THE BENEFITs OF A DAILY PEEL
Gentler than an inclinic chemical peel, it brightens and smooths.
It’s a gentler version of the inclinic chemical peel, and makes your skin more even-toned, radiant, brighter and smoother. The use of the chemical peel with glycolic acid hit its peak in the 1990s. It was a concentrated, deep-acting treatment done by a dermatologist or a trained professional at a beauty salon.
Its effects were harsh. It “caused cellular death and destroyed the skin barrier”, says Carrie Gross, president and CEO of Dr Dennis Gross, a New Yorkbased skincare brand. You also had to hole up at home for two weeks, waiting for the redness and flaking to recede. It even inspired the famous scene in Sex
and the City, with character Samantha’s raw, reddened, painful post-peel skin.
Now, there’s the gentler daily home peel. This uses skincare with acids to gently remove the topmost layer of dead skin cells. The theory: Intracellular “concrete” or “glue” holds dead skin cells together, preventing the delivery of ingredients into the skin. A daily peel unglues and sweeps it all away, acting as a skin booster for better cell turnover.
Gross’ husband, a skin researcher, was one of the first proponents of this theory. “Dennis’ background as a skin immunologist shaped his philosophy that you never want to throw the skin off balance. You need to protect the skin barrier; you need to strengthen the skin immunology to keep it healthy and wellbalanced, so you have radiant, beautiful skin – this applies to peels too,” she says.
She stresses that the skin’s pH is naturally acidic, which is why it should love acids because it encourages natural cellular turnover.
The brand’s iconic Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel is a two-step, onetime-use DIY chemical peel packaged like alcohol swabs, to be used in the morning. First step: Swipe on the blend of five acids – glycolic, lactic, malic, citric and salicylic. Second: Protect skin with the antioxidant-packed neutraliser. Says Gross: “People try it once, see the change in their skin, and they’re hooked.”
Lily Kew, founder of local skincare line Kew Organics, as well as Sugar K Organic Peel Bar, had adult acne until acid peels solved the problem. She says: “Daily at-home peels are gentler options that work on just the upper dermal layers. Some enzymatic peels, such as our Sugar Cane Organic Peel, are good for sensitive skin, and even the under-eye area.”
While both Kew and Gross say the current options from their brands are suitable for all skin types, even if you have eczema or rosacea, it’s best to consult a dermatologist before using a daily peel if you suffer from conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis, or if you use prescription skincare or are already using other acid-based skincare.