Want to Get an Exfoliating Peel? Here's Everything You Need to Know - Women's Health

Want to Get an Exfoliating Peel? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Read this first.

Look, I’d like to think that by now we all know the benefits of exfoliating. For the folks in the back: Exfoliation removes dead cells from the top layer of your skin to help brighten your complexion, and let your skin-care products penetrate deeper into your skin (making them work better).

Then there are peels: the closest thing to having a skin do-over in a bottle or jar. While exfoliants physically buff away the surface of your skin, peels dissolve the top layers of dead cells using acids to stimulate new collagen and healthy skin cell regrowth, resulting in a radiant complexion.

Combine the two and you’ve got skin care gold – just make sure you go to a trained skin therapist or beauty therapist.

“The exfoliating peel is a superficial peel, meaning it works on the epidermis only. This peel works to wound and remove the stratum corneum (the outer most layer of the epidermis) in a very controlled, consistent and even manner, explains Education Specialist at Skin Aesthetics SILK Laser Clinics & Aesthetics Rx, Tara Kathrada. “The exfoliating peel is  a combination of proteolytic enzymes and AHA’s that work in synergy to dissolve protein bonds between keratinocytes and cell accumulation for a gentle yet effective chemical exfoliation. The advantage of this peel is the skin doesn’t have to be prepped in advance, which means really any skin can have it.”

To find out more, we asked Tara some of your most-asked questions.

How does an exfoliating peel work?

The enzymes in this peel, which come from Pumpkin and Papaya are proteolytic enzymes, they break other proteins. When we use them on the skin they  break down the protein & lipid bonds that keep old, dry surface skin cells stuck to the surface of the face, causing them to lift off.  They also help restore the skins barrier function properties and improve hydration. They help accelerate cell renewal and as a result the skin is regenerated faster than usual and this promotes a fresh, more radiant complexion. Both these enzymes are also rich in antioxidants Vitamin A & C, a potent combination that helps to target and destroy free radicals in the skin helping prevent accelerated skin ageing. We also use Lactic acid in this peel because it is a very gentle AHA. It exfoliates and hydrates the skin in a gentler way than Glycolic acid for example. 

What are the benefits?

The benefits include skin smoothing, hydration, reduced inflammation, and an improvement to the appearance of fine lines, dark spots and general skin glow.

Who is it suitable for?

This peel is suitable for all skin types, particularly if they have not experienced a professional peel before. This is the perfect place to start. 

Who should avoid this peel?

  • Anyone with a weak skin or skin disorder such as eczema, psoriasis. 
  • Prior allergies to a peeling agent 
  • Open wounds or infections in the area being treated
  • Use of isotretinoin/Roaccutane in the last 6 months 
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Skin disorders, diseases, recent facial surgery
  • Clients with a history of keloid scarring or poor wound healing due to diabetes and auto immune diseases
  • Clients with skin Fitzpatrick IV+ because they are most prone to pigment complications post peel, although with correct skin priming for the 2-4 weeks leading into this peel it is usually very suitable. 

What’s the post-peel aftercare?

On the day of treatment the therapist will apply Aesthetics Rx H2O Balm which contains anti-inflammatory, skin healing and protective ingredients such as Vitamin B5, Arnica, Squalane, Aloe vera and Rice bran oil. This should be left on overnight, reapplying before bed or if the skin feels irritated, tight or dry. The following day and for the next 3 days, or until the skin has re-epithelised, we recommend putting aside any other skincare and just using Aesthetics Rx Revitalising Foaming Cleanser, B Serum and H20 Balm for night, and during the day Revitalising Foaming Cleanser, B Serum and SPF30 with Zinc. After this time the skin should be calm and healed and regular skincare can be added in to this program, however we do not recommend any AHA, BHA or Retinoids are used on the skin for the first 7 days post peel. 

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

Recommended to you

More From