Peels are an incredibly popular facial treatment here in the US and especially in Florida; mostly due to the damage the wonderful Florida sun can cause. Deep exfoliation, in general, is a top skin care treatment and offered at most spas.
As an organic spa, the skin care team has many conversations about peels and how our peels differ from chemical peels. As the name suggests, Bloom Organics Day Spa doesn’t offer chemical peels. They tend to contain synthetic ingredients that we don’t believe are best for skin health and they can also be a bit one-dimensional; i.e. they only do one thing. Instead, the peels offered at Bloom Organics Day Spa—carefully chosen through a vigorous selection process—are called metabolic peels. But, what are metabolic peels? OK, let’s start at the beginning…
What is a Peel?
The term ‘peel’ is used to describe any product applied topically, that produces a peeling or exfoliation effect i.e. encourages the skin to shed. This is generally achieved by using AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, etc. or also the higher strength products which contain stronger acids such as Tricholoracetic (TCA) or phenol acid peels.
A peel can be anything from a not unpleasant, medium depth exfoliation to requiring several days or weeks downtime and, of course, just about anything in between. It depends entirely on the treatment program, goals and strength of products chosen by your skin care therapist at the spa or your dermatologist’s office.
What is a Chemical Peel?
The purpose of a chemical peel is the removal of the outer layers of skin, in order to increase cell turn over and, at the same time, the stimulation of collagen and elastin to tighten and firm the healthy layers. Depending on the strength of treatment and depth of peel, you may experience wounding and/or trauma to stimulate the natural healing response. I refer to this as ‘controlled trauma’. You can also expect some down-time while the skin heals. It’s worth remembering that the deeper you go, the greater the risk of adverse reaction such as post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH) and increased skin sensitivity there is.
What is a Metabolic Peel?
Fortunately, today, peels have evolved. It is no longer necessary to cause severe wounding and suffer multiple days or weeks of downtime to achieve a dramatic improvement in the health and appearance of your skin.
Unlike traditional chemical peels that use acids to exfoliate downwards, a metabolic peel uses intelligent ingredients to work with the skin rather than against it; stimulating your skins natural, metabolic responses to repair and renew from within.
Effective treatment is not about destruction, but rather communication. Ingredients that communicate with the skin on a cellular level to instigate change and renewal, re-educate the skin to behave the way it did when it was younger.
Traditional chemical peels that aim to remove the skin through exfoliation alone will also encourage cellular renewal (after all, your skin is programmed to repair itself after injury) however what these treatments lack are intelligent nutrients such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are needed to feed the skin with the building blocks it needs to repair itself effectively.
With a metabolic peel you avoid the unnecessary wounding, down-time and sometimes even ‘peeling’ associated with traditional chemical peels. There are also ‘positive side effects’ from choosing a more natural approach, which include increased hydration through natural moisture factors (NMFs), skin density and tolerance.
What Makes Some Peels More Effective Than Others?
It’s all in the formulation. Traditional chemical peels are often made from a simple formulation, comprising of a single acid, such as a 30% Glycolic Acid peel for example. The peels used at Bloom Organics Day Spa & Boutique are complex formulations, comprising various combinations of natural acids, plus additional skin benefitting ingredients such as anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, fruit enzymes and chirally corrected retinoids.
Chirally correct means that these ingredients have been filtered so that only the molecules that communicate positively with the skin are included. Using only purified acids like L-Lactic or L-Mandelic for example, is advantageous as they are ge