Peelings at the Beauty Doc

In the 80s, peelings had high season. However, some of them had severe side effects. Today they are more effective and gentle than ever. No wonder they are currently experiencing a revival.

Gone are the days when you felt like you were rubbing your face raw with sandpaper or had to feign a hard migraine for a week because you couldn’t leave the house due to the unsightly side effects (redness! swelling! oozing!) of a chemical peel. Resurfacing, i.e. the targeted reshaping of the skin surface, is now possible without side effects. Because peelings have evolved since the big hype in the 80s.

“A lot has happened,” confirms Dr. Hans-Ulrich Voigt. “Peels are just being rediscovered through new techniques.” One of these techniques is the new PQAge peel, which the dermatologist offers in his Munich practice.

Depending on the depth of penetration of the chemical peeling substance applied, a distinction is made between superficial, medium-depth and deep peels. While superficial peels mainly affect the epidermis, medium-depth peels already penetrate the middle layers of the dermis, and deep peels have an effect into the deeper layers of the dermis. The principle of action is the following: The chemical substances achieve a so-called protein precipitation, the deeper the more effective – collagen fibers are denatured, the short-term damage triggers a wound healing and repair process. In short: old fibers are replaced by new ones. With the result that the skin looks fresher and younger.

Peelings as a lunchtime treatment

The PQAge peel is a medium-depth peel, but without the drawbacks that such a peel has had in the past. “You don’t have any downtime,” Dr. Voigt said, making the treatment a true “lunchtime procedure.”

Times at noon quickly instead of the dermatologist to the Italian? With 20-30 minutes of treatment time, it’s certainly doable. The trick of the peeling: The substances contained in it are mixed in such a way that the acid penetrates into the depth of the skin, but without destroying the epidermis. They include trichloroacetic acid (TCA) in a concentration of 30-35%, urea peroxide (2-5%), coenzyme Q10 (1.5%) and kojic acid (5-10%).

Help against pigment spots

To achieve an ideal result, the peeling is applied approximately four to six times at intervals of one to two weeks. First, the skin is cleansed and degreased, then the peeling gel is massaged in between three and five times in succession – until the skin feels “dull”.

The peel can be used all over the body, Dr. Voigt said, although the face is the focus for most. “Light damage is often found especially on the face, décolleté, neck and hands,” said the dermatologist, who recommends the PQAge peel starting in the early thirties.

Whether light damage, pigment spots or skin aging, all of these can be visibly improved with the peeling, which can be used year-round even on sensitive skin. Only the sun sensitivity is increased after the treatment: “Sun should be avoided for a week, as after all peelings, or at least very high sun protection factor should be applied,” explains Dr. Voigt.

The COSTS for one treatment is about 150 euros.

Text: Dr. Daniela Otto

Lead photo: iStock.com/Ridofranz