There are two types of CEs: acids and enzymes. I'm going to explain enzymes first. Enzymes literally dissolve collections of hardened, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. It's like there's a ton of teeny tiny Pac Men on the skin eating all those li'l bumpies.
Enzymes usually come in a products that are liquid, gel or even sometimes in a creamy type of consistency. Bromelain and Papain are the two most common enzymes used in skin care products. Bromelain is derived from pineapple and papain from papaya. Enzymes are best for those of us who have sensitive or sensitized skin. (Yay!) However, really anyone can benefit from a product that contains enzymes as long as it is not used too frequently. An enzymatic exfoliant can be used twice a week after cleansing the skin. The only warning I have for using a product containing enzymes is this: if you are a allergic to tropical fruits, perhaps us a scrub or an acid for your exfoliating needs.
Speaking of acids... I love them ;)
There are two families if acids, Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids. Your AHAs are Lactic acid, Glycolic acid, Malic acid, Citric acid and Tartaric acid all of these are water soluble. There's only one BHA, Salicylic acid, and it's oil soluble which means the molecules of this acid "seek and destroy" oil build up, or blemishes. Acids, in general, cause the cells of the epidermis to become "unglued" allowing the dead skin cells to slough off, making room for regrowth of new skin. Amazing!
You can purchase serums, moisturizers and SPFs that containing acids in concentrations of less than 10%. Licensed Estheticians (such as myself) can use AHA/BHA products that have a concentration of 20% to 30%. This percentage varies, I'm being very general. The Glycolic peel that I provide for clients is 33%. (I'm very happy with the results of this percentage it provides smoother, brighter, better, younger looking skin with NO recovery time. None, seriously.) Doctors can use AHAs that have a concentration of 50% to 70%. At this percentage the acid reaches the dermis, which Estheticians are not authorized to treat.
Whether you are using an AHA/BHA product at home or receiving a resurfacing treatment from a professional, you will notice a definite sensation on your skin. This sensation can usually be described as "tingling" or "itching" and depending on your skin type can range from barely noticeable to very intense. I know that many people believe that if their skin is burning or if they're in pain while a product is on the skin that just means the product is "working." This is not the case. I really want to stress this point: you should never be in pain, "burning" or otherwise while using any skincare or receiving a chemical skin treatment.
AHAs do so much more for our skin because of the advanced level of exfoliation, other benefits include a lightening effect on hyperpigmentation (more commonly referred to as "age spots"), smoothing of superficial fine lines, healing of blemishes and a decrease of breakout activity.
If you are currently using a product at home that contains either Retin-A or Retinnol you are using a product that contains a chemical exfoliant. Retin-A and Retinol are forms of vitamin A and work on the skin just like an AHA. These ingredients are usually found in either serums or "night creams;" which is really just a moisturizer, specified to use at night for the reason I'm about to address. Because AHAs (in all forms) produce new skin, it is imperative you use SPF if you are using products that contain them during the day. Protection from the sun is of the utmost importance when new skin is concerned because it is very easily, quickly and negatively effected by sun rays.
Like I mentioned previously, I'm very pleased with the results my clients have achieved with the glycolic peel treatment I provide them. If you would like to begin to receive this service it's called a Skin Resurfacing treatment. You can receive just the peel or you can get the peel within a customized facial. If you have questions about this please do not hesitate to call me at Bohemia at 262-7888. I am always available to answer questions.
Please let me know what you're interested in reading about. I will always share my personal experiences and honest opinions about your skin questions and concerns.
All of My Best,