Over recent years, acids are a popular category of ingredients that have made their way into even more peoples’ skincare routine, and it’s easy to see why. In particular, AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) carry many benefits and improvements for the skin in many ways, and there’s something they can do for everyone. Whether you struggle from texture, acne, or ageing, they’ve got it all. Perhaps one of the most common methods of integrating acids into your regime is through chemical peels, usually performed by a professional. They produce results instantly as well as in the long-term, so it’s time to see what you can get out of one.
- Improves the appearance of wrinkles
Often, the benefit of reduced wrinkle appearance is something that draws many people to a chemical peel treatment on its own, as other treatments for signs of aging like this don’t seem to work. A light peel can help to remove the upper layer of skin and reveal fresher, younger skin underneath which is often less affected. In addition, a medium depth peel can help with deeper wrinkles, removing the entire epidermis alongside the top of the dermis to smooth out the skin.
- Treats acne
Another difficult thing to treat without sacrificing something within your skin or diet is acne, and it really can be a nightmare. Luckily, a chemical peel can be your saviour for clearing existing breakouts. Because the chemicals in a peel exfoliate your skin rapidly, the upper layer of skin cells is lost much more quickly, and the peel will also strip excess oils, keeping these both from clogging your pores and causing breakouts. The increase in skin turnover after a peel also helps your skin to clear itself.
- Soothes and corrects scarring
The removal of scarring using a chemical peel may be the most simple and easy to understand benefits of them all. Scars on the surface of the skin, such as those left behind after an acne breakout, are often darker in colour due to increased melanin levels – hyperpigmentation. When a chemical peel is used, often one containing glycolic acid in this case, the chemicals reduce the pigmentation, and the skin afterwards is more even. A peel can also reduce the appearance of atrophic scars – where the skin is slightly sunken due to collagen destruction – and these scars become less obvious as the skin regenerates.
- Reduces fine lines around the eyes and mouth
Fine lines and wrinkles are really the same concern, but wrinkles are more progressed and prominent than fine lines. Nevertheless, being from the same cause, and being very similar in general, you’d naturally expect a chemical peel to reduce fine lines if it already reduces wrinkles, and it does. Just like with wrinkles, the younger skin produced beneath the peel regenerates altogether, and this means that fine lines become less obvious as the regeneration of skin smooths them out.
- Unclogs pores
A popular ingredient found in some chemical peels is BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), also known as Salicylic Acid. It’s a godsend for unclogging your pores, and peels which contain it work hard to penetrate deep into the pores once applied, pulling out any excess oil and dirt. Blackheads, which get their colour from the oxidization of the sebum inside of them, can be cleared and removed, and all of this can help to prevent acne, too.
- Evens skin texture
We’ve already mentioned a few ways specifically that skin texture is improved after the use of a chemical peel, and this is something that generally proves successful after the treatment. Exfoliation alone is useful for reducing the build up of sebum, oils, dirt and excess skin cells, and a chemical peel does the same thing as any exfoliation treatment, but bigger and instantly. Because it removes layers of skin, the damage and texture of that skin is also removed, and collagen production (something we’ll come back to later) as well as cell turnover are increased.
- Balances pigmentation
We touched on the idea of removing hyperpigmentation and balancing g the complexion earlier, when we talked about scarring, but scars aren’t the only form of pigmentation that can be removed. Often, you’ll find areas of hyperpigmentation on your skin due to increased melanin production. In that area, and this is something that doesn’t usually heal itself. With a peel, you can remove this excess melanin from the skin as the upper cells are removed, and this will leave a more balanced complexion.
- Stimulates collagen production
Collagen is something we’ve mentioned a few times now, and its increased production is another benefit of this treatment. In the skin, as well as other connective tissues, collagen is a vital protein which is responsible for the structure of the skin, and plays the main role in this, being the most abundant protein in mammals by making up 25-35% of the whole-body protein content. The idea of a chemical peel is to create an injury in the skin, which then promotes new growth, and this can stimulate the production of collagen, as it’s required to give the skin structure.
- Reduces freckles and age spots
Freckles and age spots are another form of hyperpigmentation, so the same ideas apply when it comes to removing them through this procedure. Sometimes, freckles can be faded almost completely, but this can vary from person to person, depending on how deep the peel is and the type of freckle. Age spots can also be faded through the use of acids in a peel.
- Improves skin radiance
The final benefit on this list is improved radiance of your skin, which is something m any of us long for. As we’ve already mentioned, the peel will even out your complexion by reducing pigmentation and smoothing the texture, but it can also give you a more lit-from-within glow. This is due to the newer, younger, and healthier cells making up your skin once the ac ids have sloughed off the old, dull-looking ones before.