Salicylic acid peels can be found with concentrations ranging from 20%-35%. Salicylic acid peels work by encouraging the shedding of outer layers of skin and dislodging dirt and sebum from pores. Salicylic acid also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to shrinks pore size by stimulating cellular renewal.
Compared to alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels, Salicylic acid is more appropriate for oily skin types as it is fat/oil soluble, giving it more penetrative power. Salicylic acid aids acne sufferers while lightening surface scarring. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, salicylic acid is a safer bet than AHA peels for sensitive skin. A note caution, salicylic acid can be dangerous when inhale so care must be taken no to inhale the acid during the peel treatment.
Best results for salicylic acid peels comes when a it is used in a weekly cycle for a duration of 1-2 months. Home peels can be bought online and range from $30-$50. Dermatologists rates range from $70-$120 for a guided session. The instructions to using the peel are basic and easy to follow without much preparation needed except for a neutralizer which can either be store bought or made by combining water and sodium bicarbonate or baking soda.
The peel has to be applied to clean skin so the first thing to do is to cleanse your skin thorough but do not use any harsh scrubs. Next, apply the chemical peel on a piece of cotton pad. Dab the cotton pad onto the surface of your skin. It may sting a little or a lot depending on your skin tolerance.
Your skin will gain immunity to the acid gradually. Leave the acid on for 3 minutes on the first treatment and rinse off the the neutralizer. Follow up with a fragrance and hypoallergenic moisturizer. You may witness skin irritation and flaking on your outer skin surface after the peel but it will soon be over if you apply moisturizer and sunscreen of SPF 35 or higher in the daytime on a daily basis. Sun rays and other irritations such as smoking as the fumes may interrupt the skin healing process by irritating it.
You can gradually build your skin tolerance as you go along each session by a min or 2. Salicylic acid is a relatively safe peel as it will self neutralize itself after 6-8 minutes for a 20% concentration. Results for a beta hydroxy peel such as salicylic acid are worth the while as they really help acne prone individuals recover from enlarge pore and oil secretions.
As older skin is remove, softer, smoother and more supple skin is revealed. Salicylic acid peels can be done at home at a cheap price tag but keep in mind about the time the acid is left on (follow the instructions accordingly) and that the bottle of acid not be in reach of children or pets or in case of ingestion. If in doubt, seek a dermatologist for help or for a guided procedure.