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Salicylic Acid Peel and why it does not make you break out

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Filed under Chemical Peels At Home

There are many different types of face peels on the market as you have probably noticed. It can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out which one is best for you.

One of the main concerns I get questions about is regarding a skin peel and its tendencies to make you break out. This can certainly be a fact so I want to address this.

The reason that skin peels can cause the skin to break out is actually incorrect use most of the time. It is also often the wrong choice of chemical peel.

Salicylic acid is great choice in chemical peel if you feel that you may break out. If you are prone to pimples and acne then the salicylic acid peel is for you.

WHY I hear you ask? The reason is quite simple Salicylic acid is actually a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) BHA is oil soluble which means it can penetrate into the skin pores and clean it out properly. The skins natural oil is called ‘sebum’.  Break outs often result from sebum clogging up with dirt and bacteria in the skins pores and a clog is formed. This creates inflamed pores which results in pimples and black heads.

The alternative to using a BHA is to use a AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) Glycolic acid is a AHA. Glycolic acid and Glycolic acid peels are made from sugar cane. The main difference between BHA & AHA is that AHA is NOT oil soluble. This means that unlike the BHA, it cannot get deep into the skins pore by cutting through the skins natural oil sebum.

This can create quite a problem when a glycolic acid is used in a face peel without correct exfoliation or skin resurfacing coupled with the treatment.  What happens is that the glycolic acid starts to dry out the outer most top layer of your skin surface called the ‘stratum corneum’ but does not remove it. The stratum corneum is made up of tightly compacted dead skin cells that create a layer on the surface of your skin. It is sort of like a mask but in actual fact it is a protective mask. It is designed to protect your skin from UV.

When these dead skin cells are dried out by the glycolic acid and not removed they can get combined with the skins natural oil ‘sebum’ in the skins pore and – BAM – you have an infected pore. In others words a pimple – a break out.

Salicylic acid is more often than not the safest and most effective option to choose as your vehicle for a chemical peel.

On that note, a chemical peel is certainly the best choice for skin resurfacing