Deep chemical peels often use phenol. This is for patients with deep wrinkles, usually from exposure to the sun, as well as wrinkles around the lips and chin (often from smoking), acne scars and mottled pigmentation (which comes with ageing). This treatment reduces the appearance of skin damage and imperfections found in the deeper layers of the skin as it penetrates through the epidermis, papillary dermis and into the reticular dermis. Phenol penetrates very deep into the skin, so a person’s natural skin colour can change permanently making it unsuitable for Fitzpatrick photo-types IV to VI. This product should be used by aesthetic professionals only and will not be available in the average beauty clinic.
Superficial to medium depth chemical peels are more suitable for patients with fine wrinkles, sun damaged skin, acne and uneven pigmentation. A superficial peel will only penetrate the epidermis, whereas a medium depth peel can penetrate into the top layers of the dermis (papillary dermis). All chemical peels slough away the top layers of the skin. Researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine found that chemical peels using either alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids are both highly effective in treating most skin concerns. Superficial and medium depth peels are normally suitable for all Fitzpatrick photo-types.
There is normally no downtime with superficial peels, but with medium and deep chemical peels you can expect downtime of anything between 3 to 14 days. In some cases it can even take up to a month for the skin to fully recover, but these deep chemical peels will normally be performed by a plastic surgeon under general anesthetic.
The depth of peel penetration in the skin:
For optimum results and avoiding possible complications it is recommended to prepare the skin prior to medium and deep peels.
Using active products 2-4 weeks prior to having a medium or deep peel will ensure that the skin repairs quickly after the procedure and respond well to the treatment. A few superficial peels can also be done before a medium to deep peel to help in the preparation of the skin and ensure excellent results.
Products containing ingredients such as; Glycolic Acid and Retinol are perfect to use in the preparation phase.
Glycolic acid is the smallest AHA with just 2 carbon atoms, this ensures for quick penetration. This acid was originally derived from sugar cane, but now it is prepared synthetically for clinical use. Used as a peeling agent it comes in 3 basic strengths, 30%, 50% and 70%. As important as the % acid is used, is the pH of the product. Usually the solution for peeling should be at a pH of 2,5 or less. Glycolic acid is indicated for photo damage, exhibited as dyschromias, fine lines or rough textures. Also used for Acne treatments, grade 1 and 2. These peels are usually light, safe, non-toxic and generally have few complications.
Glycolic acid is also used in lower concentrations with a higher pH in homecare products.
The Dermaceutic Foamer 5 and 15 contains glycolic acid and enoxolone. The glycolic acid accelerates exfoliation by destroying the links that bind dead cells together. The Enoxolone is renowned for its soothing and calming properties. This wonderful anti-inflammatory agent is derived from licorice root.
Foamer 5 contains 5% glycolic acid, whereas the Foamer 15 contains 15% glycolic acid making it much stronger. Both these cleansers where designed to remove impurities and dead cells while purifying the skin. Your skin will also feel smooth and silky with a healthy radiance.
Other Dermaceutic products that can be used in conjunction with the Foamer 5 and 15 to prepare your skin for medium or deep peels are:
Turn Over (contains 15% glycolic acid)
Light Ceutic (contains 8% glycolic acid)
Mask 15 (contains 15% glycolic acid)
Activ Retinol 0.5% and 1% (contains retinol)
A few Dermaceutic Milk Peels and Mela Peels can also be done prior to these deeper peels. The Milk peel contains glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid. The Mela peel contains lactic acid, salicylic acid, phytic acid, azelaic acid, ferulic acid, arbutin, retinol and kojic acid.