Peels and scrubs are not just for the face. Treating the body with a rejuvenating peel can reveal healthy, glowing and even-toned skin.
Like face peels, body peels work beyond the surface of the skin to reduce rough texture, minimize fine lines, and fade age spots and hyperpigmentation. Peels are an ideal way to remove visible damage from sun exposure and other environmental damage. Less common than face peels, body peels, nevertheless, deliver similar results, and most people notice an immediate improvement in skin tone and texture.
A chemical body peel is ideal for the:
The skin on the body is slightly thicker and less sensitive than the skin on the face. Areas like the bottom of the feet and palms of the hands do not produce oil or have hair follicles. Although this skin does not tend to show signs of aging and collagen breakdown, it is prone to dryness, cracking and other conditions that can benefit from the occasional peel – see our article on Rough Feet and Cracked Heels.
The rest of the body is subject to signs of aging and environmental damage. The goal of a body peel might differ from that of a face peel. For instance, you might be more concerned about erasing scars, stretch marks, sun spots, dryness, or improving uneven skin tone. Or you might simply be striving for soft, even-toned and incredibly touchable skin.
Types of Peels
Different peels deliver different results depending on things like the condition of your skin, the type of peel being used, the area of the body it is applied to, and even whether you have had a peel before.
The solution used in a peel can include a number of active agents. Each active ingredient will affect the skin at a different level meaning that some ingredients target superficial skin in the epidermis (top layers), while others target deeper layers, into the dermis. Because the skin on the body is slightly tougher than facial skin, active enzymes like AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) like L-lactic acid and other acid combinations may be used to lift deeper layers of dead skin cells, provide antioxidants, regenerate and hydrate the skin, leaving it polished and smooth. There is also (TCA) trichloroacetic acid, carbolic acid (also called phenol) or salicylic acid that can be used in body peel solutions.
Before the peel can be applied, the skin is hydrated and softened with a conditioning treatment. Then, depending on the results you are trying to achieve, the appropriate peel solution is applied to increase skin cell turnover and correct targeted skin conditions.
Once the solution is applied, you may experience a gentle warming sensation which will remain until the solution is washed off. A hand-held fan may be used to help cool the skin while the solution is on.
While a single peel treatment may help brighten the skin and provide superficial results, more treatments will be required to improve more mature, sun-damaged skin by delivering deeper exfoliation, skin brightening and toning with no residual peeling or downtime. Additional peels are spaced two to three weeks apart until desired results are reached.
Try this tip for smooth elbows and knees…
Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on half a grapefruit and rub over your skin. The mild acid in the vitamin C will help fade dark spots and the sugar will buff the rough skin. Do not use on your face though!