Want to know more about professional peels? Especially glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and mandelic acid

Peels are also known as chemical exfoliation using glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and mandelic acid. These types of peels treat the superficial layer of the skin known as the epidermis. On the epidermis we see fine lines form, pigmentation and sun spots, pitting from old acne, scars old and new, blotches and dullness. These peels are great for instantly brightening the top layer of the skin whilst smoothing all the concerns mentioned. Peels can be quite tingly on the skin and range in different percentages and strengths.  They are also known as AHAs and BHAs which is a mixture of the acids together. For best results we recommend courses of peels, usually 3-6 is sufficient for desired results.

Glycolic acid comes in different strengths and PH levels which will determine how deep it goes into the skin, this peel best treats wrinkles and sun damage. It is also the most ‘aggressive’ peel as the molecules are the smallest and penetrate the quickest, so the results tend to be the best and the side effects more exaggerated than with the other peels, i.e. intense tingling and redness.

Lactic acid is the gentlest of the peels and is best for dry, rosacea and sensitive skins, as it is derived from milk. It best suits older, thinner skin.

Salicylic acid penetrates deeper into the oil glands so it is best for oily and acne skins. Out of all the peels available salicylic is your go to peel for blackheads, milia, scabs and breakouts. Any blemishes tend to go ‘cloudy’ and white which means they are starting to heal rapidly.

Mandelic Acid is the most versatile of the peels, as it can be used on any skin type and condition and colour (dark skin) which is contraindicated with the other peels. The molecules are quite large and so the feeling of tingle, redness and downtime is very minimum. Mandelic is derived from nuts but Juliette Armand Mandelic Acid is a synthetic form of the acid and is therefore suitable for those with nut allergies. It is best to start with a lower percentage of the peels named and work your way to stronger percentages for best results.

Pregnancy is contra-indicated for all peels because the skin turns quite sensitive and the client may even burn from a peel, avoid at all costs. Other factors such as herpes, medication, cancer patients and severely sensitive skins are also contra-indicated. Most clients will benefit from peels but we always need to go back to the Fitzpatrick scale, which is skin colour classification on skin pigmentation as some skin colours are not suitable for certain peels.

Overall the benefits of peels are positive and the changes to the skin are dramatic and instant. Everyone over 30 should be getting peels done in the salon to prevent deep wrinkles from forming and pigmentation getting darker. In order to keep the skin looking fresh and even toned an SPF must always be used after a peel to prevent further pigmentation.