europa skin care : natural, organic & science-based skin care

Friday, June 19, 2015

Salicylic Acid Peels

Salicylic acid peels can be found with concentrations ranging from 20%-35%. Salicylic acid peels work by encouraging the shedding of outer layers of skin and dislodging dirt and sebum from pores. Salicylic acid also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to shrinks pore size by stimulating cellular renewal.

Compared to alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels, Salicylic acid is more appropriate for oily skin types as it is fat/oil soluble, giving it more penetrative power. Salicylic acid aids acne sufferers while lightening surface scarring. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, salicylic acid is a safer bet than AHA peels for sensitive skin. A note caution, salicylic acid can be dangerous when inhale so care must be taken no to inhale the acid during the peel treatment.

Best results for salicylic acid peels comes when a it is used in a weekly cycle for a duration of 1-2 months. Home peels can be bought online and range from $30-$50. Dermatologists rates range from $70-$120 for a guided session. The instructions to using the peel are basic and easy to follow without much preparation needed except for a neutralizer which can either be store bought or made by combining water and sodium bicarbonate or baking soda.

The peel has to be applied to clean skin so the first thing to do is to cleanse your skin thorough but do not use any harsh scrubs. Next, apply the chemical peel on a piece of cotton pad. Dab the cotton pad onto the surface of your skin. It may sting a little or a lot depending on your skin tolerance.

Your skin will gain immunity to the acid gradually. Leave the acid on for 3 minutes on the first treatment and rinse off the the neutralizer. Follow up with a fragrance and hypoallergenic moisturizer. You may witness skin irritation and flaking on your outer skin surface after the peel but it will soon be over if you apply moisturizer and sunscreen of SPF 35 or higher in the daytime on a daily basis. Sun rays and other irritations such as smoking as the fumes may interrupt the skin healing process by irritating it.

You can gradually build your skin tolerance as you go along each session by a min or 2. Salicylic acid is a relatively safe peel as it will self neutralize itself after 6-8 minutes for a 20% concentration. Results for a beta hydroxy peel such as salicylic acid are worth the while as they really help acne prone individuals recover from enlarge pore and oil secretions.

A salicylic acid peel is unbeatable as a treatment for acne, blackheads, large pores and pimples.

Why Is A Salicylic Acid Peel So Beneficial For Acne?

Derived from Willow bark, it is the sole star of the Beta Hydroxy Acid group (BHA). Also a main constitute of Aspirin.

Being fat soluble it is attracted to and dissolves fats. Effectively, it breaks down lipids and oils/sebum. It can get right into pores - which is why it's so good for acne:
  • clears and prevents blackheads, pimples/whiteheads and cysts
  • also very beneficial in reducing acne scars
  • Salicylic Acid Peel At Home
  • degreases skin and helps to balance oil production
  • dissolves the fatty glue between cells, exfoliating skin and opening pores 
  • the acid then neutralizes the bacteria inside, which reduces inflammation (straight away - very good for active, red pimples) and helps prevent further breakouts
  • helps with large pores by reducing/rebalancing oil production, and improving skin texture
Effects of Salicylic Acid on the Skin: 
• Keratolytic (exfoliation of skin cells)
• Moisturizing
• Facilitates skin penetration of other active ingredients
• Skin & hair conditioning effects
• Acidulant (acidifying effect)
• Anti-acneic
• Anti-dandruff effects
• Anti-fungal
• Anti-inflammatory
• Analgetic
• UV-absorbing
• Anti-pruritic (anti-itching)

Keratolytic Effect
One of the major properties of salicylic acid is its ability to remove skin cells of the most upper layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. This keratolytic effect is dependent on the concentration of salicylic acid used in a cream. For example, at a concentration of 10 - 15% salicylic acid shows a keratolytic effect already after 2 or 3 days. At 5%and 1% desquamation of skin cells is seen after 7 and 10 days, respectively. 
Besides removing old cells and horny debris from the skin, keratolysis has also the advantage that it facilitates the penetration of other active ingredients into the skin. Salicylic acid is therefore often added to skin care products that contain active ingredients in orders in order to increase their absorption and efficacy.
Anti-Acne Effect
Due to its keratolytic effect salicylic acid has become a main ingredient to treat acne. Salicylic acid is approved for non-prescription anti-acne products at concentrations from 0.5 - 2%. Besides keratolysis, the acidifying and anti-inflammatory properties of salicylic acid are also believed to be responsible for the good anti-acne effect of salicylic acid.
Additional Uses
Salicylic acid has also been proposed to have antifungus activity, though the fungistatic activity seems to be low as stand-alone ingredient. Since salicylic acid, however, can increase the efficacy of other more potent anti-fungus agents, it is often added to anti-fungus creams as “booster”. Due to its effectiveness as keratolytic agent, and its antiitching properties, the use of salicylic acid in antidandruff products is well established.
The Advisory Review Panel recommended that salicylic acid at 2 - 3% be placed in Category I for dandruff treatment. Similarly, in 1991 FDA has approved salicylic acid for the control of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Besides all these various effects salicylic acid has also been found to be able to absorb ultraviolet radiation. As a consequence, it should be kept away from direct sunlight which gives a pink color.
Although the anti-inflammatory and analgetic effects of salicylic acid are not as potent as those of acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin), it still shows significant effects and is therefore widely used in  anti-inflammatory creams and ointments.
 To avoid excess peeling and/or irriation of the skin salicylic acid should be used with caution when using together with additional exfoliants such as abrasive soaps or cleansers, alcohol-containing products, or other topical acne or peeling products that contain e.g. benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, sulfur, or tretinoin. In addition, soaps or cosmetics that dry the skin may also increase exfoliation and consequently skin irritation.