WHAT IS A PEEL
Despite being an english term, the peel is an aesthetic medicine procedure well known since ancient egyptians and roman empress Poppea, Nero’s wife, as her famous daily milk baths were nothing less than peels to “erase the wrinkles, soften and brighten the skin”( cit. Pliny the elder ). When using different actives sequentially, one after another in the same session, we are doing a combined peel. I instead different actives are blended together and used in a single administration, that’s a composite peel.
Superficial peels act on the stratum corneum, the outer layer of epidermis consisting of dead cells, reducing its thickness or erasing it completely. This makes the skin brighter and the shallower pigmentations smaller and lighter. These kind of peels help to reduce the excess of sebum ( seborrhea ), to treat the acne initial phase ( comedones and blackheads ), rosacea, dark spots as a consequence of acne, keratin plugs on hair follicles ( follicular keratosis ), epidermal spots and minor photo-aging. It’s a few minutes treatment while the feeling is a light tingling.
MID LEVEL PEELS
Mid level peels act deeper, through epidermis down to papillary dermis. With these kind of peels we treat actinic keratosis, sun spots, micro wrinkles and minor up to mid photo-aging. It’s a few minutes treatment while the feeling is a light-medium burning; for the following 1-2 weeks, the skin of the treated area continues to peel off until complete recovery.
HOW TO GET READY FOR AND RECOVER FROM A PEEL
15-30 days before you have some kind of chemical peel, it is recommended, to begin to thin the stratum corneum, increase the cellular renewal process and, last but not least, lead the melanocytes to decrease their production of melanin to avoid the skin reaction to chemical peel being stains. Peels, particularly the mid or deep level ones, are contraindicated on skins that are prone to heal with keloids and hypertrofic scars, that have recurrent herpes infections ( if this is the case, antiviral medication should occur before and after treatment to help prevent a viral infection ), that recently have had surgical treatments or radiotherapy, during pregnancy and breastfeeding. After the chemical peel you want to use professional hydrating and soothing cosmeceutics, avoid sun exposure and use a real professional sun protection 50+SPF. Exfoliating skin and possible scab should not be removed.