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Look Younger: Get help Choosing a Home Glycolic Chemical Peel

Updated on October 7, 2012

Chemical peels are still considered to be among the most effective means of rejuvenating and resurfacing the skin. A chemical peel is a highly concentrated treatment that is mainly available in spas. There are home chemical peel kits on the market that are said to work quite well, though they tend to be less intense than treatments one would receive at the spa.

These types of peels use a chemical reaction to break down the cellular compounds holding together the epidermis. These cells are usually shed during the body’s natural process of exfoliation. A chemical peel accelerates this process to help the skin shed dead cells more quickly in order to begin the process of cell-regeneration. This whole procedure will generally give a more youthful look and glowing complexion.

An at home Chemical peels contain less acid than peels one might receive in a spa, salon or clinic. These home chemical facials deliver quite good results at just a fraction of the cost of professional chemical peels. Very similar in results to mild types of facial peels done in clinics, individuals will need several applications over time to see dramatic results.

Which Chemical Peel is Right for You?

· Lactic acid- is an acid created from milk enzymes. This is the mildest of the whole class of chemical peels. This type of peel typically works the best for correcting hyper pigmentation. This is also a good peel for all skin types including sensitive skin, making it ideal for individuals trying home facial peels for the first time.

· Glycolic acid- is a slightly harsher acid than lactic acids. This type of peel is an alpha hydroxyl that will only penetrate the epidermis. It is best used on normal to oily skin to help aid in controlling acne as well as smoothing fine lines.

· Salicylic Acid- is a beta hydroxyl and considered the best choice for oily skin or skin prone to acne. A Glycolic acid peel is the best choice for controlling blackheads and may be used as often as three or four times each week.

· TCA- penetrates deeper into the dermis providing longer lasting and more dramatic results. This peel is used mainly to lessen fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, lip lines, age spots and patchy skin. More dramatic results also mean more trauma to the skin during application and a longer recovery time.

Facial Peel Kit Process

The home chemical-peel kits will usually include the following equipment and supplies:

  •   Peel Solution
  •   Buffing Pads
  •   AHA Cream or Lotion
  •   Cotton Balls
  •   Sunscreen
  •   Moisturizer

Different kits will have slightly different steps depending on the chemicals being used and the depth of exfoliation desired. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions. The first step is to prepare the skin for the peel by applying the AHA lotion or cream. These products may be applied for as long as three or four weeks prior to the actual peel in order to prepare the skin for deeper exfoliation. When ready to begin the peel, mix the solution with water to achieve the specified strength depending on desired depth of exfoliation. Each kit will include specific directions and guidelines to follow in order to dilute the solution. Cleans the area to be peeled with a mild soap and water solution and rinse well. Carefully apply the peel solution with the included cotton balls, taking care around the eyes. Leave solution on for the specified amount of time in the directions. As the peel penetrates the skin it will turn the skin into a white almost frosty color. The solution is usually neutralized by rinsing with water. If the stinging remains, rinse again with a baking soda and water solution. The treated area will begin to peel and shed the skin as the exfoliation process begins.

Chemical Peels Risks and Side Effects

Even though at home chemical peels do tend to be more mild than those used in salons and spas, there are inherent risks and side effects that still need to be taken into consideration when deciding if chemical peels are right for you.

· Redness at the Treatment Area: This is the most commonly reported side effect, and though it is a temporary condition, the redness has been reported to last up to four weeks.

· Burning and Stinging: A result of the chemical burning of the epidermis that removes the cells causing shedding of the skin, the burning and stinging can last up to a week.

· Flaking or Peeling Skin: This side effect is very common, and it is very important to keep from pulling of the skin to avoid infection and scaring.

· Irritation and Scabbing: Slight scabbing or other irritation can occur when the exposed skin cells heal from the burning associated with using home chemical peels.

· Color Changes in the Skin: This is one of the more serious side effects associated with a home chemical peel. Pigmentation has been known to change in the skin causing discoloration. This discoloration could fade over time or become permanent.

· Infection: Infections can develop at the treatment site. Serious infection could cause scarring and require hospitalization.

· Scarring: Can be extensive and is permanent. This could be quite devastating, especially if the scaring is on the face and becomes sever.

If unsure, always consult a physician to ensure a chemical peel is safe for your particular medical history. It is important to always remember to follow the manufacturer’s directions completely. Seek medical help if side effects become moderate or severe.


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