Skin peels have existed for over 3000 years, and historians tell us that ancient Egyptian women, Cleopatra being the most notable, used to bathe in sour milk and rub their faces with fermented grape skins to smooth the skin and enhance their beauty. They were in fact improving their skin by what were the earliest forms of what is now known as glycolic peeling.
Skin peels, along with Botox and Dermal Fillers complete the perfect triumvirate needed for the ideal facial rejuvenation. It is not enough to just remove the wrinkles, and improve the shape and contour of the face, we also have to improve the condition of the skin and to rejuvenate it back to an earlier time.
Some of the ideal areas to treat are: the face, décolletage area as well as the backs of the hands. Peels are used to rejuvenate the skin, improve skin quality, remove wrinkles, improve acne scarring and to reduce sun spots and uneven pigmentations.
We can use several different types of peel, the choice will depend on the skin type and needs of every individual patient:
- Glycolic Peels (Aha) - superficial peels, all skin types, no down time.
- TCA Easypeel/Unideep (Trichloroacetic acid) - medium peels, treating sun damaged skin and uneven pigmentation, minimal down time with some peeling of skin few days post treatment.
- Obagi Blue Peel - medium peels, all skin types. Click HERE to read more about the OBAGI system and peels.
The skin is the largest organ in the body. It takes as much as 28 days to fully regenerate, with the tough outer layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, acting as an impenetrable barrier protecting the body from injury, infection, pollution and the ever more harmful sun rays. It also however acts as a barrier which can not be breached by any of the expensive over the counter creams, many of which are simply glorified moisturisers. The outer layer of the skin also acts as a diary of sorts, recording any past events like severe sunburn or acne scarring, and becoming thicker with the passing years. Because the skin takes so long to regenerate, these old memories are never removed, and the fresh new skin is never given the chance to come to the surface.
With the process of peeling we are speeding up the regeneration of the skin, and by wiping out some of these old memories, we are allowing the healthy new skin to come to the surface. In addition the process of chemical peeling induces new collagen to rush up to the surface of the skin. A good analogy is that of pruning a withering rose, achieving a subsequent new growth and fresh beauty.
Once the fresh young skin is allowed to breathe, we can give our patients specialist prescription creams which continue to improve the skin, and which then really do work in helping to halt the aging process.
The treatments last 15-30 minutes and involve gently applying the special peel solutions to the relevant areas. The peel solutions are neutralised once the correct amount of peeling is achieved, and an aftercare cream is applied. The patient applies the after care cream every day as well as a daily sun protection factor until the next follow up peel. With glycolic peels it is necessary to complete a course of 4-6 peels with 2-3 weeks in between each peel, for the best results. The TCA peels are done at 1 week intervals, for 4 weeks for a full and effective regeneration cycle. For optimal results, two regeneration cycles are often required.
With the superficial peels, the only discomfort is that of a stinging which can be described mild sunburn. With some of the stronger TCA peels , there can be a temporary burning sensation, but this is never severe, and the clinician is always in control by being able to applying a neutraliser into the skin the moment the discomfort becomes too much. A cooling fan can be applied to the face during the treatment for the ultimate comfort.
As long as the patient continues the use of the prescribed creams and uses a daily sun protection factor, the results can be very long lasting. A healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle play a big part in this.
All of the peels we use are very safe, and the clinician is always in control. We do not use any of the more severe phenol peels, and we have a very strict protocol which helps us avoid any of the usual pitfalls of chemical peeling such as hyperpigmentation in the darker skin types.
After every procedure, we will give you aftercare advice.