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Peel Away the Mysteries of Acids

By: Rhonda Allison
Posted: February 28, 2013, from the March 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 6

Every skin care professional considering working with acids should expand their knowledge on the types of agents available. It will prove to be the most important component in any chemical peel practice. With the proper knowledge of the most commonly used agents, skin care professionals can help their clients achieve optimal results with minimal complications. A skin history form is absolutely essential before rendering a peel treatment. It will help prevent complications and help skin care professionals determine the current state of their client’s skin and how best to achieve her goals.

Accelerating the process

Blending enzymes with acids and other treatments will provide a deeper cleanse and begin the skin rejuvenation process. For example, it’s common to add an AHA, such as lactic or glycolic, to certain enzymes to give it a boost. Enzymes, when used alone, fall into the progressive range of skin rejuvenation. Never discount the value and necessity of good enzymes; they are wonderful for providing exfoliation, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. Many of the formulas are also rich in vitamins and flavonoids, which stimulate collagen activity.

Enzymes are proteins typically derived from fruit, vegetable, dairy or other animal origins. They produce a chemical change in the skin by way of digesting the stratum corneum. Today, enzymes also provide valuable nourishing and skin-building qualities.

Some fruit enzymes include extracts from cherry, pumpkin, pomegranate, tomato and red grape. There also are lactose enzymes derived from pure cultured sour milk. These provide hydration and digestion to leave the skin glowing for days. Pepsin, papain (derived from papayas) and bromelain (from pineapples) also are widely used to digest keratin protein and smooth skin.

Caution must be taken with this process depending on the strength, pH and the type of enzyme, however. Heat is not recommended when blending acids and enzymes. It requires a clear understanding of both products and the potential of each when blending products.

Pre- and post-peel care

Grow your understanding of chemical peels with Terri Wojak from True U Esthetics in the newest video from Skin Inc. Video Education, Superficial Chemical Peels!