There are different categories of peeling agents available for restoring the skin. They are represented by a wide range of variants, starting from over-the-counter products and up to deep chemical agents, which can be used only in fixed setting and should be conducted by a physician. In case applying all these products in the proper way and proper setting, almost all of these products have showed great results in bettering and renewing facial skin.
Various formulas of chemicals are used by chemical peels in order to treat your skin.
It is known that mild chemicals (such as glycolic acid) usually cause only shallow changes, while more irritating chemicals (like phenol) may lead to deeper and sever changes in your skin. So applying more powerful peels you might also suffer from undesirable side-effects, like scarring or permanent skin lightening.
Usually the compound of Peel treatment solutions includes following elements: beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid), alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid), tricholoracetic acid (TCA), or phenol as the exfoliating agent.
All the previous elements differ by the depth of the peel influence and peels concentration. According to this, they can be ranged from superficial peels (another term, you might have met micro or light peels) to medium or deep peels.
Chemical peels can be categorized to different groups, considering such factors as their specific compounds (kind of chemical applied), pH and concentration. Other factors which undoubtedly influence the depth of peeling procedure are time they are left on the skin and the way of applying to the skin (lightly or rubbed stronger onto skin).
It’s a wrong vision that a low per cent of acid can’t be as irritated as a high one. Here is a good example; the strength of Salicylic Acid 20% is almost equal to the strength of Glycolic 50%. Moreover, TCA 30% is known for its ability to access into higher layers of dermis and lead to hard burns in case not applied correctly.
Besides, the concentration influence, another important factor is pH which determinate the power of acid peel. The fact is that low pH leads to deep and fast penetrating of peel into your skin.
The classification of peels strenth:
Level 1 – Superficial Peels
These peels are great for those who desire minimal peel with short downtime although still have the target to make their skin cells fresher and the whole look younger. Another group is those who try peeling procedure first time.
Level 2 – Medium
These level peels are for those who tried peel before and want to move to the next level, in order to achieve better results. Be ready to experience longer downtime, but better results at the end.
It is highly recommended to try the procedure only in case you have already done level 1 peel.
Level 3 – Deep
This level is definitely only for accustomed users. Peels of this level provide the best results but also have the longest downtime.
Level 3 is allowed only for those who tried level 1 and level2 peels.
Skin layers and the depth of peel:
Level 1 (take off upper skin layer to the startum corneum)
Such peels usually don’t lead to considerable peeling. They are absolutely tolerated and highly recommended for people with sensitive skin and for newcomers in peeling. Peels are great for collagen encouraging and continuing maintenance. This type peels have the smallest risk of skin irritation.
Examples: Glycolic acid 30-50%, Lactic acid 30-70%, TCA 10% etc.
Level 2 (up to basal layer):
Such peels are two times stronger than peels of Level 1. Here, there is a possibility of visible peeling, even though it determinates by the thickness of your startum corneum during the procedure. Second level is advisable to start from for people with oily and resistant skin. These peels provide little bit stronger treatment compared to level 1. Besides, these peels are more acid.
Examples: TCA 10-30%, Salicylic peel 20-30%, Jessenr’s peel 4-7 coats etc.
Level 3 (up to papillary dermal):
Peels of these level have double strength of the previous one (level 2). They should be applied only by patients that tried peels before. The risk of irritation for level 3 is pretty high but these peels are also likely to provide the best effects.
Examples: Glycolic 70%, TCA 30-50% etc.
Level 4 (up to the upper reticular):
Peels of this level have double strength of the previous one. It is a must to be applied only by those who tried peels before. The risk of skin injuring is high. But the effectiveness of procedure is the best. Usually, peels applied together with local anaesthetic, it is needed to freeze the face, even though sometimes you might be sedated. People usually don’t feel well after the procedure, so be ready to experience the pain (moderate to severe). The duration of pain is usually 7 days.
Examples: Phenol 88%, Baker-Gordon solution.