The ABC of treatments with acids (chemical peel).
The season for exfoliation.
Winter is the best time to carry out peel treatment on the skin of the face and body. It has been known for a long time that in the fight against the signs of aging, discoloration and the first wrinkles, or acne, acids give great results. It is worth exposing your skin to its effects during winter because this is the time when the skin is not exposed to intense sunlight.
How do cosmetic chemical peels work?
The action of peels on the face comes down to the exfoliation of the epidermis. After such treatment, the skin is thoroughly cleansed, and exfoliation reveals smooth skin with a pleasant texture. Many acids also have an anti-aging effect and contribute to the reduction of wrinkles, others are excellent for discoloration, such as glycolic acid. Some are recommended in anti-acne treatments, e.g. mandelic acid, which has anti-acne properties documented in numerous medical studies. The strongest acids allow for deep exfoliation, allowing to reach the dermis, where they support collagen renewal and stimulate regenerative processes.
The action of the acid depends on its type and concentration. It is very important to choose the acid according to your skin type – then even a single treatment will bring the desired effect and restore a healthy skin tone.
Classification of acids – which acid to choose?
Cosmetic acids, which are currently used not only in beauty salons but also in cosmetics intended for home skin care, are divided into 3 main groups: alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), beta-hydroxyl acids (BHA), and new generation acids – polyhydroxy acids (PHA).
Alpha-hydroxy acids are the most used in skincare, which is why they are also the most popular. What distinguishes them is the exfoliating effect on the surface of the epidermis. AHA peels also help to lighten discoloration, regulate the process of epidermis keratinization, and stimulate collagen production. At a concentration higher than pH 3-4.5, they moisturize the skin. These are water-soluble acids and are recommended mainly for dry, normal, mature, acne-prone, and discolored skin.
Types of AHA chemical peels:
Mandelic – the most delicate and popular alpha-hydroxy acid. It has antibacterial properties, soothes inflammation, and reduces the secretion of sebum. In a higher concentration it moisturizes the skin, in a lower concentration it helps in exfoliation of dead skin. It also helps in shallowing scars and narrowing the pores.
Glycolic – has the smallest particles of all AHA acids and penetrates the epidermis best. It has a stronger effect than mandelic acid, exfoliates dead epidermis, reduces wrinkles, increases collagen production, improves skin elasticity, and narrows pores. Glycolic acid is obtained from sugar cane.
Lactic – it is very gentle and is often used to balance the pH of hair washing and intimate hygiene cosmetics. It helps to moisturize the skin, lightens discoloration, stimulates hair growth, and reduces wrinkles. It is obtained in the process of sugar fermentation by lactic bacteria.
Citric – used to lighten discoloration and exfoliate dead epidermis. It helps fight acne and remove blackheads. It is obtained from fruit.
Azelaic – is a mild acid with antibacterial, anti-acne and anti-inflammatory properties. It does not cause side effects, it can be used for rosacea (soothes erythema) and to reduce discoloration.
Malic – like citric acid, it is a common ingredient in skin care cosmetics. It has a moisturizing effect, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, tightens the pores, and improves the texture of the skin.
In cosmetology, salicylic acid is mainly used, which is an alternative for people intolerant to AHA acids. It is obtained, among others from willow bark, raspberries, birch leaves and chamomile flowers.
Salicylic acid has a bacteriostatic effect, gently removes dead epidermis, and penetrates the sebum layer, thanks to which it enables the cleansing of the sebaceous glands and healing of inflammatory acne lesions. It is an acid recommended mainly for the care of oily, acne-prone, blemished skin and with blackheads. Its use does not cause stinging, burning and other unpleasant side effects.
PHA acids, called new-generation acids, are much milder than AHA peel and are intended mainly for sensitive, very delicate, and vascular skin. Their use does not cause burning or redness, and intense peeling of the skin. However, these peels are as effective in caring as alpha-hydroxy acids, and their use helps soothe irritations, firm the skin, and strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier.
We divide PHA chemical peels into:
Gluconolactone – reduces skin roughness, and the visibility of blood vessels and soothes irritation.
Lactobinic acid – has an antioxidant effect, effectively slows down the aging process of the skin, strengthens blood vessels and soothes inflammation.
How are acids applied to the face? What treatments are performed?
Treatments with acids are nothing more than cleansing the skin with a peeling enriched with peel in an appropriate concentration – matched to specific skin problems. To choose the right acid for the treatment, the specialist will examine the skin and conduct an interview. After the initial cleansing and degreasing, a peeling enriched with an acid of an appropriate concentration will be applied to the skin.
What does the skin look like after the treatment?
Immediately after the treatment, the skin may be red and slightly swollen. Depending on the strength of the peel used, the epidermis may peel for 2-3 days after the session. It is worth allowing the skin to regenerate naturally and not applying makeup on the face.
How much time does it take for effects?
Peels are unusual mainly because the clear effects appear after the first treatment. Many people, encouraged by the positive effects in this place, stop the therapy. However, this is a definite mistake. The whole series of acid treatments includes about 5 sessions, and the treatments take place at intervals of several or several days.
Acid treatments are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. They are extremely effective and the effects last for a long time. When is it worth using? If you have not been able to get rid of acne or discolouration for a long time, your skin has lost its firmness, is dry and grey, this may be a signal that it is worth opting for a peeling enriched with acids.
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