Professional peels even promise an improved complexion and a rejuvenated appearance. But according to American studies, exfoliating too often leads to premature skin aging. Because the old skin cells are rubbed off, our cells have to divide faster than usual. However, the division cannot be carried out as often as the cells can only divide to a limited extent. And this can lead to premature skin aging.
Here we explain what you should consider when exfoliating and how often you should do one:
1. How often should you exfoliate your face?
It is a common misconception that exfoliating daily makes the skin particularly soft. On the contrary: if you rub your skin too often, you risk removing too much of the upper horny layer. Irritation and reddening as well as premature skin aging can result. You shouldn't exfoliate healthy, normal skin more than 1 to 2 times a week.
2. Which peeling suits which skin type?
Basically the following applies the drier and finer the skin, the greater the distance between applications. In addition to the individual skin type, it also depends on the type of peeling.
As a rule of thumb, the skin should feel pleasantly refreshed after peeling. If this is not the case, the peeling is not suitable for the skin type. If you are unsure, the best thing to do is ask the cosmetics institute or your dermatologist what your own skin needs.
And: A shower peeling, sugar peeling or salt peeling should rather only be applied to the body and not to the more sensitive face. For optimal preparation for the body peeling, a steam bath or hammam visit is suitable in advance.
3. Can you use a normal cream after peeling?
After a facial peel, the skin needs one thing above all: moisture. Even if you use very gentle natural peelings like an almond peel. But other creams, e.g. with anti-aging ingredients and serum , can also be applied well after treatment since the skin is now particularly receptive and the ingredients can penetrate deeply.
4. How does a mechanical peel work?
Mechanical peels use small balls to remove debris and calluses. They either consist of natural substances such as ground apricot kernels or synthetic granules. The latter are criticized because they are partly made from polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), i.e. from microplastics. These microplastic beads pose a problem for the environment because they can enter rivers, lakes, seas, and groundwater through wastewater. If possible, microplastics in the peeling should, therefore, be largely avoided. We have already introduced you to DIY peeling recipes above.
Natural abrasive particles can sometimes be quite coarse - these peels are well suited for the treatment of horny areas such as elbows or knees. If you have very sensitive skin, you should better look for products with wax beads. They are nice to the skin and dissolve completely.
5. What is an enzyme peel?
Enzyme peels use the cleaning power of natural enzymes found in fruits. Protein building blocks are split or expressed more simply: dead skin cells are separated from the intact skin. A mild enzyme peeling is applied to the skin, massaged in and then washed off again. Since there are no abrasive particles, they are particularly gentle and mild on the skin.
DIY tip: don't throw away the peel of papaya or pineapple. Rub it on your elbows and knees just before showering - this will make these areas soft to the touch.
6. What are chemical peels?
A chemical peel contains glycolic acid or better known as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), some of which come from fruits, which is why one speaks of a peel with fruit acid. The fruit acids remove the top layers of the epidermis and are said to improve the surface structure. A low-dose fruit acid peeling with glycolic acid can be used at home - in cosmetic institutes, fruit acid is also used, for example, for acne, rosacea, or pigment spots in order to make the skin peel.
Peels with salicylic acid, i.e. BHA (beta-hydroxy acid), are not quite as irritating as products with alpha-hydroxy acids. Since BHAs are fat-soluble and penetrate the pores, BHA peels are mainly used to treat acne and blemished skin. After a chemical peel, a neutralizer that raises the pH of the skin and neutralizes the acid is indispensable.
Since chemical peels with fruit acids make the skin more sensitive to light, UV protection is essential after treatment.
Peels with phenol penetrate the skin a step further. Peels with phenol cause a deep peeling of the skin and are an alternative to laser peels. However, phenol peeling is rarely offered in Germany.
7. Next stage "microdermabrasion"?
Many beauticians also offer "microdermabrasion" as a treatment method. The skin is "sandblasted" with the finest crystals and the top layer of skin is rubbed off. It doesn't hurt and the skin is only slightly red afterward. This method is now also available at home to sand unwanted horns and corneas with powdered aluminum beads, quartz crystals or diamond dust. The skin should then look softer, rosier and finer. After treatment, the skin absorbs nourishing and healing agents much better.