The iconic image of Sex and the City’s Samantha with a lobster red face and a glass of champagne has become cemented in popular culture. However it misrepresents what is involved with a skin peel. Many of my patients are curious about the process so here I answer the most commonly asked questions.
Are peels a new treatment?
Cleopatra is probably the first known peel aficionado – she bathed in sour milk which contains lactic acid to improve her skin!
What can they do?
They are the ultimate multi-tasker, helping with
- acne scars
- reducing pore size appearance
- decreasing fine lines and
- improving skin tone and firmness.
Interestingly peels can be used to treat patients effectively even when more aggressive modalities such as laser are not recommended.
How are peels classified?
Peels are classifies as superficial, medium and deep based on the depth of penetration of the skin.
Superficial peels treat the epidermis, medium depth peels exfoliate to the papillary dermis and deep peel to the mid reticular dermis. In general the depth of peel equates to its strength, but also potential side effects and downtime. We do not offer deep peels at Eye and Face because I do not feel the potential benefits outweigh the risk of problems.
How do source the right peel for me?
This requires a consultation with a specialist in a clinical setting. We conduct a face analysis so that we can customise our approach to treat different areas of the face which may have different requirements. Peels can be tailored to your skin concerns, previous medical history and skin type.
Will I end up with a face like a furnace?
Most of our peels are superficial peels, avoiding the side-effects and downtime associated with more aggressive treatments. However achieving the best result for you depends on an in-depth consultation and examination so that we can tailor our treatment to the person in front of us. In my own case I can usually go back to work after a peel (that’s when I get the opportunity to take a few minutes to treat myself!!). Have a look at our social media to see photos taken immediately after a peel. I promise – nary a tomato complexion in sight!
What are the common peeling agents?
These include alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), beta hydroxy acids (BHA), retinol and tricholaracetic acid(TCA). Each molecule has its own strong points. For example we use a different cocktail for acne concerns compared to anti-ageing. Furthermore we frequently customise the solutions applied to different areas of skin as I feel most of us have an element of ‘combination’ to our skin type. Not only is the active ingredient important but also the mode of delivery and buffering or soothing agents used to optimize your result.
What is the Eye and Face peel philosphy?
We aim to provide optimal results with minimal down time. That is achieved by using the most effective agents with the best safety profile for your skin concerns. I prefer to perform a course of peels to give you step-wise yet sustained results rather than a single treatment which inevitable has a harsher result on the skin.
How soon can I expect results?
Beautiful skin doesn’t happen overnight. A single peel can provide the immediate effects of radiant skin. However more significant results treating issues such as texture and acne scars take time.
If you have any questions please contact us – we would love to help you achieve beautiful skin.