Lie still and relax… while I put a potent mix of acids on your face… !!!
Not quite how we will be promoting our new and brilliant dermalogica Pro Power Peel to our ingredient savvy clients!
So how do we use the words ‘acid’ and ‘peel’ and ‘chemical’ without frightening our clients into getting dressed and quickly changing their minds and asking for a manicure instead?! Well, we thought we’d start here…
The first thing we learned in college when it came to skin was the importance of the ‘acid mantle‘ – a slightly acidic layer on the skin to protect it from bacteria, viruses, pollution and other free radicals. So that’s a good start… we already have acids naturally occurring in the skin. Phew!
For many years we have been using different types of acids in many different products to help treat and improve a range of skin complaints. Aging, breakouts, hyperpigmentation and dehydration are all key skin concerns that are effectively treated with products containing acid. Many of these ingredients are found in foods and plants such as sugar cane, almonds, cactus flower and citrus fruit. But with more letters than a brain surgeon’s medical title, no wonder there is much room for confusion! AHA’s, BHA’s, TCA’s and then add in pH, acidity and enzymes and it’s a minefield! (On the subject of pH levels, the skin is usually happy around 5.5. For those of you who may be partial to a bit of soap; a scary fact that we learned many years ago and has always stayed with us… the average bar of soap is closer to the pH of battery acid than human skin!)
Here are some of the most popular acids used in our favourite skincare products…
Lactic Acid – An Alpha Hydroxy Acid particularly good for gentle resurfacing without dehydrating the skin. Regular use has been proven to reduce the signs of lines and wrinkles and (the best bit!) – stimulate natural collagen production and cell turnover.
Salicylic Acid – This skin-smoothing, breakout-friendly Beta Hydroxy Acid helps remove dead skin cells by breaking apart the attachments between the cells. (Think of it like tiny little ‘pacmen’ eating away the glue between the cells!) A must for acne-prone and congested skins.
Glycolic Acid – Probably the most well known Alpha Hydroxy Acid, regularly spoken about in the media. Fantastic for skin brightening, superior smoothing and younger looking skin.
Hyaluronic Acid – A natural humectant, it improves and helps maintain hydration levels, giving skin a firm, healthy look. Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally-occurring substance that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, helping to moisturize and protect skin.
Phytic Acid – A gentle acid containing anti-oxidants, great for use on sensitive skin.
Amino Acids – These promote cellular repair, hydrate the skin and provide antioxidant protection. Amino acids are to your skin what flour is to a cake: They’re the building blocks of your skin!
In products that you can use at home, the levels of these acids and others will be very low to ensure they can be used regularly and safely. When used in higher concentrations they exfoliate the epidermis more quickly.
Professional level exfoliation – In addition to being our fastest and strongest peel yet, Pro Power Peel provides us with a full suite of products and the flexibility to provide bespoke peels that are perfectly suited to each client’s needs, redefining the peel experience. With the option of a 30 or 60 minute treatment we can also make sure the treatment suits your lifestyle. Whether its a lunchtime service or a longer treat, you will not need to spend a fortnight in a dark room or only leave the house wearing a full veil! (Think Samantha in that classic Sex & the City episode!)
Along with a patch test and some skin prep, it’s really, very important to listen to the post-peel care instructions your therapist gives you when having a chemical peel. We like to call it ‘light homework!’
Our gloves are on… pass the acid!!
Helen & Amy