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Chemical Peels and African American Skin
Are Chemical Peels Really Good For Your Skin? And Do They Really Work?

For some people, chemical peels remain one of the most effective, efficient treatments available for treating uneven skin tone or helping to remove dark spots. But chemical peels, both acid and non acid, have their place in skin care for people of color, but with caution.

What happens with a chemical peel is you're removing the top layer of your skin and you'll see some of the luster and youthfulness appear and this is when it's done correctly.

The most common types of chemical peels are:

Acid peels - These are the ones that work to remove the dead cells on the top layer on your skin and they break down the chemical bonds that hold together your skin cells. Depending on the strength or pH and delivery of the peel product that's being used, they can actually lift away that cell surface.

As the peel process proceeds, it can penetrate further into the thickness of your skin that interacts and weakens the bond that holds your cells together on the lower levels. The strength of an acid peel is based on several factors, and that's the concentration of active ingredients within that product, the pH of the product and the delivery system of the product.

The concentration refers to the amount of acid that's found in the peel and that's determined by an analytical method called titration. As the concentration of the acid increases, the strength is characterized by the pH of the product, this is a chemical parameter that defines whether it's acidic or of an aqueous solution.

The lower the pH of the product, the stronger the acid, which is somewhat counter intuitive. In essence, the lower the pH of the acid system the more it wants to release its hydrogen ion, which can interact and react with the chemical bonds of your skin cells. Conversely, the higher the pH, the more the acid will hold it's ion and is considered more basic.

It's important to remember that stronger is not always better, especially when it comes to dark skin, skin of color, African American skin. It can burn the top layer off of your skin and if it goes too deep, it will have some very traumatizing effects.

When peels are used on darker skin tones, the response is sometimes a burning action. So when someone's working on your skin and suggest a peel, you'd want them to consider a lighter less aggressive type of peel that will work over a period of time and it will achieve better long term results. Typically peels from fruit acids will help you achieve this goal.

When you look at ingredients in peels, there's an extremely wide variety from acid and non-acid ingredients and you can also get benefits such as anti-bacterial skin lightening.

When you're looking at peels, they should be given within a professional environment by an esthetician or dermatologist. The peels that are done in the esthetician environment are far less aggressive than medical peels the are done within a dermatologist environment.

The peels that are done in an esthetician environment are going to deal with the outer layer of the skin, but it will provide you with the service of being able to lift off a layer of dead skin cells and give you a nice fresh glow. When we talk about esthetic peels, those are mild enzyme peels which effect the outer layer of the skin.

The Main Categories of Peels

The main families or categories of peels include the alpha hydroxy which takes into consideration the glycolic and lactic acid peels. Then you have the beta hydroxy which blends with other acids and ingredients.

Azelaic peels are based on azelaic acids and they represent a level of peels that have multiple benefits. They promote a mild peel of the upper skin surface and can offset post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a problem that plagues a peel process. When you have a chemical peel and it's not applied properly, it can cause inflammation in your skin, which can cause hyperpigmentation in your skin.

Another mild acid that is used when it comes to natural peels is koji acid. It's used in skin care products that are inhibiting anti inflammatory properties. In essence, the koji acid slows down inflammation and inhibits the growth of melanin.

This is what happens when you use skin lightening products. When you want to prevent hyperpigmentation, some acid systems are effective such as anti-acne treatments. The anti inflammatory elements of the azelaic acid are very effective against acne associated bacteria. These peels help remove the initial sebum (built up oil) and helps clear and minimize the acne build up.

While chemical peels are not always the favored treatment for evening out your skin tone or dealing with hyperpigmentation, for melanated skin they are one of the options available.

That's it for this week. As always ...

Dedicated To Your Beauty,

Juliette Samuel


Nyraju Skin Care
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