A licensed aesthetician uses a chemical peel to deeply exfoliate skin, leaving it brighter and smoother
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Chemical Peels: Radiant Skin, Reborn from the Ashes
Check out our guide to understand how chemical peels can help expose beautiful skin lying just below the surface.
When you're choosing an exfoliation method for the face, a soft brush seems like no match for a scrub of coarse crystals. But just as a mural can improve a brick wall better than a sledgehammer, the brush quite often does a better job of revitalizing the skin, which is why it's the main tool used in a chemical peel. During such treatments, dermatologists load a brush’s bristles with an acidic gel and apply it to the skin, at which point the caustic acids quickly, but controllably, damage the surface. The process immediately spurs the immune system to repair the wound by releasing cytokines and producing extra collagen, which reorganizes the skin's structure and results in a brighter, smoother, and more even complexion.
Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths, using different acid blends to achieve different degrees of facial resurfacing. Naturally occurring acids, such as lactic and fruit acids, rarely penetrate the skin's surface, making them well suited to tackling superficial lines or blemishes, whereas deeper wrinkles and scars may warrant the use of the more deeply penetrating carbolic acid. Either way, peels have become much more sophisticated since ancient Egypt, when nobles regularly applied sour milk—rich in lactic acid—to their skin, or the Middle Ages, when the tartaric acid in old wine made for more radiant faces and shinier helmets.