The Acid test

Cheshire Life - - Inside -

Try­ing out chem­i­cal peels

If you think facial peels are not for the faint-hearted think again, they

are ac­tu­ally a bril­liant so­lu­tion for a wide range of skin con­di­tions

Brush­ing acid on your face sounds like a hor­ren­dous way to get rid of wrin­kles and pig­men­ta­tion, but ban­ish hor­ror movie sce­nar­ios right now!

Un­less you choose a harsher more rad­i­cal treat­ment - you’ll dis­cover they are a fan­tas­tic route to a refined, pol­ished skin.

Peels use var­i­ous kinds of acids - in­clud­ing gly­colic, lac­tic and sal­i­cylic, de­pend­ing on your con­cerns and skin type - to re­move dead skin cells and stim­u­late the growth of new cells.

AHA or Al­pha Hy­droxy Acids (lac­tic

or gly­colic acid) in­crease cell turnover and re­newal rates stim­u­lat­ing ex­fo­li­a­tion for ex­am­ple, while BHA’s (Beta Hy­droxy Acid) such as sal­i­cylic acid con­tain larger mol­e­cules and re­move dead skin cells and are good for un­clog­ging pores.

How rad­i­cal the peel you choose de­pends upon how brave you are - af­ter all not many of us can af­ford to spend a week in hiding as the old skin flakes off and new ‘baby’ skin ap­pears, but it is pos­si­ble to achieve vis­i­ble re­sults with milder pro­ce­dures, as we dis­cov­ered when we put peels to the acid test...


The Treat­ment: Zo Ossen­tial Stim­u­la­tor Peel

The clinic: Ren­o­va­tio Clinic, Ros­th­erne, Al­trin­cham

Tested by: Katie Mulloy, Ed­i­tor The verdict: Healthy look­ing skin

Stub­born adult acne through­out my twen­ties has left my 30-some­thing skin puck­ered and scarred which def­i­nitely makes the first (al­though they feel more like sec­ond or third) signs of ag­ing more pro­nounced. My big­gest prob­lem isn’t that I have a few lines on my face - I have no problems with ag­ing and don’t crave an alien-like In­sta­gram smooth­ness – it’s that my skin is about as far from healthy and glowing as you can get. It looks per­pet­u­ally dull while my su­per sen­si­tive Celtic com­plex­ion means I have a con­stant red­ness that re­quires cov­er­ing with con­cealer.

Ergo, I need a peel that will do its job – brighten, re­fresh, make the lines look a lit­tle less ob­vi­ous – with­out ag­gra­vat­ing my al­ready sen­si­tive skin. And so up steps The Ren­o­va­tio Clinic and its Zo Ossen­tial Stim­u­la­tor Peel. Zo stands for Zane Obagi and Obagi sk­in­care is well known in clinic-stan­dard cir­cles. This is his sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion of­fer­ing, a slightly gen­tler, more so­phis­ti­cated ver­sion of what he’s done be­fore. The Stim­u­la­tor Peel is a mix of al­pha hy­droxy acids – lac­tic, cit­ric and gly­colic which work to­gether to slough away all the dull-mak­ing dead skin cells. Mean­while diglu­co­syl gal­lic acid helps re­store skin tone and quells in­flam­ma­tion. Be­fore all that is ap­plied, the ther­a­pist uses a lac­tic-acid based prep to help the in­gre­di­ents pen­e­trate the skin. Nei­ther process hurts. There is a slight tin­gling I sup­pose but noth­ing un­com­fort­able and when I’m left un­der an an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory lamp, which uses different colour waves of light to stim­u­late col­la­gen, kill bac­te­ria and dampen down in­flam­ma­tion, I even doze off. The re­sult: My face feels pumped and plumped, like the low­est of elec­tric cur­rents is run­ning through it. There is no down­time; no hor­ri­ble peel­ing or dra­matic red­ness. It feels slightly tighter than nor­mal for a few days but it also looks fresher and brighter. I’m not af­ter timere­vers­ing mir­a­cles; just health­ier look­ing skin. And this cer­tainly de­liv­ers on that front.

Price: £95 (£35 for the light ther­apy) ren­o­va­ti­o­


The treat­ment: Sk­inCeu­ti­cals City Ra­di­ance Facial

The clinic: Su­san Kitchen Aes­thet­ics, Ch­ester

Tester: Janet Reeder,

Style Ed­i­tor

The verdict: Look­ing good! With face fillers and fro­tox in our anti-age­ing ar­moury it’s easy to over­look skin health and yet as I’ve dis­cov­ered as I get older, it’s your skin’s con­di­tion that will ul­ti­mately show your age.

I’m of the gen­er­a­tion that would fry their face in the sun, with min­i­mal if any sun pro­tec­tion (I know! One of a few re­grets in life). I have been for­tu­nate in many ways as thanks to us­ing some good sk­in­care I don’t have too many wrin­kles and only the faintest of brown sun spots but these are things that bug me all the same.

Su­san Kitchen Aes­thet­ics uses Sk­inCeu­ti­cals prod­ucts to cor­rect these problems, as well as pre­vent future skin dam­age through an­tiox­i­dant en­riched serums.

Fa­cial­ist Jill de­cided that as I had lit­tle dis­coloura­tion my peel should concentrat­e on lack of firm­ness and wrin­kles.

My peel featured a 20% con­cen­tra­tion of gly­colic acid, I could have in­creased the strength to a max­i­mum of 40% gly­colic, which in­cludes 10% cit­ric acid but that’s for skin with more pig­men­ta­tion that I have.

Dur­ing the treat­ment, I ex­pe­ri­enced the kind of tin­gling you’d get if you sat in the sun for an hour with­out sun­screen (I should know!) but af­ter the acid is neu­tralised and I’d lain for 15 min­utes in a Clini­care

Pure anti-in­flam­ma­tory mask, the sen­sa­tion dis­ap­peared com­pletely.

To boost skin pro­tec­tion, fol­low­ing the neu­traliser, Jill used C E Ferulic a syn­er­gis­tic an­tiox­i­dant com­bi­na­tion of 15% pure vi­ta­min C, 1% vi­ta­min E and 0.5% ferulic acid to en­hance pro­tec­tion against en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age. She also ap­plied a post­peel lym­phatic drainage massage us­ing Age In­ter­rupter, an anti age­ing cream.

I am re­ally pleased with the re­sults. My skin was im­me­di­ately smoother and stayed fresh and firmer for a week after­wards. It may not have rad­i­cal re­sults but it would be a lovely peel to have be­fore a spe­cial oc­ca­sion when you want your skin to have that youth­ful inner glow. Price: £65, su­sankitchen­aes­thet­


The treat­ment: Elemis Biotec Skin Resur­facer

The clinic: The Spa at the Lowry Ho­tel, Manch­ester Tester: Alisha Davis,

Ed­i­to­rial As­sis­tant

The Verdict: Got the glow Hav­ing suf­fered with eczema through­out my life, one thing I struggle with is dull, dry and ul­tra-sen­si­tive skin, which is why I’m of­ten wary when it comes to facial peels. The thought of hav­ing to deal with a red, puffy re­ac­tion is in­stantly off-putting.What ap­peals about this facial is that it starts with an ultrasonic peel us­ing a de­vice that cre­ates ultrasonic waves and a high fre­quency vi­bra­tion that can be changed to suit your skin’s needs. This re­moves dead skin cells, and is one of the more gen­tler peels avail­able. The skin is then treated with blue and red light ther­apy. Blue light ther­apy con­tains an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties, and can re­duce the symp­toms ac­com­pa­nied with eczema such as ir­ri­ta­tion, whereas the red light ther­apy in­creases nat­u­ral hy­dra­tion lev­els, re­duced red­ness and in­flam­ma­tion, and

How rad­i­cal the peel you choose de­pends on how brave you are

ac­cel­er­ates skin repair. All things an eczema suf­ferer re­ally needs.

Af­ter the treat­ment, my face in­stantly felt re­freshed, smooth and had a glow that only an ex­pen­sive high­lighter man­ages to create. My skin didn’t look or feel dry and the tight­ness I’m used to when us­ing new prod­ucts didn’t oc­cur. The com­bined affect of the gen­tle peel, light ther­apy and massage left me feel­ing re­freshed and ready to tackle my mas­sive to-do list. I will def­i­nitely be re­turn­ing to get an in­stant boost and nat­u­ral glow when I’m in the mood to em­brace the no-make up look.

Price from: £75, th­elowry­ho­tel. com/spa/spa-treatments


The treat­ment:

Pri­ori Su­perceu­ti­cal Peel with light­fu­sionTM

The clinic: Court­house Clinic, Wilm­slow

Tester: Kate Houghton,

Homes Ed­i­tor

The verdict: I’ll be back!

Once you hit 40, your body’s metabolism slows, things don’t hap­pen as they used to and you start to no­tice dif­fer­ences. One change I have no­ticed is a dull­ness, an in­creased feel­ing of dry­ness in my skin. No glow where there used to be. CC creams and foun­da­tions sit more heav­ily and my day cream doesn’t ab­sorb so well. A peel, I de­cided, might help with this. Court­house Clinics use Pri­ori prod­ucts for all their facial peels. They are, my ther­a­pist Becky says, the best she’s ever worked with, as they are all about the end re­sult: no fancy pack­ag­ing, no se­duc­tive scents, no pretty prom­ises, just pure pur­pose. I explained that I wanted some­thing sim­ple, rel­a­tively pain­less and with no con­cerns about hav­ing to hide away for days so my red and flaky skin didn’t frighten the chil­dren.

She ad­vised that a Pri­ori Su­perceu­ti­cal Peel, ap­plied for just one minute, would de­liver ex­cel­lent re­sults with no scary side-ef­fects. This would be im­me­di­ately fol­lowed by a ten minute light­fu­sion treat­ment. Light­fu­sion uses different wave­lengths of light to al­ter bi­o­log­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in the skin, help­ing pro­mote col­la­gen and elastin syn­the­sis, im­prove the blood flow and elim­i­nate tox­ins. It is used as both a stand­alone facial treat­ment and to boost re­sults from peels.

The Pri­ori peel is a gly­colic and lac­tic acid based so­lu­tion, which can be left on for be­tween one and three min­utes. As I haven’t had any peel pre-prepa­ra­tion, us­ing Pri­ori prod­ucts, Becky ad­vises that one minute will be quite long enough. At first, as she brushes on the so­lu­tion, I feel noth­ing more than a slight chill. This soon changes how­ever, and my face quickly starts to feel itchy and a bit raw. It wasn’t aw­ful, but it would be wise to build to the three minute mark over a se­ries of treatments, I think!

Af­ter another cleanse, Becky ap­plies a serum-in­fused mask to my face, then fits the light­fu­sion mask, for a ten minute treat­ment. She fin­ishes with eye cream and serum, a mois­turiser and a SPF45 sun­cream.

Fol­low­ing the treat­ment, my face feels lush; hy­drated, and soft to the touch. Over the next week I see a def­i­nite in­crease in glow, my serums and mois­turis­ers glide on with ease, and the re­moval of the build-up of dead skin cells en­sures they ab­sorb more ef­fi­ciently too.

This would ideally be the first in a se­ries of treatments, build­ing to a three minute peel and then sup­ported by reg­u­lar main­te­nance treatments. Hav­ing seen the re­sults of a sin­gle, en­try level peel, I would def­i­nitely go back.

Price: from £55, court­house­clin­

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