By Jessa Moore
What’s a girl to do when her skin looks a bit dull, and she needs radiance STAT? She starts exploring the world of the at home peel, of course! It’s a wonderful option for the maintenance of skin that needs a little oomph. The newest ones on the market are user friendly, and gentle enough for most skin types. And while they won’t take away your wrinkles, they certainly help with texture and that coveted glow. Dr. Shirley Madhere, a New York City plastic surgeon who specializes in holistic skin care is a proponent of the at home version of what used to be exclusively an in office procedure. Dr.Madhere states that although “deep peels” are offered in an office setting, “Personal use cosmetic devices and products may not achieve the same depth of exfoliation,: however, they may help to approximate similar results, especially if used appropriately with the proper technique in a consistent manner.”
Aesthetician Ellen Lange, one of the pioneers of the at home peel, concurs. According to Ellen, at home peels are ideal for upkeep and maintenance. The ease of use plus the ability to do a peel at any point during the day, without needing a spa appointment, add to the allure. She compares it to “going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning. You have a professional do it a few times a year, but you wouldn’t pay someone to do it weekly for you. It is not necessary for the peels to go very deep. It’s more important to be consistent”. In the interest of full disclosure, I have extremely sensitive skin, so I was curious to see how well they would work, and more importantly, whether or not I could safely tolerate them. As doctors say, first, do no harm…
At home peels use various active ingredients, such as retinoids, and other acids, in smaller concentrations than that used in a doctor’s office. Dr. Madhere says that, “In general, personal use peels or home peel kits are composed of a mild acid, and are manufactured to penetrate mildly, or only superficial layers of the skin. Glycolic with or without salicylic acid is often used in these types of products in concentrations of 4 to 10 percent.” Other newer gentler ingredients such as mushroom extracts can also be used. It is very important to do a spot check for any allergies or sensitivities, as well as wear an effective sunscreen, as these peels do cause photo-sensitivity. And NEVER mix any other acids in any other treatments or creams while you are using any sort of at home peel. It won’t make you ageless, and will only irritate your skin. I found myself a little sunburned the day after my first use of a product, even though I used a sunscreen, I found I had to reapply my sunscreen often, especially in the hot sun of the summer. And it is reasonable to expect a good result, but it by no means approximates a deep peel in the dermatologists’ office.
Ellen Lange Express Retexturizing Peel was created by Ellen Lange, who comes from a family of plastic surgeons. She worked with chemists to create a peel in which glycolic acid was suspended in such a way that even super sensitive skin can use it every week with no visible irritation. I found that this was a very effective peel for getting rid of leftover red marks as well as softening my skin and making it appear brighter. After using it once, the freckles across my cheekbones got noticeably lighter, and I was able to look good wearing only some mascara and lip gloss. It was also an easy three step process that took less than ten minutes. However, my only caveat is that this particular peel is a little more potent than some of the other ones. It tingled, and I would follow the directions and only use it once a week.
Available at http://www.ellenlange.com
Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Retinoid Pads certainly worked a miracle on my skin! This is a retinoid peel that is extremely user friendly. Simply assemble the product at home by pouring the brown bottle into the jar of face pads. It feels very gentle and silky, and is meant for everyday use. After a month of daily use my acne cleared up, my skin brightened, and my face was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. It even helped with some minor scarring around my cheeks and nose. It felt dry and silky at the same time, but make no mistake, it is really effective. Its active ingredients are AHA’s, which are active acids mixed with vitamin c, as well as skin soothing ingredients.
Artistry Renewing Peel is perhaps the least fussy and quickest peel I tried. It uses Mucor Miehei, a mushroom extract which has enzymes that mimic the cell turnover in skin cells and works with the ph level of your skin. To use, apply to your face, wait eight minutes. It deactivates itself when it reaches the newer skin, which has a different ph than the skin that needs to slough off. Since it turns itself off there’s no chance of overdoing it. Artistry Renewing Peel left my skin absolutely luminous in one use, and super silky. This was the gentlest one I tried. There was no tingling, no redness, just gorgeous ,silky skin.