Everyday new products and treatments come out boasting to be the best in the industry. It’s true that there are some great product lines and procedures out there, but what is most important is to make sure you are working with a skin care professional whose philosophy aligns with yours? Keep reading and we’ll give you all the details on what you need to know to make the most skin treatments. Some treatments are more aggressive than others, and it is important for the customer to be educated by their skin care professional and understand what is best for their individual skin type needs. It is the esthetician’s responsibility to explain to their clients what is taking place within their skin when various types of chemical exfoliating products and peels are applied to their skin, as well as explain why certain procedures have been chosen. The term ‘chemical peel’ creates many scary images in the minds of most people, especially when the term ‘chemical’ is used in conjunction with the word ‘peel’. Yikes! However, the good news is that peel formulations have become very sophisticated over the years, and many have been scientifically proven to improve the overall health of the skin. In simple terms there are different depths of peel penetration. The deeper, dermal peels, which literally remove the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and require long periods of downtime, are typically applied in a physician’s office. This type of peel is still used for deeper wrinkles (from environmental damage) and surface imperfections such as acne scarring and sometimes pre-cancerous skin cells. A peel of this type is usually what comes to the customer’s mind and causes a significant amount of fear when they hear the word peel. Superficial – or epidermal peels – are designed to only penetrate into the upper layers of the skin. Further more, many peels today are now formulated as blends which are even gentler than a single-ingredient formulation. In many cases they are so mild and with out inflammation that the client may not even see any visible exfoliation; however they will still be able to see the visible results with little to no downtime. There is also some confusion surrounding chemical peels causing thinning of the skin when used on a regular basis, for example, once a month. It is most important to understand that the epidermal cells are continuously produced and are supported by the body’s own epidermal stem cells. There is no limit to this cellular production; however, as we age and with over-exposure to UV rays, our natural cell turnover slows down, and our epidermal stem cells aren’t as active as in younger skin. Superficial, blended chemical peel formulations actually encourage cellular renewal and help to ‘speed up’ cell turnover while stimulating collagen and elastin production, reducing the appearance of brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and in fact, also introduce important hydrating ingredients back into the skin. There are even formulations gentle enough for sensitive skin and rosacea. It’s really all about the blend and working with an experienced skin care professional and appropriate home care products! Remember, that these are superficial peels and only designed to penetrate within the upper layers of the skin. It is the dermal peels that are being associated with the ‘thinning skin’ issue, as dermal peels do penetrate into living tissue, and there would be significant damage to the skin if peels such as these were performed monthly. Yes, they absolutely do have a place in the industry for the reasons mentioned above; however it is keeping everything in perspective and understanding the various different formulations available on the market that actually ‘give back’ to the skin and don’t just ‘take away.” This is our philosophy at Complexions… Come to our educational evening on January 30th where a peel will be performed and you can learn what’s right for your skin care regimen.