March 19, 2015 Stacy Cox Spotlight

What You Need to Know About Facial Peels

Here at MDC, we would love to think that we have all the answers for you. However, there are certain issues that require the insight of a pro. Today we asked skincare guru Stacy Cox to give us the rundown on facial peels. Take it away, Stacy!

If the notion of booking a facial peel makes you want to run for the hills, I have news for you. The benefits of these treatments may far outweigh your fear factor. Peels have come a long way and, when done right, can work wonders on some of the most frustrating complexion issues, from acne to uneven skin tone. I believe the biggest misconception about peels is that the skin will be burned and you’ll be left looking like beef carpaccio. But not so! Here's the lowdown. 

guide to peels

How They Work and What They Do

Face peels remove top layers of skin to exfoliate and expedite cell turnover. When new cells are formed, this creates a new layer of skin — one that is fresh and smooth. Face peels can improve skin’s texture, even skin tone, minimize fine lines and clear up acne by unclogging pores. One problem they can’t fix is scarring (only lasers can to do that).

How to Choose the Perfect Peel for You

Problem: Acne-Prone and Oily Skin: If you have acne, a salicylic acid peel can help unclog pores. Since it’s drying, this type of peel is best for skin that tends to get oily.

Problem: Uneven Skin Tone and Fine Lines: Peels infused with pomegranate, pumpkin, antioxidants, and glycolic acid are ideal for aging complexion lacking radiance and balance. These nutrient-packed ingredients hydrate skin and smooth wrinkles. Pomegranate, pumpkin, and antioxidant are especially popular during winter months as they’re mild and can be used repetitively without drying or irritating the skin.

WARNING: If you have rosacea or eczema, avoid peels, as the have the ability to amplify irritation and redness.

When to Peel

Although different skin types require different peel ingredients and procedures, a series of three to six peels every two to four weeks should result in a noticeable difference in skin quality. However, peel type and frequency should always be discussed with your skincare provider. Knowledge is power, so seek out a consultation first before setting an appointment.

Post-Peel Care

Don’t use retinols on post-peel skin, as it can cause irritation. Also avoid exfoliating your skin with scrubs or chemicals like glycolic or salicylic acid. Ask your dermatologist or facialist when you can resume your normal skincare regimen and product usage. Inform them of the products you use, so they can properly advise you.

Do use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Redness should last only a few minutes to a few hours after your peel. If dryness, irritation, and redness persist longer than that, try using products with hyaluronic acid for added moisture, and green tea for soothing properties.

Product Recommendations: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery ConcentrateSkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30 L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher

Have you had a peel? Tell us about your experience and the results!

Photo: iStock

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    About the Author: Stacy Cox is a Los Angeles-based esthetician and owner of day spa Pampered People in Studio City, California.