Unit Two


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Learning Acids

Now we are getting to the fun part – the acids and what they can do!

All peels have similar basic mechanics. We apply an exfoliating chemical to the skin to destroy epidermal and dermal structures. This in turn forces them to regenerate and create a better structure and visual improvement of the skin.

The simple concept is we are creating a controlled wound to stimulate regeneration of the skin.

Other common controlled wounding processes are CO2 and erbium lasers.

The type and percentage of acid directly correlates to the depth of the wound.

There are 4 depths of peels: Very superficial, Superficial, Medium, and Deep.

As you can see in the photo, some acids will work well on surface issues and others may be required to reach deeper levels. Most people doing peels at home will start off with a peel in the Very Superficial (VS) or Superficial (S) category. These are a great introduction to at-home peels.

This family of acids will be applied in a single layer to the skin, timed and then rinsed.

Here is a video that will walk through all of the acids we manufacture and what they are best used for.

Lactic [50] = excellent for pigmentation on the outermost layers of skin. This acid has a large molecule and is considered gentle. It is predominantly used for dry and sensitive skin types. Tiniest amount of dryness and possibly some visible flakes. (VS)

Glycolic [30-50-70] = great general acid for any type of issue. This acid has a very small molecular structure and is a common choice for normal and combo skin types looking for a general refreshening of the skin. Dryness and small flakes. (S)

Mandelic [22-40] = super choice for extended issues such as acne, pigmentation, and fine lines. Common choice for all normal, combo and acne skin types. Dryness and small manageable flakes. (S)

Salicylic [3-15-25] = perfect choice for oily skin and acne issues. This non-inflammatory acid is attracted to oil and will help to clear out clogged pores and reduce swelling in active blemishes. Dryness and manageable flakes. (S)

Vitamin A Dream Peel = Vitamin A can be used as a peeling agent in high percentages. The Dream Peel is applied 1, 2, or 3 nights in a row to get a nice, even all over peel. Another common use is to apply it as a finishing layer to a medium depth peel. Small, manageable flakes on its own or as an adjunct to increase flaking. (S)

Medium Peels

Moving up into the Medium (M) depth peels you will find those that can be layered after a set amount of time has gone by. This will greatly affect the strength of the peel. These can start off being a superficial peel – but will quickly graduate to medium depth with multiple layers *or heavy-handed applications.

Jessner = next step up in strength for acne, oily skin, and those with deep pigmentation issues. Safe for all skin coloring. Melanin prep preferred to help prevent PIH. Layer-able peel with dryness and a good deal of visible flaking on the skin. (M)

TCA [7-13-20-30] = next step for anti-aging, scars, and many skin issues. Layer-able peel available in multiple percentages. Melanin prep preferred to help prevent PIH in Fitzpatrick IV, V, VI types. Dryness with a great deal of flaking skin possible. (M)

Most everyone can use all the acids we have gone over thus far, but many of you will have some pretreatment requirements to apply them safely. See the graphic below to find out where you fall into line.

2 Responses

  1. Hi, In the peel choices chart it doesn’t mention the Dream peel at all. Is it part of the Superficial catagory or is it considered a Medium peel. I have the Dream peel but not sure whether I need to get the 13% TCA to begin with since that is a milder peel.

    1. I’ll reply to your other question as well…

      From Jen: “Dream Peel isn’t a chemical peel and anyone can use it. The biggest thing is to follow the recommendations and start with 1 night if you are sensitive. Next time do 2 nights… and 3 nights in the future. “

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