Detailed directions are included with your purchase of the peel, but here is a rundown of how a chemical peel is applied:
- Before applying any AHA or BHA product to the face, apply a small patch test to either the inner forearm or under the chin for 1 minute to test skin sensitivity. Wait 48 hours before applying to face.
- Thoroughly cleanse all areas that are to be treated, with a cleanser. Rinse the cleanser from the skin with clean warm water and gently pat dry.
- Apply toner to remove all traces of the cleanser and let dry, do not rinse.
- Get a timer and set it for desired peel time.
- Very quickly, apply a small amount of peel solution with a brush, cotton ball or gauze pad to the area cleansed and toned. Leave on for recommended amount of time.
- After this time period use lukewarm-cool water to rinse product from skin and pat dry. Make sure no trace of acid is left on your skin.
- Apply moisturizer to treated areas. Depending on your degree of irritation, wait 1-2 days after the peel has been performed to reinitiate Retin-A, glycolic and topical bleaching creams.
- This product may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. The FDA recommends that a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 be applied daily when using exfoliating products.
Remember: Contact time varies from person to person. For example, some people are unable to tolerate 1 minute, and others can tolerate 5 minutes. If you are allergic to aspirin (which is similar to salicylic acid), you should not undergo a salicylic acid peel. If you are not sure whether or not you are allergic, your physician should test a small area of your inner, upper arm prior to applying a full-face peel.
For applying the product to the skin, a brush, cotton ball, or gauze pad can all be used. Some people use q-tips, but it can be difficult to achieve good coverage with small q-tips. I’ve found that fan brushes are good for applying peels on others, but for applying to your own face, it can be tricky at first. It really comes down to personal preference. If there is a particular application method you prefer, then that’s the best one for you.
Everyone’s skin is a little different. Start off once every other day. Most people tolerate the Salicylic acid well and can apply to trouble spots as part of their evening routine.
Exfoliation is a process that takes some time. The cleansing process scrubs your clogged pores that are embedded with dirt and dead skin cells. As the top layers are removed, this congestion inside the skin may emerge in the form of blemishes. The entire process takes several weeks to purge the skin, but afterwards skin should be noticeably smoother and cleaner.
Controlling Depth of a Peel
The depth of the peel is controlled by contact time, frequency of application, and thickness of application. You should wait at least 10 days before applying the peel again. Upon applying the peel again try adjusting the application time and/or thickness of application in order to avoid irritation of the skin.
Also it is important to rinse your skin thoroughly after applying a peel. This product may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. The FDA recommends that a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher be applied daily when using exfoliating products.
Preparing for a Deeper Peel
It is also recommended that the more concentrated products only be used when necessary. Please use only after trying the less concentrated products and determining how your skin handles.
Lactic acid is water soluble, so it would be possible to dilute the product. You might start with the Lactic/50 or the Salicylic/20 peel for 2 weeks prior to using the Lactic/70 peel. Glycolic acid is also water soluble and can be diluted using water.
Similarly it might be good to start with the Glycolic/35 or the Salicylic/20 peel 2 weeks prior to using the Glycolic/50. This will prepare your skin’s mantle for a more intensive peel.