One of the simplest ways to change your skin is through regular, consistent exfoliation. Since at-home exfoliation can often irritate and even damage your skin, the most effective forms of exfoliation are those done in an office setting. At ALC MedSpa located in Gurnee, IL, we offer the simple yet transformative exfoliating treatments of dermaplaning and peels that when scheduled regularly, will help you transform your skin into what you’ve always dreamed it to be.
How Is Dermaplaning Different From a Peel?
These processes are similar in that both are effective treatments that transform the skin through the process of exfoliation. Though they both exfoliate the skin, they do so differently. There are many differences between these two forms of exfoliation, yet the primary difference is that one is a type of physical exfoliation while the other falls into the category of chemical exfoliation.
Physical Exfoliation vs. Chemical Exfoliation
Dermaplaning is a type of physical exfoliation and peels are a type of chemical exfoliation. This distinction separates them as exfoliators, as well as how they are performed and what goes on during each treatment. The primary difference between the physical and chemical exfoliation processes is that while both work to exfoliate the top layer of skin and reveal a fresh new layer beneath it, they do it differently.
What Is Physical Exfoliation?
Most people are familiar with physical exfoliation because it is the most common form of at-home exfoliation. Physical exfoliants are commonly used at home to exfoliate the skin. This exfoliation involves the use of physical friction to remove dead skin. Physical exfoliation loosens and removes dead skin cells through the use of force. This method is a tangible one because it involves the use of a tool or something physical on the surface of the skin.
Types of Physical Exfoliants
Dermaplaning falls into the category of physical exfoliants because it involves the use of a medical-grade, sterile scalpel. However, there are many other types of physical exfoliants, some of which you might currently have in your home or have used before. Some common types of physical exfoliants include:
- Granular scrubs (often containing nut shells, fruit pits, oatmeal, or sugar)
- Body washes with exfoliating beads
- Silicone body brushes
- Electronic cleansing brushes (bristle or silicone)
- Personal and professional microdermabrasion tools
- Facial razors
Dermaplaning: A Physical Exfoliant
This method of exfoliation is physical because it involves the use of a tool to remove dead cells from the top layer of the skin. During this treatment, your esthetician uses a scalpel that’s held at a precise angle. This method takes skill and precision since the primary tool is a blade. As the scalpel moves painlessly across the surface of the skin, it takes with it all of the dead skin cells and peach fuzz that it removes from the face, revealing a fresh layer of skin.
What Is Chemical Exfoliation?
Physical exfoliation deals with what is tangible and seen, yet chemical exfoliation is just the opposite and involves a type of exfoliation that is unseen.
Exfoliants that fall into this category don’t involve the use of tools or scrubs but instead exfoliate through their active ingredients which work to dissolve dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.
Types of Chemical Exfoliants
Chemical exfoliants are primarily acids combined with other ingredients. They are formulated as a substance, applied to the face, and work to exfoliate the skin chemically. They come in varied strengths and concentrations and though you can buy some of them over the counter, the most powerful forms of chemical exfoliation are in-office peels. These give you the most noticeable and lasting results compared to the products designed for at-home usage.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)
One common type of acid that acts as a chemical exfoliant is alpha hydroxy acid. Acids that qualify as AHA’s are water-soluble, meaning they dissolve in water, often come from fruits while others are produced within a lab. While these two types are different, they are both effective. The most common alpha hydroxy acids are glycolic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, and malic acid. Alpha hydroxy acids have many benefits and work to do the following:
- Increase the effectiveness of your products
- Increase collagen production
- Improve blood flow
- Use results in a brightened complexion
- Soften fine lines and wrinkles
- Help treat pigmentation issues
- Help treat and prevent acne
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s)
Beta hydroxy acids, also known as BHA’s, work to unclog pores and attack and remove sebum, which can cause acne when trapped inside of your pores. These acids are like a magnet to oil so they can reach deeper into the skin than AHA’s. The most common beta hydroxy acid is salicylic acid, an acid well known for its ability to treat blackheads and whiteheads. It is also one of the primary ingredients in acne-fighting products. Some benefits of BHA’s are:
- They’re attracted to oil and work to unclog pores
- Naturally anti-inflammatory
- Help prevent breakouts by keeping pores clear
- Work gently to fight oil while simultaneously calming the skin
The Peel: A Chemical Exfoliant
Peels fall into the category of chemical exfoliants. One benefit of peels is that they are customizable based on your specific skin type and based on what type of problems your skin may be experiencing that require resolution through your chosen peel. There are many different types of peels, each of which contains a different combination of ingredients and work to accomplish different results in addition to exfoliating the skin.
At our office, we offer highly effective peels that are customizable to your skincare needs. If you are unsure as to what type of peel would be best suited for your skin type and condition, our expert estheticians will analyze your skin and help determine which peel will give your skin the best results. Some of the peels we offer in our office include the VI Peel and the Environ Cool Peel. Both are highly effective yet give different results based on specific needs.
The VI Peel is a prescription-only peel that comes in a variety of formulations. These formulations target certain skin conditions and work to reverse skin damage. It is the most popular and effective peel due to its ability to rejuvenate the skin in many different ways. Through its chemical exfoliation process, it can help reverse sun damage and treat the signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. Some benefits of this highly effective peel are:
- Activates collagen and elastin production
- Gives you smoother and thicker skin
- Helps treat, improve, and prevent acne
- A quick treatment
- A gentle treatment
- Safe for all skin types
Environ Cool Peel
Another peel that we offer is the Environ Cool Peel. This peel is a lighter, gentler peel, yet still rejuvenating to the skin. If you aren’t able to commit to the process involved with deeper chemical peels but still want your skin to undergo chemical exfoliation, this peel is a good option. It is gentler because it contains lower levels of acids and has a lower ph level. Some benefits of this peel include the ways that it:
- Improves the visible signs of aging
- Stimulates collagen production
- Helps treat and reverse sun damage
- Is customizable based on different skin types and goals
- Helps treat oily, acne-prone skin
- Provides a youthful glow
- Gently exfoliates the skin
In the Office: Peels vs. Dermplaning
When you schedule an in-office peel or dermaplaning session, although you are choosing a highly effective, in-office exfoliating treatment, each is a very different form of exfoliation. While both are effective methods of exfoliation, they work differently, provide different results, and have different benefits.
What Happens During a Peel?
When you come in for a peel, your skin will first be cleansed to prepare it to receive the peel. The esthetician will then apply the peel, which is in a substance form, to your face and leave it on the skin for the designated amount of time. Once that time passes, the peel will be removed and your face will be cleansed of any excess product.
What Are the Benefits?
The benefits of peels are endless. The primary benefits are that they can reverse skin damage due to the sun, help combat the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, provide deep exfoliation to the skin, stimulate collagen and elastin production, brighten the complexion, combat acne, help resolve pigmentation issues such as hyperpigmentation and melasma, and improve skin texture and tone, among others.
Who Is a Candidate?
Everyone is a candidate for a peel, but every skin type is not a candidate for every peel. Some skin types will do better with gentle peels, while others can tolerate and benefit from deeper peels. If you don’t know which peel would work best with your skin type, we will analyze your skin before applying your peel and help you determine which one is right for you.
How Often Can I Schedule?
How often you schedule a peel depends on your skin type and which type of peel you select. Gentler peels can be done monthly, while deeper peels may require more time between appointments. As always, our skincare specialists will schedule your peels according to your skin type and skin needs.
What Happens During the Treatment?
During this exfoliating treatment, your skin will first be cleansed to create a clean canvas free of any make-up or products. Following cleansing, the esthetician will use a sterile scalpel and will pass it back and forth across your face, taking with it all of the dead skin and peach fuzz. At the end of the treatment, all of the excess skin will be wiped off of your face.
What Are the Benefits?
Aside from exfoliation, there are some added benefits to choosing this treatment. When combined with other treatments like chemical peels, it can increase the effectiveness of those treatments. It also removes all of the dead skin and peach fuzz from the top layer of your skin, which in turn, leads to a flawless make-up application.
Who Is a Candidate?
Virtually everyone is a candidate for this treatment. Everyone can experience the benefits of this gentle, exfoliating treatment, which is what makes it so popular. Those who can’t undergo chemical exfoliation due to skin sensitivities, pregnancy, nursing, or for any other reason can still have this exfoliation treatment.
How Often Can I Schedule?
Typically, you can schedule these treatments monthly to experience consistent exfoliation and consistent results. If you’re unsure as to how often to schedule, our skincare experts will help you determine the best plan of action based on your skin type, needs, and ultimate skincare goals. Staying consistent with your appointments will help you get your skin where you want it to be, and help it stay that way.
Exfoliation is a simple yet effective way to combat aging without undergoing invasive treatments. If you’re ready to shed the dead skin from your face and expose the youthful glow just waiting to be revealed, don’t wait any longer. Contact us today at ALC MedSpa in Gurnee, IL, and speak with one of our skincare experts about scheduling a chemical peel or a dermaplaning session.