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Chemical peels in practice

In general, a distinction can be made between superficial, medium and deep peels. Which skin layers the chemical peeling reaches and which effects are achieved essentially depend on the chemical properties, the skin's appearance and the application technique of the product.

Therefore, basic knowledge of the chemistry of these substances is a prerequisite for professional application and targeted handling. It is difficult to predict in detail how a peeling will work on the skin of your customers/patients, as the effect is determined by many variables.

Above all, the current skin condition and the application technique have a major influence here. For this reason, theoretical and practical knowledge of the use of chemical peels is required. The customer's wishes also play a decisive role in the choice of peeling, because some customers want to have little to no skin irritation after the treatment and to look “presentable” throughout. The treatment intensity must be adjusted accordingly.

The treatment navigation

Ideally, chemical peeling consists of three phases, which are then repeated during the treatment: the preparation phase, which includes the first consultation, the peel treatment and the post-peel phase, which includes the follow-up treatment of the skin. The interaction of these three phases guarantees an optimal and effective result.

During the preparation phase, the skin gets used to the acids and the low pH values.

This preparation should usually take two to four weeks to adequately prepare the skin and achieve good results after the first peeling treatment. The choice of the right acid for chemical peeling depends primarily on the existing skin type and its condition.

All-rounder glycolic acid

Epidermally, the water-soluble glycolic acid increases hydration. With long-term use, it stimulates collagen synthesis and thus strengthens the dermal structures. Due to their properties, glycolic acid peels are suitable for mature skin in need of regeneration, but also for skin that is low in moisture and needs to be hydrated. As a rule, you start with a peeling that is as light as possible to be able to assess the skin's reaction. Well-prepared skin reacts less sensitively to contact with the acid than unprepared skin. Accordingly, a glycolic acid treatment must be neutralized quickly on unprepared or insufficiently prepared skin. Since glycolic acid is present in the aqueous formulation as a free acid, neutralization of the effect is mandatory. This is the only way to ensure a safe procedure and a controlled effect. Neutralization products are available as cream formulations (emulsions) and also as sprays. Emulsions offer the advantage that partial neutralisation is possible without the product running.

Mild polyhydroxy acids

A newer generation of alpha hydroxy acids are polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), which have similar properties and effects to glycolic acid, but are even less irritating to the senses and can therefore also be used after cosmetic procedures, for example.

Examples are gluconolactone and lactobionic acid. Gluconolactone is a physiological component of the skin and has hydrating properties. Polyhydroxy acids have a larger molecular structure, which is why they have a milder effect and therefore hardly cause skin irritation. Lactobionic acid in particular has a strong antioxidant effect. PHAs have a slightly smoothing effect, and strengthen the skin barrier, but have slightly lower anti-aging properties compared to glycolic acid. PHAs do not make the skin more sensitive to light, which is why they can be used all year round. Studies have shown that the use of PHAs leads to an improvement in the signs of photoaged skin.

The treatment

For all chemical peeling procedures, it is necessary to ask in advance whether the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding. No treatment should be undertaken during this time. In addition, special caution is required for darker skin types and appropriate intensive skin preparation is recommended. In addition, it is important to know what medications are being taken or used. An active herpes infection is also a contraindication to chemical peels. The general treatment process does not fundamentally differ between the different types of acid. A treatment series usually consists of up to five peels at two to four-week intervals. If necessary, so-called maintenance treatments can be continued at intervals of up to six weeks. The average treatment time is around half an hour. The treatment can be expanded and individualized with extras such as serums, concentrates, masks or cleansing. The additional products used must be planned and calculated when calculating the treatment.

The skin reaction during the first treatment determines the acid concentration and method of application of subsequent treatments.

The process is done in 3 steps: prep, application and neutralization.

Treatment process

1. Cleansing the skin: Ideally with an acidic cleansing product (Peel Cleanser ).

2. Degreasing the skin: Special degreasing product that removes lipids and the last traces of makeup from the skin and thus promotes the skin's ability to absorb ( Pre- Peeling Lotion)

3. Protection of eyes and lips: Particularly sensitive areas of skin should be protected from acid.

4. Apply the peeling in even brush strokes: The very sensitive areas should always come into contact with the peeling at the end. The exposure time varies depending on skin type and the desired peeling intensity.

5. The majority of chemical peels have to be neutralized: Peel Neutralizer

6. Final care and UV protection.


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