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Once we’ve determined your skin type and skin classification, our professionals will decide upon the type of peel. There are three primary grades of peels: superficial, medium and deep.

Traditional superficial peels come in four formulas:

1.Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) in 10-35 percent concentration

2.Jessner’s Solution, which is 14 percent salicylic acid, 14 percent resorcinol, 14 percent lactic acid in alcohol. This peel is easy to use—it works to a certain level and then stops

3.Salicylic acid 20-30 percent. This is a lipid-soluble acid. It’s good for acne because it penetrates the sebum of acne-prone skin better than water-soluble acids. It also doesn’t increase the oiliness as a glycolic acid could.

4.Alphahydroxy Acid (AHA). These are extracted from fruit, cultured milk or red wine (lactic, glycolic, tartaric and malic acid)

Traditional medium depth peels include Jessner’s plus TCA 35 percent or glycolic with TCA 35 percent. These are as effective as other medium-depth peels, but there’s less chance of scarring and pigment changes.

Traditional deep peels use a full-strength Phenol of 88 percent. This causes immediate keratin coagulation.

SkinMedica offers peels in each strength: the Illuminize, which is the lightest; the Vitalize, which is a medium peel; and the Rejuvenize Peel, which is the deepest peel.

Next time: The healing process and cautions

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