Will A Chemical Peel Help Acne? – Can You Peel From Home?
You probably think you’ve tried just about everything to get rid of your acne, I bet you’ve done all the cleansers, spot treatments, lotions and potions, even tried some of the more non conventional methods in a desperate attempt to magic away the pimples, let me guess? toothpaste? Don’t worry I’ve been there!
But have you wondered will a chemical peel help acne? Or thought about trying to do your own from home and if you did will it do anything to help or are home chemical peels even safe?
I am going to be telling you all there is to know about chemicals peels for acne and including those you can do yourself from home.
What Is Acne?
Acne can take many different forms from mild, which can be just a few pimples and blemishes to highly aggressive and debilitating, which can include cystic acne where painful nodules can be present in the deeper layers of the skin for long periods of time and can be extremely upsetting and difficult to live with.
Whichever type of acne you have though, all spots, blemishes, comedones, open or closed, closed (white heads), open (blackheads) all have one thing in common, they are formed by a pore (hair follicle) in the skin becoming blocked with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria.
What Is A Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a solution which is brushed on to the skin which contains a non-toxic acid either in the form of an Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acid (BHA), tricloroacetic acid (TCA) or resorcinol in the Jessners peel.
The main ones we are going to be looking at for acne are AHA’s and BHA’s.
The acids in these peels loosen the bonds between dead skin cells allowing them to be shed much more rapidly or exfoliated in order to bring newer healthy skin cells to the surface.
How Can A Chemical Peel Help Acne?
As acne is caused by the pores becoming clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells, sebum or oil and bacteria, firstly chemical peels are a deeper form of exfoliation, therefore, removing the dead skin cells before they get a chance to clog the pores.
The next thing to look at would be the acid used in the peel to help control the acne, although most peels will help the acne symptoms due to increasing cellular turnover and exfoliation, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) this being salicylic acid is definitely the acid of choice for improving acne.
Salicylic acid is related to aspirin and has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which is great for calming inflamed acne.
It is also oil soluble, so it powers around deep down into pores, clearing them out like a Tasmanian devil!
So that’s the dead skin and oil taken care of now for the bacteria.
Due to the low PH of the peel it does create unfavourable conditions for the bacteria to thrive in, salicylic is also a powerful antibacterial.
How Many Chemical Peels Will You Need To Get Rid Of Acne?
You cannot expect miracles after just one chemical peel, although you certainly will notice a difference in your skins overall radiance and appearance.
To really start to notice a difference with your acne you will need 3 to start to see improvements and 6 to really see a difference.
Can You Use Chemical Peels For Acne At Home?
I always think if you want to see results fast you should go and see a professional for your treatments.
They will be able to use acids at higher concentrations than what you can safely use at home and also a good practitioner will be able to patchwork a peel for you.
This means different areas of you face may need a different acid to another as some areas might be oily and need a salicylic acid peel whereas another area may be dry and require lactic acid.
You would need one a month and prices can vary from £60-£200 per peel.
However it is not always within every ones budget to be able to afford professional treatments and there are many at home chemical peels available to help with your acne.
The benefits of doing your own peel from home is many are safe to incorporate into your daily skincare regime so you can start to see instant brightening effects.
Stronger DIY peels are available if you want to brave something a little deeper but it is very important you follow the directions carefully, do a patch test first and be prepared for some down time.
You’re likely to actually peel with some of these stronger peels and this could be for 5-7 days.
Can Anyone Have A Chemical Peel?
Something you should be very cautious of is if you have a darker skin tone you are at a higher risk of getting hyper pigmentation from a chemical peel.
It is advisable to always protect your skin from the sun following a peel with a high factor SPF.
Avoid chemical peels or anything containing salicylic acid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
So if you thought you had tried everything for your acne maybe its time to give chemical peels a try, and don’t worry, there not anywhere near as scary as they sound.
The deep and scary ones are the phenol and some of the deeper TCA peels, so avoid these and your good to go.
Just remember to look for the salicylic acid peels when looking for helping with your acneic skin but be prepared for a course, it’s not going to go overnight.
So will a chemical peel help acne?
Go for the right one and it certainly can help!