’s. Some of our favorites at Beyond Aesthetics are Active Serum by iS Clinical and anything from the Lytic line of products from Epionce. Depending upon your skin type, there are 4 different strength Lytic’s that will promote cell turnover and gently exfoliate your skin at home. Purchasing products over-the-counter that claim to have “acids” in them is not always best. I have had many patients telling me that they can’t use a certain acid, such as glycolic or salicylic because it drys them out, which may be true, but not all acids are created equal.
Depending upon the percentage and how often you are using a product, some acids can leave you a little more dry than you are used to, but you can try to work around that by either switching up which product you are using regularly or try using it less frequently. Another thing to consider when purchasing over-the-counter acids is the acid percentage is only allowed to be so high, so you might not see the results that you want. Buying medical-grade products will likely give you a stronger acids and generally a better quality product.
“Over-exfoliation of the skin can do more damage than good. To get that summer glow, avoid harsh scrubs or products containing micro beads. Instead, get a regular chemical peel from your pro.”
At Beyond Aesthetics, we not only use medical-grade products in treatments but we only sell medical-grade products as well. Using good quality products at home, as well as continuing in-office procedures, is important in your skincare regimen. Chemical exfoliation or chemical peels shouldn’t be scary or deter you from seeking professional skincare. Every skin type can benefit from a chemical peel, it just depends on which type you have.
Here are a list of choice peels we offer at b|A:
- Sal-e/Mal-e: 28% salicylic acid, 50% malic acid
- Refresh Peel: 30% malic
Both have no downtime and can be added into a facial or as a stand alone procedure. Sal-e/Mal-e is both AHA and BHA, promoting cell turnover and clearing of the pores. Refresh is a “lunchtime” peel; a superficial, light, resurfacing peel.
- VI Peel
- VI Peel Precision
- VI Purify
- VI Purify Precision Plus
- VI Peel Precision Plus
These 5 peels at different strengths and are used for different reasons and typically have “social downtime” because there is sheeting and flaking-off of the skin. They can be done as a single treatment but we usually recommend a series depending your goals for your skin.
- Relluminate: fruit acids and green tea
- Revive: 15% TCA
The perk of using the DermaSweep machine with peels is that because we are removing the top layer of dead skin cells first and then infusing your fresh new exposed skin with a peel, you have no peeling or flaking off later. The vacuum functionality not only gives you the benefits of a chemical exfoliation, but also a physical exfoliation along with promoting circulation because of the suction created.
- Intense Resurfacing Mask: 18% Glycolic