The low down on face peels

There is so much nonsense and scaremongering that goes on around peels, and yes, deep peels done incorrectly can leave lasting damage, but most are incredible for your skin.

I chatted to Dr Judey, co-founder of Biomedical Emporium and all-round skin oracle (she has a Master’s degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology, as well as a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry) about why she is a strong advocate for regular peels. If you’re going to believe what anyone says about how your skin can benefit from peels, she’s your girl. She grows tissue in her lab that is used in advanced wound healing, so she knows a thing or two about skin, its functions and how it reacts to chemical peels.


I know everyone is terrified by the word ‘acid’, but, the top layer of your skin is called the acid mantle, an acid barrier protecting your tissue from the outside world. Your skin is technically already an acidic organ, so can be exposed to certain levels of acids (within a controlled environment and controlled strengths) without causing any harm at all, explains Dr Judey. Think about it – I bet you slather hyaluronic acid all over your face without even thinking about it, but it is an acid.

Your skin has a natural pH of about 5.5, and Dr Judey stays above 3 with her peels, as any lower needs much more training and can cause serious damage and burn the skin.


Hydroxy Acids are is the term used for these types of acids, and the A and the B refer to the size, shape and composition of that particular acid.

AHAs generally have a smaller composition and are great for dryer skins and those with uneven texture and tone. The most common of the AHAs are glycolic and lactic.

BHAs on the other hand, are slightly larger molecules, but tend to be more potent than AHAs. They are good for reducing sebum, so are indicated for people with oily skin. Salicylic is the most common, and its potency is why so many people don’t get on with it. Rather stick to AHAs if you have dry skin, as they won’t dry out the skin.


Obviously, as with any other procedure, you have to do your homework as to which type of peel will best suit your skin’s needs. It is also a good idea to do your research on the person who will be administering the peel. Dr Judey ensures that all stockists of Biomedical Emporium peels are trained to her exacting standards, so you can be sure of great results.

These are the Biomedical Emporium ones you can try:

Glycolic acid is a mild peel, and is the best choice for overall texture improvement. It won’t cause too much inflammation as it immediately removes all dead skin cells.

Salicylic acid is the best option for for acne or eczema sufferers (a low strength), as it has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties.

Lactic acid is the same stuff that’s found in milk and is the best bet for hydrating the skin. Old Cleopatra was onto something with her milk baths, as it softens, hydrates and soothes the skin.

Antioxidant peels (Biomedical Emporium’s one contains strong vitamin c) are the best way to deliver super-charged antioxidant protection. They will work wonders for people exposed to pollution or live in very dusty areas.

Biostratum peel is a TCA (trichloroacetic acid) and was developed to remove the top layer of skin over the course of a few days. This is quite a strong peel and you will have noticeable peeling and flaking.


It takes hardly any time at all, as the acid is generally on your skin for a few minutes. Your skin will be cleansed before to remove any surface oil, and then the peel will be applied and rubbed over your face. It will be neutralized and removed before super hydrating and soothing serums will be applied over the top to protect the new skin underneath.


Don’t wash your face after a peel, as the ingredients applied are self-feeding for 6-12 hours after application. You can add an overnight mask to really push those actives into the skin while you sleep.

STAY OUT OF THE SUN! Skin is vulnerable to the sun’s rays everyday, but make sure you are especially diligent with freshly peeled skin.


7 days after your peel, you start growing new skin and collagen fibres start contracting, which means your elasticity starts to improve.

Some people have a cellular waste reaction after their first few peels, which is often thought to be an allergic reaction because tiny bums form all over the skin. This isn’t a histamine response, but plasma that has leaked out of the dead skin cells that are being lifted from the skin. It is nothing to worry about, and will go away after a few days.


Once a month for ageing because skins go through 28 days skin cycle. The more cycles you target, the better the results.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find your nearest Biomedical Emporium stockist here.


Face peel holding image: Shutterstock

One Comment

  • Shalane

    Thank you for the great post. I love doing peels at home and have thought about going for a professional peel. After reading this I will definitely book one.