5 Chemical Skin Peels, What They’re For And What To Expect

lamelle peels

There may be many types of chemical skin peels available today, but are they all the same? No. In broad terms, yes, they all have the basic function of boosting exfoliation and skin cell turnover, to allow healthy, new skin cells to grow. But they don’t all give you the exact same result.

Different skin peels work in slightly different ways, so each one gives you a different auxiliary result. This means that we use various skin peels to treat specific skin conditions and achieve certain results.

These are the 5 types of chemical skin peels you should know about.


This lactic acid-based peel is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (fruit acid) derived from lactose (milk) as the name suggests. It’s usually a fairly mild peel (although there are stronger concentrations that have to be applied by a medical doctor), gently stripping away old cells on the skin surface to make space for new cell growth. It’s also combined with a plumping agent to help improve the skin’s condition almost immediately.

What to expect: After the skin prep, Lacti-firm will tingle slightly on your skin during the five-minute treatment and directly after when the neutralising agent is applied. Normally there’s no visible peeling and no social downtime, so you can go straight back to work or to lunch. Almost immediately after the treatment, your skin will feel smooth, hydrated and plump. Keep applying moisturizer as directed to avoid tightness and dryness for the next few days.


Alpha peel

One of the most widely used peels for treating sun-damaged skin, glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (fruit acid). And, as with any peel, your skin is prepared by removing any oil and dirt and applying Lamelle’s Cathepsin D, an exfoliator that loosens the bonds between dry, old skin cells and healthy cells.

What to expect: It’s smaller molecular size means this peel penetrates deeply, so you’ll feel the tingling on your skin a little more. It’s only for five minutes, though, and you’ll soon realise that the sensation dissipates. Of course, your therapist or doctor will be right there with the neutralising agent onhand all the time. Your skin might be a little red and sensitive directly after the treatment, but within minutes it’ll just feel smooth and glowing. There’s no need to take time off work, just follow your therapist’s after-care and moisturising instructions for the few days after the peel.


This peel is a Lamelle proprietary complex, and it gives full epidermal restructuring for a more advanced ageing treatment, with minimal social downtime. It’s applied in a two-step process: first a five-minute preparation solution, and then a restoration solution that’s left on the skin even while you go home, for 6–12 hours afterwards. This treatment yields more long-term effects, which you’ll see gradually over the first 7 days.

What to expect: The initial activation solution almost doesn’t tingle at all. Neither does the restoration solution, which you’ll remove after 6–12 hours (as directed by your therapist) and immediately start applying your aftercare treatment. But you may notice a little sensitivity directly after treatment and on the first day – as the product goes to work to enhance cell division, boost cell metabolism and stimulate hyaluronic acid production. Days two to five, you’ll experience some fine flaking of the skin; it won’t be big pieces of skin, though, so just keep applying your prescribed aftercare treatments. By day five through seven, your skin will start feeling plumped and very hydrated.


Beta peel and combo peels

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy peel derived from the bark of the willow tree and it’s ideal for both treating acne (see point 5 below) and pigmentation in the skin. On its own, a beta peel is fairly mild, only causing some dryness and a little flaking. But, in some cases where the pigmentation is more severe, the beta peels might be combined with either a retinol treatment that’s left on the skin 8–12 hours after the initial peel, a spot-treatment of TCA (Lamelle’s strongest peel) or a combination of both.

What to expect: With the normal beta peel, you’ll experience a slight tingling on the skin for the three minutes it’s left on. And afterward, it may be a little red and sensitive, but this goes away in minutes. Your therapist might even apply a second or third layer of the treatment.

With added retinol, the basic beta peel treatment is the same, but then a retinol serum is applied after treatment, which you’ll only remove after 8–12 hours before starting on your advised aftercare regimen.

With TCA spot treatments, the normal beta peel is applied and removed, after which the therapist will use an earbud to apply TCA to specific areas of the face. This might require several applications, with waiting periods of three minutes in between. There might be some redness and flaking, but again, just stick to the aftercare treatment and avoid the sun for a few days.


Beta Plus peel

Beta-hydroxy peel, salicylic acid, is excellent for removing pimples, and it also drastically calms inflammation in inflammatory acne.

What to expect: After cleansing and skin prep, this peel will cause a slight tingling and heat on the skin that might feel a little more intense on pimples and acne, especially if they are inflamed or open. It’ll only be on your skin for a maximum of 10 minutes, though. Afterward, your skin will feel hydrated and plump. There might be a little redness immediately after, especially around pimples, but this will go away in a few hours. Remember to follow your therapist’s aftercare instructions.

It’s important to note that these are all professional chemical skin peels, meaning they have to be performed by a trained skincare specialist at your skin clinic, a dermatologist or medical doctor.

Using a professional ensures that your skin is properly assessed beforehand and the ideal peel treatment selected, not to mention that it’s always good to have a professional right there with you when getting a treatment like this.

Article courtesy of lamelle.co.za



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