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A skin peel, or chemical peel, is a treatment that involves applying a chemical solution to the skin which causes trauma to the outer layer of skin cells causing it to peel away. The treatment encourages new skin cell growth and stimulates collagen formation which leading to fresh healthy skin layers. Removing the damaged outer skin layer together with the formation of new skin layers leads to a brighter, healthier, and clearer skin giving you a more youthful appearance.
Broadly speaking there are three different types of chemical peel:
- Superficial Peels – designed to give a mild exfoliation to the superficial layer of the skin called the epidermis. They instantly brighten dull looking skin and cleanse pores. They can be repeated frequently and have no downtime.
- Medium depth Peels – exfoliate down to the second layer of the skin called the dermis. These types of peels are great for resurfacing skin texture and getting rid of wrinkles, scars, hyperpigmentation, sun damaged skin, etc. Because they work deeper than superficial peels, they have a longer downtime and must only be performed by a trained medical professional.
- Deep Peels – go even deeper in the dermis than medium depth peels. They are used for intensive skin resurfacing and have a downtime of 2 – 3 weeks.
ZO® skin care products and peels by Dr Zein Obagi are world recognised for being one of the leading medical skin care brands. ZO® products are made from a powerful blend of highly effective prescription-strength ingredients that deliver amazing results.
The ZO® ‘Red Carpet’ Ossential Stimulator Peel™ is used by celebrities to get that ‘red carpet’ glow. It is a gentle peel with no downtime, however, with it’s blend of 10% Salicylic Acid, 10% Lactic Acid and 10% Citric Acid, it is powerful enough to make visible difference to the skin.
This peel is great for:
- Rejuvenating sun damaged skin
- Treating and preventing acne
- Reducing pore size
- Brightening dull-looking skin
- Reducing melasma and hyperpigmentation
- Stimulating collagen production
- Reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles
- Evening out skin tone
The ZO® Three Step Peel™ is a medium depth peel that uses a power blend of Salicylic acid, Lactic acid and Trichloracetic acid, as well as 6% retinol. It is suitable to use on all skin types and can be used for:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Deep/ large pores
- Melasma and other pigmentation issues
- Uneven skin tone
- Badly textured skin
- Acne prone skin
- Sun damage
- Rough skin
- Dull skin
ZO® Invisapeel™ – Intensive Resurfacing Enzymatic Peel uses a novel combination of papain and bromelain plant enzymes in combination with glycolic acid to exfoliate the surface of the epidermis, instantly improving skin texture and tone. This safe and well-tolerated ZO® peel shows no apparent signs of exfoliation and is suitable for all ages, skin types and conditions.
Key ingredients include:
- Papain, Bromelain Enzymes and Glycolic Acid (AHA): Provides epidermal renewal with invisible exfoliation.
- Kukui Seed Oil and Safflower Seed Oil: Replenishes hydration and lipids for skin barrier restoration and reinforcement.
- Dyglycerin and Methylheptyl Isostearate: Replenishes moisture within the epidermis.
- Broccoli Extract and Sunflower Seed Oil: Reduces advanced glycation and minimises irritation.
Pyruvic peels produce effects on the epidermis and dermis. They decrease the cohesion of epidermal corneocytes and prevents the thickening of the corneal layer. The exfoliation occurs without drying the skin, as the pyruvic acid hydrolyzes into lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid with moisturizing properties which creates a protective film that prevents the skin from dehydrating.
Due to its keratolytic, sebum regulating, and antimicrobial action, it is indicated for the treatment of all types of acne.
Stimulation of collagen, elastin, and dermal glycoprotein synthesis is higher than that of glycolic acid peels and similar to that induced by TCA, but without discomfort and causing only a mild erythema.
Properties of mandelic acid
Mandelic acid, also known as amygdalic acid or 2-phenylglyoxylic acid, is an AHA derived from the hydrolysis of bitter almond extract.
It is commonly used for the treatment of photoaging, irregular pigmentation, non-cystic inflammatory acne and to prepare the skin before and after laser resurfacing.
It is suitable for sensitive skin, since its large molecule size slows down penetration through the stratum corneum, without causing itching or irritation.
- Great dermal remodeling capacity
It increases the synthesis of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the papillary dermis.
- Depigmenting action Melasma
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentations, and lentigines improve with products based on mandelic acid. In many cases, melasma improve up to 50% after one month of treatment using products with 10% mandelic acid. No post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation has been observed in patients with dark skin.
- Sebum regulating and antimicrobial properties
The antibacterial action of mandelic acid is similar to that of broad spectrum antibiotics.
It controls and normalizes the amount of oil in the skin by penetrating into the hair follicle and reducing the population of acnes, improving the appearance of skins with inflammatory pustules, comedones, papular acne, folliculitis, and rosacea.
Properties of glycolic acid
Glycolic acid (GA) is one of the most commonly used chemical substances for superficial peels.
It is very soluble in water and contains small molecules. These qualities grant it an increased transepidermal penetration capacity which might cause, occasionally, a slight irritation after the application. This AHA causes a series of total or partial changes in the epidermis and the papillary dermis.
The procedure generates skin alterations by stimulating epidermal proliferation through the elimination of specific layers of altered skin or the induction of tissue inflammatory reactions which are not yet properly understood.
After several applications of this type of peel, skin changes may be observed, such as new collagen deposits and an increase of GAGs in the papillary dermis, which contribute to the repair of photodamaged skin.
Properties of Salicylic Acid (SA)
SA is mainly known for its keratolytic and comedolytic properties. The use of high concentrations of SA causes a white epidermolysis on papules, pustules and comedones a few minutes after the application. The upper part of the pustule frequently breaks, allowing the acid to act from the epithelia of the follicle towards the sebaceous gland.
It also has anti-inflammatory (inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins), antipruritic, antiseptic, antimicrobial (reduces the population of propionibacterium acnes), astringent, antiaging (accelerates the elimination of corneocytes), photoprotective (derivatives that absorb UVB radiation), and anti-epidermoplastic properties.
It is a safe peel with no risk of burns, particularly with products that include an hydroalcoholic vehicle in their formulation, as it evaporates rapidly and, after crystallization or once the product is dry.