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Chemical Peels: Technique and How it Impacts the Results

Last week I discussed peeling agents and their applications, and while the formula makes a major impact on the result, technique will override the effectiveness of any formula.

Always remember, a treatment is only as good as the aesthetic professional delivering it. This is essential, because your application will have a significant effect on the outcome of the procedure. Focus and approach are critical, and it begins the moment you place your hands on the client’s face.

Technique for Optimum Results

Your approach is your art form and what you use on the skin becomes an extension of you and your skills. One of our educators, Louisa Alten, likens formulas to an artist’s paintbrush – the brush is necessary and quality will make a difference, but the artist’s skill will ultimately determine success.

A few key techniques to consider for optimum results include:

  • Cleanse skin with moistened hands and appropriate cleanser. Eyes are cleansed with a gentle cleanser. The cleansing step must be thorough and complete. Cover the entire area of the face, neck, and ears. Removal of cleanser is best when using a wet 4x4 gauze. It wipes away and lifts residue, and allows you to see how clean the skin is.
  • Feel the skin after cleansing. This process gives you important information about the texture, oil/moisture content, and whether the surface is squeaky clean.
  • Lipid removal is a necessary step in preparing skin for any peel. Pour your solution onto a 2-inch gauze (wear surgical gloves for this applications) and place the gauze on the forehead, press firmly into skin and pull back across the skin. *Eyes are covered and protected.
  • Acid application– always apply acids to a dry surface
    • Be sure to apply evenly to all areas of skin, unless there is a reason not to.
    • Use firm pressure. The success of your peel is often due to the pressure applied.
    • Even saturation is key. Alternating directions of application are recommended.
  • Removing preparationsfrom the skin thoroughly between steps is the difference between a good peel and irritation/rash.
    • Use wet gauze, hold skin taut, and with a firm touch remove the enzyme, mask, or other mixtures from the skin before moving to another step. Rinse several times.

Remember to seek proper education before rendering any peel treatment. You want to feel confident in your delivery. When performing the protocol be fully present, keeping a close watch on the skin so that you can adjust your technique as necessary.

Question: Share your thoughts on technique.

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