Peels are a method of exfoliation. To better understand why exfoliation is beneficial to our skins, I’d suggest reading ‘The Magic of Regular Exfoliation’ before continuing with this post.
Peels work by breaking down the substance that keeps dead cells attached to our skins, sometimes called intercellular glue.
A fair analogy of how peels work would be to compare our skins to an onion. Picture the dry, flaky, outer layers of the onion as our dry, dull, dead skin cells. When we peel away those dry, papery layers we find the succulent, hydrated, vital layers of the onion, just like a peel reveals our bright, healthy, hydrated skin cells.
At BLOOM there are two different types of Circadia peels – Gel-based & Alcohol-based. Each can utilize the same types of Hydroxy Acids. The base of the peel determines only how it is delivered to the skin. Each of the two delivery systems has entirely different effect on the skin.
Gel-based peels are peels where Hydroxy Acids are suspended in a gel base. The gel base inhibits the acids from penetrating the skin allowing them to remain active only at the surface.
Gel-based peels do not cause active peeling on the skin. They dissolve the bonds that hold the superficial, or outermost, layers of dead skin cells to the skin, including inside the pore. They are timed peels that are removed from the skin & neutralized before moving on to other steps in your skin treatment.
Circadia’s gel-based peels are either Lactic Acid or a combination of Lactic Acid & Salicylic Acid. Lactic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy acid. It has the largest molecule of any of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids, so it is very gentle & great for any skin type, including more sensitive skins. Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid, it works best in the oily environment of the pore, making it great for acne or congested skins. Salicylic Acid breaks down the excess dead skin cells in the pore that can harbor oil & subsequently lead to infection, pimples & breakouts.
Gel-based peels can be added to any Bespoke Skin Treatment at BLOOM, & to some of the specialized treatments, as the exfoliation step. We can talk about that during your pre-treatment consultation.
Alcohol-based peels are a whole different situation. Alcohol-based peels do incite visible, tangible peeling or shedding of the skin. Depending on the level of treatment the skin may crumble off, flake off or come off in sheets.
Pre & post care are very important with alcohol-based peels, & can make or break the results you’ll achieve. Some skins will be required to use product for pigmentation two weeks prior to their peel. This is to slow down the production of melanin & will improve the results of the peel. All clients will need to build to an alcohol-based peel via gel-based peels.
Alcohol-based peels cannot be a part of any other treatment. They are performed singularly. This is because alcohol-based peels remain on the skin after application – they are not removed. No water can be applied to the skin for 12 hours after an alcohol-based peel is applied because it will reactivate the peel, very possibly causing adverse effects.
Alcohol-based peels penetrate the skin. As the alcohol evaporates, the acids left behind penetrate the skin, allowing for debonding of cells laying deeper in the Stratum Corneum. That means we take away more of the dulling dead cells, more of the potentially pigmented cells & more of the congestion in the pores.
Circadia’s alcohol-based peels use either just Salicylic Acid or a combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acids & Salicylic Acid. A thorough skin & lifestyle assessment is required to determine whether an alcohol-based peel is suitable & if you can navigate the downtime & post care involved.
At this time of mask wearing, it is a little trickier to navigate. Masks present two challenges. 1/ Wearing a mask in the 12 hours post peel may lead to reactivation of the peel. As we all know, wearing a mask creates a moist, warm environment, & moisture is a big NoNo for those first 12 hours. Also the heat can increase vascular activity which could lead to sustained redness/ inflammation. 2/ Wearing a mask during the shedding process will expedite the shedding, which is not good. It is imperative that our skins are allowed to shed in their own time. Picking or manually peeling during the shedding stage can lead to hypersensitivity/ deeper removal of skin that has yet to detach &/or pigmentation which is often what we are trying to treat.
So, you can see lifestyle is a big consideration. We have to know that you’ll be able to limit mask wearing until shedding is complete, which can take up to 10 days.
Alcohol-based peels can blast through hyperpigmentation, post inflammatory pigmentation (acne scarring), breakdown congestion & revitalize your skin quite quickly. Everyone’s skin & concerns are different though. Some skins may require one treatment to achieve desired results, while others may need three. Alcohol-based peels need a good break between treatments to allow the skin to strengthen & be ready to react most positively to the peel.
Exfoliation also triggers an increase in new cell production in the lower levels of the skin. This means that healthy, vital, unpigmented cells rise to the surface more quickly. Peels also increase collagen production in the skin because our skin perceives an injury. When an injury is detected our skins always instinctively produce more collagen to repair the damage.
Peels also improve hydration, help to treat lines & wrinkles. Besides using SPF, exfoliation is one of the most anti-aging steps in our skincare routines.
Healthy skins react more favorably to any treatment. I will only offer peels to clients whose skins are appropriately cared for & prepared to receive a peel. All clients of BLOOM are recommended skincare, & given samples of skincare, that will best suit their skin. What we do to our skins at home on a daily basis has the most impact on it’s health & on the concerns you’d like to improve.