Chemical Peels

Sun, Age and Dryness Damages Skin

Sunlight, age, wind and dry conditions will damage skin. The skin has sebaceous glands which help protect and moisturize the skin, but sebaceous glands are not evenly distributed and some areas of the skin get more protection while other areas may get too much protection. With time, some areas of the skin are discolored, thickened or wrinkled. Water is not the most effective way of cleansing sebaceous gland fluid because oil and water don’t mix well.

Most Chemical Peels are Derived from Fruit

Since the time of the Egyptians, fruit acids were recognized for their skin rejuvenation properties. The acid of fruit was recognized for its deep cleansing action, as well as rejuvenation properties. To this day, spas use fruit slices on the face, to rejuvenate the skin. The acid found in citrus fruit (called alpha-hydoxy acids), is excellent for skin rejuvenation. However, with fruit slices, fruit acid contact with the skin is uneven and the concentration or pH of the fruit acid cannot be controlled. In contrast, alpha hydroxy creams allow for even distribution with a known concentration and pH. This means that the penetration and properties of the fruit acid may be better controlled.

The alpha hydroxy acids of fruit have been available in various chemical peel preparations to treat photoaging, discolored skin, acne, seborrheic keratosis, melasma and solar keratosis. Beyond the alpha-hydroxy acids of fruit, other agents have been found to be useful in skin rejuvenation. These agents include lactic acid (found in milk), acetic acid (found in vinegar), salicylic acid (found in plants and is the active ingredient of aspirin), etc.

Today, chemical peels are a method of cleansing, resurfacing and rejuvenating the skin. Chemical peels may be divided into superficial penetration, moderate penetration and deep penetration peels.

Superficial peels penetrate the epidermis only. Medium peels penetrate the entire epidermis and part of the dermis. Deep peels penetrate all the way to the reticular dermis.