Salicylic acid peels: what they are and why your skin will benefit

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If you’re craving a glowing, clear and even complexion, an in-salon peel could be exactly what your skin needs. While you may dabble in using acid or enzyme peels at home, a professional can apply them in higher concentrations for even deeper exfoliation and in turn, even better results for your skin.

There is a range of in-salon peels available composed of different enzymes, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). Dr Sean Arendse, Founder and Medical Director of Flawless Rejuvenation Skin Clinics explains what salicylic acid chemical peel is and the skin type it is best suited to.

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What is a salicylic acid peel?

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and superficial peeling agent that’s common in acne-fighting skin care products. BHAs are attracted to oil, which is what makes them an excellent choice for congested acne-prone and oily skin types, Dr Arendse explains. In a salicylic acid peel, “the acid will help clean out the skin’s pores whilst removing dead skin build up,” he says.

What can you expect from a salicylic acid peel?

It’s a speedy process! The professional will, “cleanse, tone, [apply the] peel…(which will [potentially] sting for a few minutes),” says Dr Arendse. The peel is then removed and followed by serums and moisturiser. All up, it only takes about 30 minutes.

What are the immediate effects of a salicylic acid peel?

“You will appear slightly flushed post-treatment,” Dr Arendse advises. “You may then experience some skin peeling or a dry/rough skin feel beginning two-five days after the treatment. This dry feeling can continue for five-seven days depending on how quickly your skin sheds. This should not typically stop you from going out and about however your skin will look and feel dryer than usual so we recommend having this type of peel at least two weeks before an important event.”

What results can you expect from a salicylic acid peel?

“A reduction in breakouts, oil and congestion,” says Dr Arendse. “You will also notice an overall improvement in your skin feel and completion.” He usually recommends you get a minimum of four salicylic acid peel treatments though advises that it is best discussed and decided during a facial assessment.

If you can’t get a peel but are still looking to tackle oily and congested skin, try using at-home salicylic acid products. beautyheaven loves: Trilogy Blemish Control Gel, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + Unifiant and Ultraceuticals Ultra Gentle Exfoliating Gel.

Have you ever had a salicylic acid peel? What treatment would you get for your skin if you could?

Main image: @liuwenlw

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