Acid Peel 101
Ah, Acid Peels. For those on the outside, it sounds scary! They are nothing but a Chemical liquid/ cream Exfoliant that is put on the skin for a short amount of time, and then usually neutralised with a gentle neutral serum like this . ( The ones I’ve listed below may or may not be technically classed as “Peels” by a dermatologist or aesthetician; they are classified by me on the effect they have on my skin)
They work on the surface of the skin, but ungluing the bonds that attach dead skin to the surface of fresh skin underneath. This process helps gets rid of dead skin and bring forth brighter, virgin skin. This process also helps fade surface scars, age spots, sun spots etc. This is super important to darker skins, mostly because most lasers dont work on dark skins. And often we get something called Reverse Hyperpigmentation, wherein we will tend to get a much lighter than the surrounding area. Or worse Keloids. A type of scarring typically common in deeper tones if something went badly wrong. A Keloid is a raised mass of scar tissue that usually cannot be operated as often it can make keloids worse.
Anyway all the precautions aside: Acids come in mainly two forms Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acid. ( In order of strength AHA range from Glycolic–>Lactic–>Azaleic–>Mandelic) Beta Hydroxy Acid only has one type of acid under its umbrella. Salicylic Acid.
AHA– great for clearing away dead skin cells, make skin look brighter, fade dark spots, This is a great ingredient to use where one would have used a toner in the routines of the past.
BHA is great for unclogging blcked pores, helping reduce and eventually( hopefully) diminish a spot, blackheads and whiteheads.
( there is also a third kind which is Poly Hydroxy Acid– Ingredients such as gluconolactone and lactobionic acid are types of polyhydroxy acid (PHA). Made up of larger molecules than traditional AHAs, PHAs are typically gentler on the skin, causing less irriation. Unlike some AHAs, which can dry out the skin, PHAs are ideal for sensitive or dry skin types.)
I use a gentle AHA/BHA toner like REN, almost everyday. Whereas the next 4 acids I use these once a week at the most: some people use peels more regularly. It is what you are used to or your skin can tolerate at the moment…
Four once a week treatments that I love
💗 Tarte Knockout tingling lotion ( CLAIMS: A vegan, skin-tingling toner treatment that acts as a complexion workout in a bottle to help resurface your skin and balance its pH while you sleep.) This is hard to get in the UK, you cannot import it via shipping from the USA. Stephanie Nicole a highly popular Youtuber really swears by this over the Biologique Recherche P50.
💗 Rodial Super Acids Extreme Acid Rush Peel: ( CLAIMS; Using probiotic technology Super Acids is all about the resurface, retexture and renew. Prevent breakouts, even skin tone and boost radiance, suitable for even the most problematic of skin. Great for prevention and young skin.)
This is a great 2-5 minute mask that I’ve used up in moments when I’m rushing around from day to evening. This I usually put on whilst umming and arhhhing over outfits, or messing with my hair. This has a super strong tingle. My skin always comes out brighter at the other end of this exercise.
💗 Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel : The natural exfoliating fruit enzyme action of Papaya and Pineapple will smooth, brighten and clarify your complexion. This unique, non-granular Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel exfoliating cream has 7 active ingredients to repair and protect your skin.
Perfect for sensitive or mature complexions, this smooth cream peel gently exfoliates without abrasion. Your skin will be treated with seaweed actives and vitamin E, leaving you with a smooth, moisturised and remineralised skin.
This gentle exfoliator makes my complexion appear smoother and brighter. It does so by dissolving dead skin cells without rubbing, making it particularly suited to mature ( or grown up as I prefer to be called) and delicate skin as it also gives anti-oxidant and free radical protection to skin.
💗 Dr G Skin Mentor Brightening Peel Gel : here is a reason why this peeling gel is a superstar product in Korea and beyond: Seeing dead skin cells roll right off your skin is so satisfying! (Don’t knock it until you try it.) Natural cellulose gently removes dead skin cells and impurities so you can see smoother skin right away.
Anti-inflammatory ingredients such as honey, black willow, and hollyhock flower extracts soothe delicate and sensitive skin. This peeling gel also contains vitamin C to brighten and clarify skin tone while Vitamin E and trehalose hydrate skin. Suitable for all skin types, this peeling gel instantly smoothens and brightens fatigued skin.
My daily acid toner at the moment:
AHA lotion by REN “ Ready, Steady, Glow, Daily AHA Tonic”
💗What it has : Lactic Acid ( AHA) Salicin ( BHA) Azelaic acid precursors from grains.
What it claims:
- Skin is resurfaced, plumped and firmed.
- Skin is brightened, even-toned and hydrated
What it does: is exactly that without creating reverse hyperpigmentation in darker skins ( which is a real problem if using the wrong skin acid/ brightening ingredient )
What are your favourite acids? Remember as with using most active’s especially acids – it increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so sunscreen is a MUST. But to be honest, if you’re not using a SPF, we really have a problem here…
Do let me know if you’ve tried an acid toner. Or just drop by and say hello or something~~ Lots of love Elle xx