Planning to Peel! The Who, What, Why, When!

peels 2 To peel or not to peel? As the inevitable cloud cover settles over Portland and we bid the sun adieu, now is the ideal time to ask yourself that very question! Women and men alike scour spas and dermatologists offices near and far in search of the quickest means to tackling skins concerns (everything from fine lines and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation to acne,) and often turn their attention to chemical peels. Perhaps you’ve looked at your fair share of less-than-pretty “Google search” images of post-peel skin trauma. Remember, a peel is a chemical burn, and can leave the skin in a state that requires downtime that can last up to several weeks and total sun avoidance for several months.

But we think life’s too short to be shut up inside for that long, so on to the good news! Not all chemical peels need be feared. Many of them can be so non-invasive that there is NO downtime required! In this case, you’ll want to look for a spa like Be Smooth that offers superficial or low-grade peels. While medium-deep chemical peels can contain acid concentrations of up to 70%, superficial peels keep the concentrations in the 15-30% range, meaning the acids will only penetrate the very top layers of skin. This may result in some peeling of the skin in the days following as cell turnover is increased, but it’s a far cry from what those frightening Google images suggest!

There are several types of superficial peels to choose from, depending on a client’s concerns. And while all peels will exfoliate and stimulate anti-aging, each one further contains additional properties that are beneficial in correcting specific issues. For example, a series of lactic peels is best for correcting hyperpigmentation, as the AHAs found in lactic acid have been shown to help lighten dark spots and even out skin tone. Lactic peels are also a great choice for first-time users and can be administered on all skin types. Another popular peel is for those battling stubborn acne- a mandelic acid peel. Containing BHAs that are able to penetrate deeper than AHAs, this peel works against existing breakouts with both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is great at unclogging pores. A Jessner peel, meanwhile, is usually a combination of lactic and salicylic acids and retinol, able to combat a wide array of issues, and generally a good choice for those concerned with signs of aging.

peelsThink of these superficial chemical peels as packing a bit more punch than a standard facial, but not a punch that will knock you out for weeks! That being said, it is essential to adopt good at-home regimen practices. It is imperative to apply a sunscreen of at least an SPF 30 and reapply several times per day. To make it easier, we recommend peels be done in the fall/winter months, when there is less chance clients will be exposed to those pesky UV rays.

So to peel or not to peel? Peel now! And love your fresh fall face later!