Peels come in various strengths. They work by lifting away layers of skin to reveal a younger-looking, wrinkle-free face. If you want rid of those little lines and creases around your eyes, lips and cheeks, peels will give you instantly fresher, smoother, more radiant skin.
Whatever the strength (superficial peelings are vastly different from deep ones, which have to be carried out by a doctor), peelings last for a maximum of 45 minutes.
A superficial peel (over in a day) will leave you a bit pink. You'll look a bit sunburnt and you'll get some peeling, just as if you've really been in the sun.
With a deep peel, the effects are far more dramatic and you won't want to be going anywhere for 8 days!
The procedure involves applying chemical products to your face to remove layers of skin. Superficial peelings can be performed at a clinic or by a trained beauty therapist, whereas deep peelings always take place in a clinic under anaesthetic. This is so that you don't experience any pain during the procedure and to stop you from tensing or clenching your face, which could lead to uneven absorption of the chemicals.
Different types of peel
Microdermabrasion: The the top layer of skin is 'sanded off' using a special device. However, it's not always easy to get an even result on a large area.
Laser resurfacing: Vaporizes the top layer of skin (various strengths). It can be done up to three times, depending on the desired result.
Dr Sarfati: "I'm all for full facial peels as long as you don't end up with marks. If you only have it done on one area it can be obvious (lines around your upper lip, for example). You'd get the same effect of washing one patch of a clean jumper - it's still clean, but it shows!"
Chemical peel: This process actually involves chemicals, unlike the other two which are purely mechanical. The chemicals* are applied all over the face with a brush. They penetrate the skin and make it peel it off. There are varying strengths; some are extremely strong.
*Carbolic and trichloroacetic acid are among the chemicals used for deep peels, while 30% alpha or beta hydroxy acid and salicylic acid are among those used for superficial peels.
After a peel you need to apply special creams to stop hyperpigmentation (darkening of one area) and to make sure your skin retains an even colour all over.
For: Superficial peels are for all women with dull skin, whatever their age. Deep peels are for women with wrinkles and pigmentation of the skin.
The result: Varies according to your skin and lifestyle. If you don't smoke and you don't expose your skin to the sun too much you'll get good results.
The cost: Prices start at around £100 for a superficial peel and go up to £3,500 for deep peels.