I used to be apprehensive about peels, but for the last few years, I’ve been a full-blown convert.
There are so many benefits to having regular peels, and most skin types will benefit from them. I’m not talking about the blue peels of the past where your whole face literally fell off. Modern peels can enhance and regulate your skin’s natural repair and renewal processes.
I’ve been having regular peels with Annerine from Biomedical Emporium for a while now, and tried a Biomedical Emporium Layered Peel with RX Advanced Micro-needling a few weeks ago. Sound excessive? Actually, it’s more like ‘work smart not hard.’ As not all acids do the same thing, the idea is to get the benefits of multiple peels in one go, with the added benefits of needling (more on that later).
Let me first explain the difference between an AHA and a BHA.
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid, which means that the hydroxy part of the molecule is separated from the acid part by one carbon atom. They are water soluble and work on the surface of the skin.
BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid, where the hydroxy part is separated from the acid by two carbon atoms. They BHAs are oil soluble, so are perfect for fighting acne and blackheads, as they penetrate the pores and give them a good old clean out.
With all of these, it is also dependent on the concentration as to how deep they go, which is why it is vitally important you go to a qualified therapist or doctor to have any peels.
Onto the process of the layered peel, obviously you don’t just make a cocktail of peels and slap them on your face. You start with the lowest molecular weight and work your way up, needling each one in to work its magic before applying the next.
My treatment started with some light therapy using the Celluma. This device emits different coloured light and wavelengths, depending on your skin’s needs. ‘These wavelengths of light energy enhance the body’s natural ability to generate elastin and collagen by activating the fibroblast cells’, explained Annerine.
Now onto the rest of the treatment. Each of the formulas mentioned below, Annerine needled into the skin. This also helps to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibres through a process called CIT (collagen induction therapy). Each treatment is designed for each client’s needs, but the needling creates controlled wounds in the skin to help improve the penetration of the ingredients in the formula. I don’t find it painful – it’s more irritating than anything else, almost like you want to scratch your skin.
The Biomedical Emporium products she used on my skin (which was not behaving on the day of my treatment) were the RX Complexion Peel, followed by the Kojic Acid Peel, RX Gluta Therapy and finally a layer of RX Retinol over my chin, which is constantly breaking out from the chin guard on my riding hat.
The Complexion Peel is a combination of kojic, lactic, salicylic and glycolic acids. Kojic acid is known for its ability to block tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin (and therefore pigmentation) production. Lactic acid is an AHA that increases ceramide production and hydration, helps prevent congestion and fights pigmentation through gentle exfoliation. Salicylic acid is the gold standard in sebum regulation and is a whizz at clearing out pores, all while being incredibly calming to the skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It breaks down dark spots and pigmentation, and helps protect the skin from further free radical damage. And lastly, glycolic acid helps to exfoliate dead skin cells, and help stimulates fibroblasts deeper in the skin.
The next layer was just RX Kojic Acid to tackle the stubborn spots of pigmentation on my cheeks and forehead. Next up was a dose of antioxidants from the RX Gluta Peel. This helps to protect the skin from free radical damage. And right at the end, she added a little bit of RX GSM Retinol over my problematic chin.
My skin was a little red for the rest of the day after the peel, and it started to peel slightly on day 2, and continued to do so for the next week. And by slightly, I mean VERY slightly. It wasn’t noticeable, unless you looked very closely. Now my skin is glow and plump. Mu pigmentation is definitely reduced, as are my fine lines.
It’s a great treatment to have before a big event. Obviously, I wouldn’t have it done for the first time before a wedding or anything big just in case it takes a little longer to settle, but it definitely worth a try of your skin is looking lack-lustre or you’re struggling with acne, pigmentation, patches of dryness or the dreaded mask-ne.
Keen on trying it for yourself? A RX Advanced Micro-Needling session with peel and Celluma session is R1250, and the individual peels range from 380 to R580 if done individually.
Annerine is based on the Foreshore in Cape Town in the New Era Health Building, and you can get hold of her on 072 073 5782 or email@example.com to make an appointment (you won’t regret it, I promise you). If you’re not based in Cape Town, Biomedical Emporium is stocked in spas across the country. Contact Biomedical Emporium for your nearest stockist here.
Face peel image: Nikodash for Shutterstock