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Chemical peels: choose the one that's right for you

Chemical peeling is a great ally for skin well-being. Those of you who have tried it at least once in your life know it, the benefits brought to the skin are already visible after the first application.

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By chemical peel we mean a skincare treatment (in the form of a serum, mask or emulsion) which allows a gentle exfoliation of the skin surface. Unlike the scrub (called "physical peeling") it does not use microparticles with which to "scratch" the strange corneum but relies on the action of acids of natural origin capable of eliminating dead cells deposited on the surface skin and stimulate skin turnover.

Today we are talking about three exfoliating acids, the best known and most used, which perform a damaging action on the layers epidermal in a more or less aggressive manner whose purpose is to induce the subsequent process of tissue regeneration. In a nutshell. chemical peels increase the brightness of the treated skin, refine and cleanse the skin and are a great help in the treatment of oily acne-prone skin.

Exfoliants also distorting the external skin layers allow a better penetration of the active substances, contained in creams or serums, in the underlying layers, this is very useful for enhancing the'effectiveness of dermatological treatments, for example in the treatment of'acne.

However, not all acids are the same: very few know the differences and choosing the right acid is often as important as performing the peeling itself. In this article we see the differences between:

  1. the salicylic acid
  2. the glycolic acid
  3. the mandelic acid


It is contained in many products, its effectiveness percentage is equal to 2%. The molecule is slightly soluble in water and highly soluble in alcohol (for this reason we often find the presence of alcohol in cosmetics containing it). It is highly recommended in the case of oily acne-prone skin as it has an inhibitory effect on the sebaceous gland and in addition to a comedolytic and impurity removal activity it also boasts an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory action.

Perfect for those: has skin shiny that produces a lot of sebum or has a tendency to develop acne.

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It is part of the famous family of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and comes from sugar cane. It is the most active of the series thanks to the small size of its molecule. It has a dual action: on the one hand it decreases the strength di cohesion between cells skin and on the other increases the amount of collagen in the dermis, this means that on the one hand, after its use, the absorption of the active ingredients containedused in the creams is implemented and on the other hand that it increases the idskin irritation. There are excellent products on the market with about 10-15% glycolic acid.

Perfect for those who: have skin dull and dehydrated and your desire is to awaken it and illuminate it.

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Fis always part of the AHA family and is extracted from almonds. Its two main characteristics are the execution of a medium-superficial gentle chemical peel, without redness or burning and it also has a particular structure which makes its slow and progressive action. It is a beautiful molecule indicated above all for the treatment of aged skin to which it gives brightness and excellent surface cleansing.

Perfect for those: looking for a anti-aging treatment or have rather sensitive skin.

Each peeling has separate instructions for use which also depend on the cosmetic form, I recommend read the methods of use of your carefully and respect them : using chemical exfoliants too frequently or unsuitable for your skin type can be very dangerous.

Federica Cosmast

Dr. Federica D'Incà - COSMAST Master in Cosmetic Science and Technology

"Every woman has the right to be beautiful" - Elizabeth Arden

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