When selecting a facial acid peel to use at home, you will want to consider two main factors, why you want to use a peel and what type of skin you have. The types of available chemical peels can be categorized by the purpose of the peel and also the chemical make-up of it.
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What is a Chemical Facial Peel?
Before we look at the reasons for using at home acid peels and their chemical make-up, we need to know what facial peels are. Face peels, sometimes referred to as chemical peels, contrary to it’s name it doesn’t actually ‘peel’ the skin. Instead, they quickly exfoliate the skin, allowing dead skin cells to shed more effectively.
The Purpose of Acid Facial Peels
There are many reasons why you would want to use at home facial peels. They can help you prevent and reduce acne breakouts by helping you deeply cleanse your skin and removing dead skin cells on the surface of your face by exfoliating your skin. You can also use a cleansing facial peel to improve the appearance and the feel of your skin.
Facial peels are used to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines on your face that most of us get as we age or as a result from prolonged exposure to the sun. Most of these small, fine wrinkles are along the forehead and around the eyes, which are known as crow’s feet or laugh lines, and around the mouth.
You may also want to use a facial peel to help reduce brown spots on your face, freckles or dark patches that may appear on your skin called melasma. Some of the dark spots may be the result of a pregnancy or taking birth control pills or that result from aging.
The Chemical Make-up of Acid Skin Peels
The classification of the peel is determined by how deeply it penetrates the skin in order to rejuvenate it. The type of peel you use will be determined by the concentration level of the chemicals, the type of chemical application and your skin type.
Most at home facial peels use hydroxyl acid, more commonly known as AHA. This is a weak acid and glycolic acid, AHA which is derived from sugar cane, is used when new clients get their first peel in a spa. For at home treatments, AHA is found in most facial peels for cleansing the skin and helping with acne breakouts.
Beta hydroxy acids, or BHA, is another type of acid found in many facial peels. You will find it in cleansing peels and peels that also help to reduce and prevent the formation of acne.
Some adults require a stronger acid to help achieve the results they want from a facial peel. Salicylic acid is used in facial peels to help reduce brown or dark spots on the skin, reducing the appearance of freckles and it can help with signs of sun damage on your face as well.
The third type of chemical, or facial, peel is the tretinoin peel. This type of peel is used to improve the tone and color of your facial skin and it can take the longest to process. This facial peel often needs up to six hours to completely process and rejuvenate your skin.
Skin Types and Facial Peels
Along with the reason you want to use a facial peel, you will need to determine if the peel you want to use can be applied on your type of skin. Determining your skin type is fairly easy and knowing your skin type will help you choose the right products for your skin, especially products such as facial peels.
There are five different types of skin:
When selecting at home acid peels, not only do you want to take into account the type of skin that you have, but you will want to consider your complexion as well. If you have oily skin, a BHA based facial peel will work better for you because it is oil-based and it will react better on your skin.
If you are using a deep penetrating facial, this works on people with fairer complexions because they usually remove the top layer of skin in order to reduce fine wrinkles, sun damage and scarring. Facial peels that penetrate only slightly are best for use on people with darker skin tones since it doesn’t remove more than dead skin cells.
If you have sensitive skin, even the mildest AHA at home face peels could be problematic for your skin type. Even mild acids can burn and scar your skin, so be extremely cautious when using these peels. When you are in doubt about using a facial peel with your skin type or tone, it’s best to consult with a professional.