Chemical peeling: an acid for each type of skin
The chemical peel is suitable for both facial and body care.
The chemical peel consists of the application of products by medical professionals with the aim of regenerating and repairing the skin. “In the beginning it produces a peeling that makes the skin more sensitive, so it is not advisable to do it in sunny times because it can damage it”, explains Petra Vega, president of the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SEME). In his opinion, doing this treatment after the summer has two advantages : the lower solar radiation and the recovery of the skin before the external aggressions (own of the high temperatures) penetrate in the deepest layers.
For facial or body care? Vega clarifies that this treatment is indicated for any part of the body. “For example, to improve the appearance of the skin in people with acne on the back, on the neckline or hands where spots or even appear on the legs,” he specifies.
Types of peeling and benefits
All the ingredients used in peeling can be used for both the face and the body, although the president of SEME warns that concentration should be taken into account because the results will be different . “Normally, the skin of the body is more resistant, so if a peel on the face we use it with a concentration of 30 percent, in the rest of the body we will need at least 50 percent to get the same effect” , he says. In addition, this aesthetic doctor insists that before starting this therapy should carry out a detailed study of the skin, assess whether the patient takes some photosensitive medicine and what kind of cosmetic uses.
Next, Vega details the properties and indications of the most commonly used acids in chemical peels.
It is a mild acid that is characterized because it improves the appearance of the skin softer and provides luminosity . “It is one of the few that could be used before the summer or to attend an event because it does not produce a great peeling,” he says.
It was the first acid with which one began to work, the results depend on the concentration and it is indicated above all for oily skin . “At low concentrations can be used at home because the desquamation is soft, regulate the production of dry and that light exfoliation causes the pores to close as well as rehydration because it stimulates the deeper layers,” he says. In contrast, when the proportion of glycolic acid is greater, from 70 percent is considered a medical peel, the regulation of sebum is much higher, closes more pores and superficially removes stains.
This active produces a superficial exfoliation that is perfect for treating pimples and blackheads . In addition, this technique helps to prepare the skin for other deeper treatments. “It is indicated for acne skin but you have to be careful if the patient uses creams that can make the skin more sensitive,” he suggests. At this point, Vega recalls that chemical peels are not suitable for people taking isotretinoin , an effective anti-acne drug. “In these cases, you have to wait up to six months after the treatment,” he adds.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
It is the most used after glycolic acid and its action depends a lot on the concentration as well as on the form and the time that is applied. “It is exclusively for medical use, since it has medium and profound effects, for problems of marks, spots and small wrinkles . If the exfoliation is very deep, we must warn the patient that the skin will be very desquamated in the following days, “says Vega.
The TCA offers an alternative and is that sometimes additives such as hydrogen peroxide are added so that the irritation of the skin is less striking but the action lasts longer in time. In addition, it could be applied even in summer, although extreme measures of solar photo protection.
It is very similar to lactic acid and is used long after the holidays for people who require a soft recovery because their skin is not too damaged.
It acts at medium level and is ideal for dark skin with phototypes 4, 5 and 6 because it avoids any hyperpigmentation. This active is usually used for oily and spotty skin.
There are other acids, such as phenol indicated for prominent wrinkles, as well as sometimes choose the combination of several. In any case, Vega suggests being very careful and assessing the effect of each of them.
How to take care of the skin after a chemical peel?
Normally this aesthetic treatment is carried out in several sessions and, between one and the other, it is fundamental to follow the recommendations of the medical professional. “We must support therapy with a cosmetic aimed at the problem we want to solve: if we talk about acne, the patient will have to apply certain anti-acne products while if we talk about a case of stains will use a depigmenting cream,” he says.
Second, protecting the skin from the sun and keeping it hydrated is very important. “We usually recommend cosmetics with hyaluronic acid, omega 3 essential acids or vitamin compounds, especially the first days after peeling,” he says.
Finally, Vega values as positive that, after these treatments, people acquire a routine of daily care that contributes to improving the health of the skin.