If you’re struggling with acne scars and large pores, chemical peels might be your best bet. They help minimize the appearance of scars by removing old skin cells and promoting collagen and elastin production.
There are many different chemical peels that are safe to use on your skin, but it’s important to find the right one. Read on to learn which ones are safe for your skin and the results you can expect.
1. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is an exfoliating ingredient that helps shed dead skin cells, speed up cell turnover and boost collagen production. It’s a common skincare ingredient that you can find in OTC products as well as professional chemical peels.
When applied on the face, glycolic acid works by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to easily be sloughed off. This process also helps to unclog pores by dissolving the glue that holds them together.
While it doesn’t make scars go away, glycolic acid does lighten dark patches that have been caused by acne or other wounds and can soften the look of pitted scars. However, it’s important to note that it can be irritating to the skin at first and it may take some time for your skin to adjust.
To get the best results, use a product with 5% to 10% concentration of glycolic acid on a regular basis and avoid using other acids that irritate your skin. The pH of a product can also affect its effectiveness as an exfoliant, so be sure to shop for a formula with an appropriate pH.
There are many ways to use glycolic acid, but it’s typically recommended for daily and even tri-weekly use on the face. This will help to rid the skin of trapped dead skin cells and sebum that can clog pores.
It’s a gentle exfoliant, so it doesn’t require the use of harsh scrubbing. It’s also a humectant, meaning it attracts and binds water to the skin.
In addition to being a great exfoliant, glycolic acid is also a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage. This makes it an excellent choice for acne-prone skin, as it can prevent breakouts and reduce oiliness.
Another benefit of glycolic acid is its ability to spur new skin cells to the surface of the skin. This is especially helpful for those with pore-clogging congestion, as slow cellular turnover can contribute to pores becoming enlarged over time.
The best way to determine whether glycolic acid is right for you is to consult with a licensed cosmetic specialist or esthetician. They can assess your skin’s needs and recommend the most effective treatment for your particular goals.
2. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is one of the best chemical peels for acne scars and large pores because it can penetrate into the pore lining and address clogged pores and breakouts. It can also improve the appearance of post-breakout marks, reducing their appearance and texture.
This type of peel is also great for all skin types, but it’s especially beneficial for people with oily and blemished complexions that need deeper pore cleansing. It can also help reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a common occurrence with acne.
Superficial to medium-depth salicylic acid peels can be done at home with over-the-counter products or by an esthetician in a salon or skin spa setting. Stronger peels that penetrate even more deeply can be performed by dermatologists or at their office, although those peels may require a prescription from your doctor.
If you have sensitive skin, there are some formulas that are specially designed to lessen the irritation and stinging sensation that can come from a salicylic acid peel. These formulas also contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe, and glycerin.
To get the most out of a salicylic acid peel, it is recommended to do it on a regular basis. It can help diminish the appearance of post-breakout marks and hyperpigmentation and encourage skin renewal.
In addition, it can also help control a range of skin conditions, including melasma and sun damage. In some cases, it can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well.
Another benefit of salicylic acid is that it can dissolve and break down dead skin cells on the surface, making it a great all-over exfoliator. It can also soften rough patches of skin and reduce redness from post-breakout scarring.
As a general rule, the best chemical peel for your skin type will be the one that’s safest for you. If you have any preexisting skin conditions, such as psoriasis or vitiligo, it’s important to talk to your dermatologist about the risks of undergoing a chemical peel treatment.
If you have enlarged pores and blackheads, or if you’ve had occasional and mild breakouts but your skin is tight and irritated, then you should opt for a peel with a combination of salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acids. The salicylic acid will penetrate the pore lining and address clogged skin, while the lactic and glycolic acids will work on the surface to dissolve and digest dead skin.
3. Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is a mild, low-intensity chemical peel that can help treat acne scars and large pores. It can also help fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne, and improve skin texture.
Lactic peels can be found in over-the-counter (OTC) products or at a professional dermatology clinic. The type of lactic peel that’s right for you will depend on your skin tone, skin conditions, and goals.
During a lactic acid peel, a technician will apply a solution on your face to remove the top layer of your skin, called the epidermis. The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes and varies depending on the concentration of the lactic acid used.
A lactic acid peel is safe for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin. It has a strong anti-aging effect that can fade fine lines and wrinkles, reduce uneven skin pigmentation, and help brighten your complexion.
However, lactic acid can aggravate some skin conditions, so it’s best to talk to a medical esthetician before undergoing this treatment. For example, people with rosacea may be better off opting for a lactic acid peel rather than a glycolic acid peel because this type of peel can worsen rosacea and lead to redness and flushing of the skin.
Another good thing about lactic acid is that it doesn’t cause the same levels of irritation and sensitivity that glycolic acid does. This makes it an ideal choice for a variety of people, including those with sensitive skin and those with rosacea.
If you want to try a lactic acid peel, it’s important to find a certified dermatologist who has experience using this ingredient in chemical peels. They’ll be able to determine the right concentration for you and give you tips for how to properly prepare your skin before the peel.
Before a lactic acid peel, the skin should be thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated. Then, a nourishing moisturizer or serum should be applied to the skin. A hydrating mask can be added on top of this if you’d like to boost the effects even further.
A lactic acid peel is a great option for those who don’t have time to visit the dermatologist on a regular basis. This chemical peel is affordable and effective, and will give you noticeable results without leaving your skin feeling dry or irritated.
Resorcinol is a chemical that can break down rough and hardened skin. It is used in both topical and ointment forms for treating a wide variety of skin disorders including acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
It is also used in combination with alpha-hydroxy acids to produce a chemical peel, often called a Jessner’s peel (a medium depth chemical peel that includes salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol). In addition to breaking down rough, scaly or hardened skin, resorcinol can also reduce redness, itching and inflammation caused by acne breakouts and dermatitis.
Because of the way that resorcinol can break down the skin, it is often used in conjunction with other chemical peels to increase their effectiveness. The most effective type of resorcinol peel for acne scars and large pores is the enhanced acid peel, which contains a blend of glycolic, salicylic, lactic, and tartaric acids as well as resorcinol at the proper percentages to achieve dramatic results that last.
The best way to determine which chemical peel is right for you is to talk with an esthetician. She can assess your skin tone and give you recommendations based on the type of acne you have and your goals for improving your skin.
Another option is to try a light acid peel that is derived from fruit juice, such as a citrus-based acid. This is a gentler option than a glycolic peel because it does not increase cellular turnover. It can be especially helpful for sensitive skin or those who are allergic to glycolic acid.
If you want a deeper treatment, your esthetician might suggest an enzyme peel, which is derived from sugar. This is an excellent option for treating sun damage, dark spots, and discolorations due to sun exposure and hormonal changes. It is a safe and effective treatment for people with sensitive skin or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This is the best chemical peel for acne scars and large pores because it can remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth. This helps improve the look of acne scars and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.