Debunking the Chemical Peel Myth

Exfoliation is a key process in healthy skin care regimens that removes the barrier of dead cells clogging the skin, and uncovers fresh, new cells below. The result is smoother, younger skin that is able to function optimally, enabling other skin care products to penetrate more effectively. Chemical peels play a crucial role in effective exfoliation, benefiting most people of all ages and regardless of skin condition.

A quick search on Google or asking a friend about chemical peels can oftentimes bring up anecdotal stories and myths on the supposed danger of them. If these are all to be believed, why then are they such a popular offering among experienced aestheticians and cosmetic doctors worldwide?

Chemical peels have been around for centuries to improve the appearance of the skin. In Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra would use lactic acid (sour milk) and tartaric acid (from wine) to exfoliate her skin.  Continually used throughout the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, these naturally derived elements would later become what we know as chemical peels.

Despite what you might hear on Facebook, chemical peels are caustic agents, derived from natural components, such as sour milk, sugarcane, and fermented fruit, all working to break down the outer layers of the skin’s surface.  There are numerous chemical exfoliants that may or may not cause physical peeling of the skin. The amount of peeling is dependent upon the Ph and makeup of the chemical peel.  The lower the Ph, the greater the peeling.

Chemical peels that are utilized by aestheticians are typically superficial and medium depth peels, meaning that they only effect superficial epidermal (top) layers of the skin.  These type of peels can improve sun damage, fine lines, acne, and rough texture.  Deep peels go deeper into the skin and cause increased exfoliation and downtime. These types of peels are usually performed by doctors and can improve deeper rhytids and acne scarring.

If you’d like to learn more about chemical peels or schedule an appointment with our team of doctors and aestheticians, contact us today.