Peels for prettier skin
While constant sunshine and a summer holiday promises a golden glow, and sunkissed visage, the combination of suncream ,sweat and sea can leave skin feeling clogged and congested.
A thorough exfoliation, in the form of a chemical peel, can help sort your skin out - returning it to its clean, clear, best.
Using a facial peel can help exfoliate the top layer of the epidermis, removing dead skin and excess oil. It can also give skin an instant brightening effect and can help in controlling oil production and breakouts because they go deeper within the skin than scrubs do.
At home peel products typically contain either alpha hydroxy acids (an AHA such as glycolic acid), beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid, also known as BHA), tricholoracetic acid (TCA), or phenol as the exfoliating agent. Each are categorised by concentration and the resulting depth of the peel on the skin which can range from superficial (also known as micro or light peels) to medium or deep peels.
So if your summer vacation has left you looking more patchy than peachy, here's our guide to some at home pampering that can restore your skin to glowing.
What it can do
Having peels on a regular basis will lead to collagen stimulation that will improve the appearance of wrinkles. While they are good, they’re not going to completely turn back time. Chemical peels can’t remove or reduce the appearance of blood vessels on the skin, or change the appearance of enlarged pores, or raised (keloidal) scarring. Those with a darker skin complexion should seek professional advice, as there is a greater risk of hyperpigmentation, a darkening of the skin, with any peel.
How to apply
Get the most out of your peel by applying it before you get into the shower or bath, as the steam will help to open pores. Always err on the side on caution as some peels can be too abrasive, especially for those with sensitive skin resulting in irritation and flaking. If you do have sensitive skin, opt for a scrub with natural exfoliators such as apricot kernel and walnut shell. Whether you use a scrub or a peel, the key is not to over-exfoliate as this can dry skin out and make it produce more oil. If you're already using a retinol or other vitamin-A-based products be careful about using scrubs or peels as this may lead to irritation and possible dermatitis.
Five of the best peels
He’s kind of pricey so Dr Sebagh’s Deep Exfoliating Mask Sensitive Skin is the next best thing to seeing celebrated skin doctor Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh. Apply a thin layer of the gel-like peel, specially formulated for sensitive skin to boosts cell turnover and make skin glow, and leave on for ten minutes for super-soft skin.
The Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask from Alpha H, who pioneered the use of Glycolic Acids in skin nearly 20 years ago, is the best pre-party prep for a radiance boost while Elemis’ Papaya Enzyme Peel is perfect for sensitive or mature complexions.
Meanwhile, Caudalie's Glycolic Peel, with glycolic acid and papaya enzymes, is great for congested, sun damaged and mature skin and works to give a mild chemical exfoliation in 10 minutes without the post-burn red face - a great option to apply before work.
Arcona's Raspberry Resurfacing Peel is a great anti-ageing mask that smells good enough to eat. In addition to lactic and salicylic acids, it contains mango, raspberry, cranberry, and grape extracts. Leave on for five minutes max if it’s your first time, rinse off with water, then moisturise.