How does a Peel work?

A lot of people know that having a Peel will exfoliate the skin which improves the texture and tone of the skin, help to clear acne and reduce fine lines. However, knowing how this is achieved is a little if a mystery.

There are multiple layers of the epidermis (the outer layer, what we can see) and dermis (inner layer of connective tissue, collagen and elastic fibres), which provide protection against external aggressors, prevents dehydration, maintaining internal temperature and of course protecting our insides!

The skin is made up of skin cells that go through a cycle from the inner layers to the outer. As they move along, they are constantly changing and become filled with Keratin (a protein that protects the cells) and eventually when they reach the most outer layer, they become ‘dead cells’. Our skin forms a ‘glue’ (microscopic fibres called Tonofilaments) that sounds these cells to hold them together. Over an approximate 4-6 week rejuvenation cycle, the glue eventually breaks, allowing the dead cells to drop off the skin naturally allowing the newer cells to develop. By speeding up this process, we can give the skin a more youthful complexion, get rid of the bacteria in the skin more quickly and improving the tone and texture of the skin.
A peeling product uses mild levels of acids such as Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and Lactic Acids and depending on the type and how long it is left on for, it will seep into the many layers of the epidermis (strong peels also reach the dermis layers) and dissolve this glue to allow the dead cells drop off more quickly. The deeper the peel, the more ‘down-time’ needed as the skin can be red, irritated and flaking skin for a week or two after the treatment. Even though after the side effects diminish your skin will look great, you may also be exposing your skin to dehydration and premature aging in the future. This is why I recommend mild peels to use on ones skins as it reduces the side effects and long term damage to the skin.
At Elana Jade, we use Ilcsi skincare line for our Peeling facial. They use a combination of lactic and citric acids as the AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid), which are derived from lemon oil and Black Hollyhock (a purple-black flower variety of the Alcea rosea species that has been cultivated for centuries in many parts of the world). After this product is placed on your skin, your therapist will then apply another product that is derived from nettle, hot paprika and lemon oil to enhance the absorption and improve the effect of the peeling product. The combination of these vital ingredients help to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, improve wrinkles, evens out skin tone, acne, pigmentation and photo-damaged skin as well as supplying the skin with vitamins, trace elements, phytoestrogen and minerals.
The way we can create the same benefit of this mild peel to a medium strength peel is by performing the treatment every week for 4 weeks. This is because the skin has enough time in the cycle to regenerate new cells so when we apply the peel again, it will be able to reach the next layers we weren’t able to reach before. Not only will this not damage the layer that is preparing your epidermis to be exposed to the elements, it will help promote an ‘education’ to the new cells that are forming underneath the skin and so when the peel has finished, the new cells will be mimicking the cells in the outer-most layers.
There is also no ‘down-time’ with this facial. You may experience a little redness for up to 4 hours after the treatment (most peoples skins only have a glow after they leave from having their refreshment after the facial). We also take on the safety of their clients but not performing this treatment throughout the summer months and will advise their clients not to have this course before a summer vacation to help ensure that no pigmentation will form on the skin.
When looking for the right peel for you, try finding a certified organic product as the reason why the products work so well is because they are made from pure, certified organic ingredients and don’t contain preservative, stabilizers and solvents (such as alcohol) and are much stronger than herbal extracts.