Several diverse kinds of products are on the market designed to promote healthy skin and fight wrinkles, acne, and other skin conditions that come with age and sun exposure. These products include exfoliators and skin peels. While both exfoliators and skin peels can help you achieve beautiful skin, it’s important to understand the key differences between them to choose the product that’s right for your needs. After all, you want to maximize your results and minimize any potential risks.

Skin peels 101

exfoliation is one of those buzzwords that skincare companies are throwing around these days, but what does it mean exactly? What makes it different from a face wash or scrub? And how do you use a skin peel to reap its maximum benefits?

Skin peel ingredients

Most skin peels contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), which are natural ingredients derived from plants, fruits, or milk products. The most common AHAs used in exfoliating skin peels include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. Similarly, BHAs include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients are all highly effective in increasing cell turnover rate, meaning they help you get rid of dead skin cells faster.

What skin peel products are available?

Several skin peeling products are available, including glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid. Each has unique benefits. Glycolic peel is used for exfoliation, improving skin texture and acne scars. It also increases collagen production to leave your skin smoother. Salicylic peel is great for oily or acne-prone skin because it removes dead cells from your pores without drying them out completely.

The effects of skin peeling

Skin peeling, otherwise known as a dermabrasion, is a surgical procedure done to remove all or part of a thin layer of skin. Dermabrasion is commonly used to treat acne scars, wrinkles, and minor skin irregularities.

How often should you use them?

You can use a skin peel or exfoliator anytime, but some experts say it’s best to wait at least a week between uses. Your skin may be too sensitive right after using one if you’ve never used them before. They are designed to clean off dead skin cells, so there is a chance that you could overdo it by exfoliating every day.

Precautions to take when using skin peel products

If you have eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, check with your doctor before using any exfoliating product. Always perform a patch test before you use an exfoliating product on a large area of skin. Remember to always wear sunscreen when in direct sunlight, as some exfoliating products may increase sensitivity to sunlight if used over a period.

Side effects to watch out for

If you have sensitive skin, exfoliating with a physical exfoliant may not be advisable. Similarly, if you have dry or damaged skin, you’ll want to avoid a chemical peel. If your skin is regularly exposed to harsh UV rays (you live in an area that is prone to sunburns or is located closer than 15 degrees of latitude to either pole), then it may react poorly to both chemical and physical peels.

Are there any other benefits?

Any time you remove dead skin cells, you increase your ability to absorb topicals that moisturize your skin. Whether you’re suffering from chronic dryness or want to prevent signs of aging, exfoliating your skin is a healthy habit to adopt. To reap these benefits regularly, look for skin peels that are gentle but effective.