I wanted to discuss, hopefully briefly, with you chemical peels/acids and what should be left up to a professional and what you can use at home.
Firstly, if you are young like 20's and lower I don't feel as if you need any type of peel. I also don't think you need to put a ton of emphasis on an at home acid in your routine unless it's a very low percentage and very very mild. I got into acids in my late 20's like 28 and 29. If you have super sensitive skin, darker complexion, questionable spots that might need to be checked out, and so on, I ask that you talk to a Dr or skincare professional like a facialist, dermatologist, etc. Someone that can take a look at your skin in person and address any skincare issues or lead you to the correct starting point and will be the best bet to find what skincare routine and treatments are for your skin. Every skin is different. You can't really group them all together except very loosely we all have different issues and concerns. Our skin also changes constantly and it's needs will change constantly from needing more hydration, needing more protection, perhaps needing something taken out of a routine for a moment, etc.
To try and get to the point of this post I'm going to dive into the chemical peel side first. Chemical Peels or TCA Peels should always be done by a professional! Hold on, lemme get my megaphone, *testing one, two* CHEMICAL PEELS SHOULD ALWAYS BE DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL. Period. I don't care what video you watched, I don't care what this or that company says, your skin is precious gold, do not go and mess it up if you can help it. What brings this blog post to you my dear readers, is because I've seen "at home" TCA Peels going around on Instagram and YouTube and dear God it's terrifying. Literally having to watch someone burn their skin and blister it is horrendous. TCA is "trichloracetic acid" it's non toxic but it's been used as a professional peel for over two decades. Once it's applied to the skin it causes the top layer of the skin to peel. It continues to peel over a few days. It's used to help with pigmentation issues, aging, scars, so on and so forth. The thing is: making sure that your skin needs it, because if there's no need for the outermost layer to shed it will still cause the skin to peel anyway but it will be unnecessary trauma to the skin and more damage than anything. It's an extremely strong and intense treatment that needs to be monitored by a professional that way they can neutralize it if the skin get's too upset. As I said though, your skin may not need something that strong to begin with.
Now, if you've seen DIY peels and what not or at home peels just take a pass. I think what you're looking for might just be some acid toning/exfoliating by using a gentle acid toner in a liquid, serum, pads, etc formulas. In other words a product or step you can work into your routine. I use an acid nearly everyday unless I'm using something else that is quite strong but the products that I use are not very strong. The percentage of acid in them aren't very high. Typically, I stick to an acid complex around 10% , for my skin, in liquid form or peel pads that are pre-soaked with the solution. There are so many formula's out that are really great and have a wonderful delivery system so that the skin doesn't get super pissed off though and that's the beauty of it. There are obviously stronger ones as well that you can do 2 or 3 times a week, or maybe just once a week depending on what it is and what the directions tell you. For instance, Drunk Elephant TLC Babyfacial is a "treatment" with a pretty high percentage, that you use maybe once or twice a week depending on your skin's tolerance and it's also washed off. A daily product isn't washed off usually unless you need to.
Some gentle acids that you might want to start with possibly, would be Pixi Glow Tonic which is 5% glycolic acid. If you have a sensitivity to that then try a Lactic Acid formula, which works on the epidermis or the outermost layer so it's more gentle than Glycolic. Sunday Riley Good Genes is a Lactic Acid serum/lotion but it can tingle even on me and I feel I'm pretty used to acid by now but you can work yourself up to it. Maybe just use it once a week and work up or use it as a treatment that you remove after 10 minutes or so. These may tingle but they should never be an "owww that hurts I'm burning". You don't want to burn you just want a bit of a tingle and then again you may not feel any tingle at all. As with other harsh products like retinols, or anything that's meant to exfoliate the skin, it can sensitize the skin. If I have that issue then I pull back on using whatever product it is that's causing a bit of discomfort. I go to a routine that is all gentle, nothing harsh what so ever, and use oils and creams that will both feed the skin and keep it super hydrated but also coat the skin like a sleeping facial or mask and essentially be the best defense it can be while it repairs itself. Also, be very aware of using sunscreens and protecting your skin at all times. Not just when you're using an acid but get in the habit of protecting your skin that way you hopefully won't need major peels or treatments to get rid of sun damage, etc. These very strong TCA peels and lasers that are in clinics (where they're supposed to be) are not a "girls day/facial time", it's a "treatment". They have to be done by licensed professional that know how to use the products. The products have to be cleared by whatever federal guidelines you have in the place that you live. There are clinical brands that have products for people to use at home of course but I really think they should be recommended by a skincare professional after evaluating your skin on site.
To sum all this up. Please don't use your skin as a Pinterest/Instagram/Youtube guinea pig. Please don't damage it if you can help it. Please don't burn yourself by trying to do a "should be clinical treatment" at home to save money or whatever. Please take as much caution and care as you can when it comes to your health and your skin's health.
I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.
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