Peeling Away the Mysteries of Skin Peels
Beautiful skin doesn’t have to be expensive and going under the knife is not the only way to capture that youthful appearance. As a matter of fact, skin peels provide your clients an effective and less-expensive alternative.
Superficial Skin Peels, when properly administered, are one of the most powerful non-surgical skin improvements available. They remove cellular buildup, stimulate cell renewal and regeneration, and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, large pores and oiliness. If that’s not enough, peel treatments also help clear blemishes, treat hyperpigmentation, and improve overall texture and tone.
At the core of a peel treatment, highly specialized acid and enzyme solutions are applied to remove damaged layers of cells from the skin’s outer surface – revealing more glowing, youthful skin. Treatments vary in intensity, and a client’s skin type and desired results will dictate which peel treatment is best. Proper training in administering any peel treatment is always recommended.
The information given applies to superficial skin peels, meaning the acid/enzyme remains within the epidermis. The dermis is affected via stimulation and this encourages regeneration. Peeling solutions that go all the way to the dermis are performed by physicians and have longer healing time, more involved post care, and higher risk of complications such as hypopigmentation and demarcation.
Treatment Intensities For Superficial Peels
Progressive Peels – the mildest course of treatment that does not usually cause immediate exfoliation and only removes the stratum corneum. Repeated treatments will create mild sloughing with cumulative effects.
Best practice: perform a series of three to six treatments one to two weeks apart.
Result: refining and mild peel with no down time
Mid-Depth Peels – these peels affect the intra-epidermal layer with exfoliation occurring within two to three days of application. There is very little down time. Peeling consists of light flaking similar to a sunburn peel.
Best practice: you can perform these monthly for as long as needed.
Result: rejuvenation with minimal to no down time
Deep Peels – these peels affect the deepest intra-epidermal layers. Skin undergoes considerable peeling rather than flaking. Some down time is involved. Typically three or four days after application, the skin can temporarily become brown and crusty. The entire process takes about seven to 10 days.
Best practice: administer these six weeks apart. It is not recommended to do more than three or four per year.
Result: restore and renew skin with the most dramatic results.
Peeling Away the Myths
One misnomer is that one superficial treatment is all that's needed. The truth is, typically several applications must be administered over several months or years, depending on the skin damage. As the skin care professional, it’s up to you to assess and determine what is best for your client’s skin.
Another common myth is skin peeling will leave scarring. If a trained skin care professional performs the peel, permanent scarring is not an issue for superficial peels. Redness and peeling are normal with more intense peels when undergoing treatment. The long-term effects of the peels are healthier and smoother skin.
A Few Do’s and Don’ts
- Do undergo appropriate training – this is very important
- Do a complete skin assessment and skin history on the client
- Do perform a patch test at least 48 hours before treatment
- Do send clients home with post care instructions
- Never do a peel on the first visit
- Never perform a peel on a client using Retin-A or taking Accutane
- Never conduct a peel if a client has received Botox or another injectable procedure that day
Also be sure to take before-and-after photos to track your client’s progress and be sure to manage their expectations before beginning any program. Skin peels can deliver considerable improvements, but the success of a peel depends on four things: your knowledge, selecting fresh quality ingredients to work with, your ability to read the skin, and client compliance To learn more about peels visit our Education section, we offer a number of courses, webinars and books .