Monday, 2 January 2012

You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit...

I am ultimately obsessed (or as Giuliana Rancic might say "uhb-sessed") with skincare.  It stems really from my last full-time job doing PR for a medi-spa and plastic surgery clinic.  I was lucky enough to have a both a wonderful manager cum beauty therapist and an aesthetic nurse who let me have beauty treatments, and aesthetic treatments for free during our quieter periods.  Of course there was the usual waxing which my manager did for me, but my favourite treatments were always the aesthetic ones!  Despite my tender age at the time (22-23) I was allowed chemical peels, botox and lip fillers! And I bloody loved them all!  I was taught about skin-specific ingredients to improve the overall look and health of skin, and also the importance of serums and a skincare routine.

Leaving aside the injectables for today - I will do a future post on them if anyone is interested - I thought I might just give a brief description and the benefits of chemical peels.  First of all, a skin peel generally doesn't peel off!  It is normally a clear liquid with an active acid in it - be it lactic, glycolic, jessner, TCA etc etc, which is painted onto the skin using generally a brush, after cleansing the skin.  Now what happens next is dependent on the strength of your peel, and the tolerance of your skin, plus whether you have specific pigmentation spots that you may need to rid yourself of!  But as a generalisation, the acid is brushed onto the skin, and worked into it for between 1-5 minutes depending on a) whether you have had the treatment before b) how your skin is reacting to it.  The sensation of a peel is kind of like a prickly, itchy feeling: I always used to explain it to the client as having an itch that you are not allowed to scratch! Obviously the intensity of this 'itch' depends on the strength of the acid being used, it is definitely uncomfortable!  The peel is then neutralised, and an SPF and moisturises will be applied.

So, what exactly does a chemical peel do?  Well, in the simplest terms, if you imagine your skin as cells held together by glue, the acid helps to break down the uppermost layer of 'glue' to loosen the top, dead, dull skin cells.  Also known as a 'chemical exfoliation' your skin really does look refreshed and plump, and a course of treatments really does help with pigmentation issues, and evening out of skintone.

One of the things I genuinely miss about my old job is having skin peels =[ - I really feel that, using the right brand of peel can give you such good results.  In terms of brands, in my own opinion, I find the DCL peels to be not much more than a deep-clean of the skin, the Neostrata ones to be effective, but seem very medical, but the GloTherapeutics peels were my absolute favourite - giving both amazing results and being very luxurious!

The important thing to remember when having a skin peel is to firstly make sure that the person performing it is qualified and experienced!  Make sure you have a consultation with them beforehand - these are not miracles, and your expectations must be reasonable.  Sometimes with darker skintones, a preparatory serum may need to be used to condition your skin to stop hyper or hypo-pigmentation occurring after your peel!  In terms of strength, Lactic acid peels are fairly gentle, so may be a good one to start off with, Glycolic peels come in varying strengths and were my preferred method, and then there are stronger peels including Jessner and TCA, which are definitely more advanced.  Please remember that a course of treatments will always yield the best results, and after an intense course, a maintenance plan is the best way to go.  Nonetheless, one treatment will definitely boost your skin!  Also it is very important to ensure that you use SPF daily with peels.

I know that this is a ridiculously waffly post, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask them,
Love A.x
title from Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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