Sensitive Skin | Exfoliation and Peels | Chemical peel treatments

Light Chemical Peels and Sensitive Skin

Even sensitive skin types can benefit from a gentle chemical peel.

Before you recoil in horror, reframing how you think about these treatments is essential.

At NC, we prefer to use terms like “brighten,” “refresh,” and “renew”.

Embracing the idea of gentle exfoliation with ingredients like lactic acid and enzymes.

So, if you’ve been hesitant to try light chemical peels due to sensitivity, fear not!

The Naked Chemist team is here to guide you toward radiant, revitalised skin.

Light Chemical Peels 

Superficial peels are the best option for sensitive skin types.

They offer gentle exfoliation and hydration while effectively addressing discolouration.

These skin-friendly peels harness the power of gentle enzymes such as papaya, pineapple, and lactic acid, delicately resurfacing the skin without irritation.

Although the results from your initial peel may not be immediately apparent due to their gentle nature, after two or three sessions—provided your skin tolerates them well—you’ll notice significant improvements visible to the naked eye.

It is important to note that the efficacy of any light chemical peel hinges on various factors, including the type and concentration of the peel and additional ingredients present in your chosen product.

Using Light Chemical Peels 

When choosing a peel for a sensitive skin type, there are a couple of options available:

  1. Enzyme Peels: These peels are considered the lightest chemical peel solutions derived from natural sources such as papaya. They are ideal for reactive skin that cannot tolerate traditional acids. They gently remove dead skin cells and refine pores without increasing skin sensitivity.
  2. Lactic Acid: This is an excellent choice for brightening and hydrating sensitive skin. Unlike other acids, lactic acid has a natural moisturising effect, which is particularly beneficial if your skin is also dry.

Additionally, tartaric, malic, and citric acids are light chemical peel solutions that offer a milder alternative to the stronger AHAs like glycolic acid.

To learn more about exfoliating sensitive skin, check out our comprehensive article for more valuable insights and tips.

Chemical Peels to Avoid

There are stronger chemical peel options that we advise against for sensitive skin:

Ascorbic Acid: Although not technically a peel, ascorbic acid and Vitamin C derivatives are acid-based and can be too harsh for sensitive skin.

However, they’re an excellent choice for mature skin because they strengthen capillary walls and boost collagen production.

Glycolic Acid

This chemical peel solution has various strengths, ranging from 30% to 70%. With a low pH and small molecular structure, glycolic acid penetrates deeply into the skin.

While effective for many, it can be too intense for sensitive skin types, potentially causing irritation and discomfort.

Beta Hydroxy Acid 

This oil-soluble hydroxy acid is known for penetrating deep into pores, making it a popular choice for treating oily skin and acne.

However, it can be very harsh for sensitive skin, especially when dealing with inflamed acne breakouts.

Caring for Your Skin 

Caring for your skin after a chemical peel is essential to ensure optimal results and minimise potential side effects.

While superficial peels typically result only in mild facial redness, which will usually resolve within 24 hours, it’s crucial to follow these post-peel care instructions:

  1. Treat with cool water: Gently bathe your skin with cool water to soothe irritation and remove any residual peel solution.
  2. Do not pick: This can delay healing and lead to scarring or post-inflammatory pigmentation.
  3. Use a post-treatment serum: After a superficial peel, use a light serum with hyaluronic acid, such as our pure hyaluronic H20 skin shot, to keep your skin well-hydrated.
  4. Protect your skin from the sun: It’s crucial to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, especially after a peel. We advise having a peel during the winter months when UV exposure is at its lowest.

Post-peel care instructions can help ensure a smooth recovery and maintain your skin’s health and vitality.

To conclude. The naked truth

We appreciate that using chemical peels can be daunting if you have sensitive skin.

However, the benefits of a light chemical peel should not be overlooked.

The key to embracing chemical peels is to forget the word peel ever existed in your vocabulary.

Low concentrations of AHAs, enzyme peels, and lactic acid will gently exfoliate and hydrate your skin while maintaining its integrity.

Harsher peels such as glycolic and salicylic acid should be avoided due to their potential for irritation.

With a thoughtful approach to skincare and guidance from professionals like our Naked Chemist team of estheticians, you can confidently and safely navigate the world of chemical peels.

Helping you achieve your skincare goals while keeping your sensitive skin happy and healthy

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