Both preventive and curative, peeling is the leading treatment in cosmetics and aesthetic medicine. Similar to exfoliation, its purpose is to remove layers of skin, more or less deeply, to renew the skin and make it appear younger, therefore softer, smoother, more radiant and more supple.
A successful facial peel must follow a precise facial assessment to choose the ideal technique. Your esthetic doctor at the Clinique des Champs-Elysées of New-York will carry out a thorough diagnosis beforehand, to help you decide which facial peeling to do.
The principle: what is the purpose of a facial peel?
Peeling is derived from the English verb peel, which reflects its mode of action: to peel off a more or less deep part of the skin surface. The purpose is to stimulate its renewal and therefore its rejuvenation.
To do this, a chemical peel involves the use of an acidic compound.
Its intensity of action is relative to its acidity (pH), its strength and the length of time it is applied to the facial skin.
Understanding the skin layers
The skin is divided into two layers: on top is the epidermis and underneath is the dermis. The hypodermis or subcutaneous fatty tissue is located under these two layers.
The superficial epidermal layer is about 1 mm thick, consisting of 9 cellular layers. This epithelium consists of keratinocytes and has no blood vessels. It relies on the underlying dermis for its nutrition.
The multiplication of epithelial cells starts from the germinative base, near the dermis, to progress to the superficial layers made of dead cells, the corneocytes. This last layer is sometimes very thick, giving rise to calluses or corns, rich in keratin.
The dermal layer under the epidermis fulfills a triple function:
- It mechanically supports the epidermis, because the dermis is denser and more rigid, thanks to its hyaluronic acid and its collagen (for firmness) and elastin (for elasticity) fibers.
- A trophic role, its blood vessels providing oxygen and nutrients for the cells.
- A synthesis role, carried out by the fibroblasts of the dermis, the "factory" cells of the skin that produce the fibers and hyaluronic acid. Their activity decreases with age.
Understanding the depth of each peeling
Chemical peels compounds are categorized according to the depth of the skin layers they will remove.
- The superficial peeling only affects the first layers of the epidermal surface.
- The medium peeling reaches the epidermal germinative base at the dermis/epidermis junction,
- A deep peeling removes a portion of the dermis.
It is called a gentle peel if it preserves from the irritation or desquamation side effects.
Indications: Who is the facial peel intended for?
People of all ages and skin phototypes may want a facial peel, whether for curative or preventive care.
Dark skins (phenotypes V-VI) require special care from your esthetic doctor in New-York, who will then recommend a so-called black-skin peel to limit any undesirable effects. A peel can thus respond to different indications:
- Obtain a more luminous complexion, by reducing sun spots (lentigos).
- Smooth the skin texture, for a softer and more sensual texture, without oily skin, dilated pores or blackheads.
- Correct slight imperfections such as small scars or fine lines.
- Optimize nutrition deep in the dermis, and facilitate the penetration of active ingredients.
The key points to remember for a good facial peel
The skin specialist at the Clinique des Champs-Elysées of New-York will select the acid peel according to your goals.
Gentle superficial facial peels
Most often performed with fruit acids, a gentle peel is done without secondary effects, as a preventive or curative measure. It cleanses the epidermis, reduces slight imperfections, slows down aging and illuminates the complexion. It can be done without visible side effects, between two appointments.
The medium peel is generally performed with trichloroacetic acid (TCA), whose concentration varies between 15 and 30%. The medium peel leads to skin desquamation (exfoliation) with often small redness. It goes deeper, down to the dermis, to better correct certain effects of aging, such as age spots or wrinkles. Your practitioner will advise you to prepare your skin at home 3 weeks before.
Deep facial peels
Most often performed with concentrated TCA or phenol, this deep peel has spectacular results in regenerating and rejuvenating the skin, but it is also accompanied by very strong, sometimes painful side effects, needing a temporary social avoidance. Aesthetic medicine is trying more and more to give priority to comfort, sometimes by replacing it with "physical" resurfacing peels such as ablative medical lasers.
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