[By Debbi Harper]

The term “face peel” can send shudders down spines, conjuring up horrifying images of Nicholas Cage literally stealing John Travolta’s skin in Face Off,or Samantha’s red-raw post-peel look in SATC. You might be worried about some sort of extreme reaction, but these days it’s very uncommon. Cleopatra and her famed sour milk baths is possibly the forerunner of chemical peels dating back to 1500 B.C., and acid formulas have come a long way since their first debut. As skin rejuvenating techniques become more and more complicated over the years, chemical peels remain a tried and tested beauty staple for those in the know. By removing the damaged outer layers of your skin with the application of fruit acids, chemical peeling allows the healthier skin cells beneath to come through, improving its texture and allowing your skin to glow with absolute radiance.Not only are we tapping into the myriad of potential benefits of topical application of acids, better results are now being achieved with the discovery of potent, safe new peeling agents, with little to no tell-tale signs and downtime.

DIY home peel

There’s no better way to start than to incorporate skincare products containing fruit acids to harness the dermatological goodness of acid peels. Like the Batman and Robin of anti-aging, Peter Thomas Roth Pro At Home Professional Strength Retinoid Plus is the savvy way to have an acid peel right in the comfort of your den. The triple-acid peel ampoules tackle stubborn lines ranging from fine to deep variations, while the 3% retinoid serum evens out tone and texture.Exclusive Super Lipid Complex hydrates as it helps infuse the skin with moisture, calming the look of skin as the active ingredients work their peeling magic to refine skin tone and texture.

SW1 FRUIT ENZYME Refining & Renewing Serum formulated with the gentlest forms of naturally occurring AHAs extracted from whole fruits is a genius non-oily serum that does wonders for clogged, misbehaving skins, with natural enzymes doing double duty to heal and reduce acne blemishes, while preventing future breakouts at the same time with daily use.

Derived from cane sugar, glycolic acid has the smallest molecules in this group of dermal refiners and is able to penetrate skin deeply and easily, making it highly effective against fine lines, acne, blackheads, dullness, oiliness. The SW1 SLEEP MODE Skin Renewing & Smoothening Gel is an oil-free Aloe Vera gel with 15% Glycolic acid and is highly beneficial for normal and especially oily skin type, even blemished ones with active acne. In addition to its anti-aging effect of increasing the rate of natural dead skin exfoliation to promote moisturization by renewal of native skin collagen, it effectively controls oil and helps fight bacteria to give breakouts the red card to play.

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Beauty starter’s kit

For the uninitiated or those with sensitive skins, you can’t go wrong with lactic acid aka milk acids. If it’s good enough for the legendary Egyptian diva to bring not one but two Roman boys to the yard, one shouldn’t underestimate the prowess of this simple treatment. The Milk Peel utilizes an ultrasonic peeling system on top of the gentler lactic acid formulations to brighten dull, sallow skins and lighten surface pigmentation and blemishes for cleaner and clearer complexions. With the assault of daily air pollutants for urban dwellers, this is an excellent spa treat for a mild, all-over exfoliation, melting away debris clogging up your pores without excessive peeling nor skin irritation. It’s so gentle it’s like mama holding your hand on your first ballet lesson, instead of shoving you with hands bound into the deep end of a traditional chemical peel.

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Weekend perk-me-up

The Glamour Peel specially concocted and available exclusively at the SW1 Spa is an understated treatment that’s true to its name, playing the role of a celebrity stylish as a fuss-free 6 in 1 weekend peel that brings forth a red carpet difference. Aimed to add glow and sparkle to lackluster complexions, it uses not one, but a combination of three different types of pharmaceutical grade fruit acids that have been carefully selected to deliver a quick all-round complexion improvement. By effectively getting rid of dead skin cells and replenishing essential antioxidants into your skin, this star-worthy treatment addresses six key skin concerns for a thorough perk-me-up at one go. With skin brightening, spot fading, line smoothening, pore reduction, sebum balance and hydration boost under its belt, the Glamour Peel serves as an excellent primer for a fresh face of makeup, be it avantgarde minimalist or seductress va-va-vroom, you’ll definitely make heads turn with equal parts admiration and envy.

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Professional beauty treats

How much skin they remove and how deep they penetrate will depend on the type of chemical peel used, its strength and how long it’s allowed to sit on the skin. The percentage of a peel just indicates how much of the peeling agent is contained in the peel and is not entirely indicative of its strength. For example, a 30% glycolic acid peel has more glycolic acid and is stronger than a 25% glycolic acid peel, but is way weaker compared to a 25% TCA or trichloroacetic acid peel. What matters most is the PH level as this indicates how deep the peel will penetrate into your skin, and how much skin irritation is expected. Bear in mind that the lower the PH, the deeper the peel.To sum it up, chemical peels work best by striking a fine balance between harvesting the goodness and keeping the untoward side effects at bay.

In the hands of a skilled physician, professional customized face peels are cost effective, minimally invasive beauty treats with a slew of skin benefits. Tailored individually to suit your particular skin type, color and needs, a singular or blend of AHAs and BHAs can be employed to return your peau to its soft, supple state.You’ll begin to see improvements after just one session but a series of treatments will lead to more significant and visible changes to the appearance of your skin. Newer generation of chemical peels are largely self-neutralizing with no significant downtime following treatment. You can receive a peel on your lunch hour and return to work thereafter.However, you will experience some flaking two or three days following the treatment, which may last up to five to seven days. The amount of exfoliation may be light or medium, depending on the type and amount of peel used, and your physician should be able to forewarn you prior to treatment such that it won’t upset your social schedule. By stimulating collagen and elastin renewal, improving fine lines, reducing pore size, lightening superficial acne marks and blending out uneven skin tone, Professional Chemical Peels may be your perfect answer to frills free, low key skincare maintenance.

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