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All You Need to Know about Acid Peels

April 30, 2020 3 min read

All You Need to Know about Acid Peels

By Clare O’Hanlon Business Development Manager, Juliette Armand Skincare

This feature will focus on the variety of professional skin peels that can be offered in the salon or Spa environment.

What are the differences between superficial, medium and deep skin peels?

Superficial peels are the gentlest form of peels using glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid. These types of peels only treat the superficial layer of the skin known as the epidermis. These peels are great for instantly brightening the top layer of the skin whilst smoothing out fine lines, treating scars, acne and pigmentation. They are also known as AHAs or BHAs, this is a mix of the acids together. You can use AHAs at home in your products when they have a low percentage. You can get courses of peels in the salon for best results because the peel penetrates into the skin and deliver anti-oxidants and vitamins. The downtime after these type of peels include redness, tingling and maybe some flaking to the skin.

Medium peels are more dramatic than the superficial peels and so would treat darker pigmentation and deeper wrinkles. There is a longer downtime as well and could take a week before the skin heals properly.

Deep skin peels are the most dramatic out of the three types and will feel very strong when applied to the skin you may even feel like the skin is burning. The results will be amazing but you must be prepared for the side effects which include red raw skin for up to a month after. These peels are most beneficial to severe acne scaring, pitting of the skin and treating deep stubborn wrinkles.

What training is needed?

Advanced training is important when using peels on client’s skin and a full understanding of the conditions you are treating is a must. Most skincare companies will train the staff about the different percentages of peels available, the PH of the peels and the precise application and aftercare advice. Peels are advanced exfoliations which must be taken seriously.

Do you need specific insurance?

Maybe, some insurance companies will already have included advanced peels in the policy as they are more the norm now. Definitely check with your insurance company before taking on a treatment if they are included or if you need extra cover.

Which peels are most appropriate for treating such issues as sun damaged skin, Acne, pigmentation, dry skin, oily skin, and uneven texture / colour of the skin?

Glycolic acid comes in different strengths and PH which will determine how deep it goes into the skin, this peel best treats wrinkles and sun damage. Lactic acid is the more gentle of the peels and is best for dry, rosacea and sensitive skins. Salicylic acid penetrates deeper into the oil glands so is best for oily and acne skins. Fruit enzymes commonly from fruit such as pineapple and papaya are best for treating hyperactive skins.

Are there any contradictions to this type of treatment?

Pregnancy is contra-indicated because the skin turns quite sensitive and the client may even burn from a peel, avoid at all cost. Other factors such as herpes, medication, cancer patients and severe sensitive skins.

Can all clients benefit?

Most clients will benefit from peels but we always need to go back to the Fitzpatrick scale which is skin colour classified on skin pigmentation. Some skin colours are not suitable for certain peels.

Overall the benefits of peels are positive and the changes to the skin concerns are dramatic and instant, everyone over 30 should be getting peels done in the salon to prevent deep wrinkles from forming and pigmentation getting darker. In order to keep the skin looking fresh and even toned one must always use SPF after a peel or they may experience more pigmentation.

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