How effective is chemical peeling

We asked an expert: What can a chemical peel do?

They have names like alpha and beta hydroxy, glycolic and azelaic acid and are a big hit in beauty spas in metropolitan areas like Shanghai, Tokyo and New York. We are talking about acids. But in this country we tend to think of bad skin burns when we use the term glowy Hollywood complexion . But that is exactly the potency of chemical peels: They can eliminate acne, reduce lines, loosen pigment spots and even strengthen sensitive skin.

An expert who knows both our complexion and the popular "chemical peels" is master cosmetician Vera Pöllabauer from the Babor Spa Vienna. She uses them regularly in her spa and says that they are wrongly called just "peeling cures". The skin does not necessarily have to peel itself, it depends on the treatment chosen. We asked the professional to share their knowledge with us.

WOMAN: What are acids and what effects do they offer?
Vera Pöllaubauer: The best known and largest group is that of the AHA acids (Alpha Hydroxy). These are fruit acids. They are now almost exclusively produced synthetically. Citric acid, tartaric acid, carbonic acid are some of them. Then there are beta hydroxy acids (BHA), which is essentially salicylic acid. This should never be used if there is an aspirin intolerance. Aspirin consists mainly of salicylic acid. The advantage of BHAs: They are fat-loving, penetrate very deeply and have an anti-inflammatory effect. So ideal for acne or blemishes.

"Sensitive skin can be strengthened with the right chemical peeling."

There are many more acids for the skin: brand new and currently my favorite are the polyhydroxy acids. They clean up the surface of the skin nicely. They are still very mild, yet effective. Anyone who is afraid of acids due to their sensitive skin can trust a treatment with lactic acid. It's awesome because it desensitizes, it actually makes the skin stronger. A little hype has just developed around mandelic acid: Although it is quite intense, it is also very peeling. Azelaic acid is also trendy. I brush this on with acne, it kills the acne bacteria. We use almond or trichloroacetic acid for wrinkles and lines. Beauticians are allowed to dose up to 15 percent of the latter, which is intense.

How do chemical peels improve the skin?
In general, we use acids to stimulate skin cell division so that more cells are formed. The collagen synthesis, which is largely responsible for strength, is also stimulated. In short: the skin receives the impulse to restructure itself and is repaired in depth. The pores are refined. A chemical peel acts like a filter that is placed over the complexion. Every peeling brings visible results after the first facial. We also have a special device, the 'Observ 520', with which we scan the skin every time and check the effect of the last facial. For example, you can see how pigment accumulations look fluffier from time to time, i.e. how they are cracked by the respective acid facial

How often should they be used and how long is the downtime?
I find chemical peels can be used on a regular basis. Often we don't give the skin enough workout opportunities. But that doesn't mean that you need a cosmetics subscription. Younger skin or healthy skin with little inflammation becomes flawlessly beautiful with just a few peelings. With pigment spots, however, you need a few more treatments. We also get rid of acne completely, and permanently. We have had the best experiences with the right treatment and home care. It is often said that chemical peels are not good because of the sun's rays.

But remember: the Brazilians are the biggest buyers of these peelings. Because with the latest products it is almost no longer a problem because the light callus of the skin, i.e. its natural SPF, is not reduced. Nevertheless, we recommend additional sun protection. The downtime, i.e. downtime, is a maximum of two days. You look great on the first day after the treatment. You can be a little red, but have a nice glow. After the second day, the light peeling begins, then the skin needs moisturizing. Everything works for six weeks. That's why we take a long break between treatments. Exception: pigment spots and acne. With the latter, we wait a maximum of three weeks so that acne bacteria do not have time to rebuild.

Can I use acidic goodies to take care of my skin at home?
In the home use goodies, lower doses of fruit acids are deliberately incorporated. Therefore you can use them safely, especially at night they are great. I find gentle acids even better than mechanical peels with grains. The microspheres in classic scrubs are sharp-edged when viewed under the microscope. They make tiny cracks in the skin, which allows moisture and minerals to escape and harmful bacteria to penetrate

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