ABR peel is a combined medium-deep peel that is used mostly to tackle the problems of oily skin. It is one of the best treatments for pitted acne scars and pimple marks.
• А – AHA (alpha hydroxy acids)
• В - ВНА (beta hydroxy acids)
• R – vitamin A (retinol)
Various manufacturers use different percentage of these active ingredients in their ABR peel solutions. For instance, popular combined ABR peels contain the following active components:
• salicylic acid
• ascorbic acid
• fig extract
• fruit acids
• green tea extract
ABR peel treatments are not performed during the periods of high solar exposure. Ideally, there should be 5-8 procedures with an interval of 12-14 days.
Compared with other medium-deep peels, this kind of peel tends to be non-aggressive and mild; therefore, it is recommended for patients from all age groups. It can also be performed on sensitive skin.
ABR peel is used to treat skin on the face, as well as on the back, shoulders, and décolleté area. In case of extreme skin sensitivity, peel solution should be applied locally – on problem skin areas only.
If other exfoliation treatments have been recently performed, one should wait at least 7 weeks before having an ABR peel.
If any products containing proteolytic enzymes, high concentrations of vitamin C, retinoids, or hydroquinone are used at the same time when ABR peels are performed, minimal expositions of the ABR peel solution should be used.
Recovery period is necessary after such exfoliation treatments. Patients should use special regenerative products and apply sunscreens at home.
Indications and Contraindications for Use of ABR Peels
It is recommended to perform this kind of peel treatment only if there are sufficient indications. If patient’s epidermis is in a relatively normal state, doctors recommend using milder exfoliation techniques.
Indications for use of ABR peels include the following:
• pitted acne scars
• signs of premature skin aging
• pimple marks
• enlarged pores
• dull complexion
Contraindications for use of ABR peels are as follows:
• serious somatic diseases
• tanned skin
• active herpes infection
• any damage of the epidermal layer
• individual intolerance
• some skin disorders (psoriasis, eczema, atopic dermatitis)
• high photosensitivity
• pathology of thyroid gland
• periods of high solar exposure
• administration of isotretinoin within 6 months prior to the peel treatment
• oncological diseases
Pros and Cons of ABR Peels in Comparison with Other Peel Treatments
Experts speak of the following benefits of ABR peels:
• capable of removing acne and its complications such as pimple marks and pitted acne scars
• capable of skin whitening
• capable of refreshing and rejuvenating the epidermis
• mild and almost non-aggressive
• painless in comparison with other chemical peels
• few post-peel complications
• simple procedure
• minimal pre-peel preparation is required
• no age restrictions for the ABR peel procedure
Disadvantages of ABR peels:
• its relatively high cost;
• cannot be performed during the periods of high solar exposure;
• intervals between several peel treatments are relatively short.
Properties of the Active Ingredients of the ABR Peel
The important feature of ABR peel mechanics is that it provides a combined effect of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, as well as retinol, on skin.
Salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid) is an exfoliating, keratolytic and anti-inflammatory agent that helps to clean pores and remove dead epidermal cells.
Ascorbic acid activates the synthesis of fibers of biological tissues and influences the factors related to vascular permeability; it has anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects and boosts the immune defense. Besides of acceleration of the synthesis of collagen and elastin in epidermis, ascorbic acid strengthens epidermal barrier function and whitens skin considerably.
Alpha hydroxy acids (fruit acids) provide gentle, mild, and even skin exfoliation, activate metabolic processes, rejuvenate skin, and make it firmer.
Retinol participates in removal of free radical intermediates and normalization of metabolic and regenerative processes in epidermis. It also regulates cell division, functions of sebaceous glands, production of collagen, and melanogenesis.
Manufacturers of ABR peel solutions often add supplementary components, like green tea extract, which demonstrates considerable antiseptic properties, helps to cleanse and heal damaged skin, reduces pore size, and brightens sallow complexion. Such ingredient as fig extract is used to guarantee active skin care – nourish skin and prevent it from flaking.
To achieve the best results, smoothening of the horny layer of epidermis before an ABR peel procedure is recommended. 5-day pre-peel preparation before the first treatment includes daily application of gels containing glycolic acid.
Stages of ABR Peel Procedure
The protocol of the ABR peel treatment lists the stages of the procedure that should be followed in the established order. These are as follows:
• skin cleansing with ichthyol or azulene soap
• intensive pre-peel care consisting in application of a tonic lotion on skin of the face, including lips and eyelids, neck, and décolleté area, and slight massage of these areas
• application of the ABR peel solution, not closer than 3,5 cm to the edge of eyelids. The peel is applied in the following order: first, on the forehead, temples, and areas close to the ears; then on the neck, chin, cheeks, nasolabial folds, and the area above the upper lip; finally, on the eyelids. Time of exposition is about 5 minutes
• re-application of the peel solution on problem areas 5 minutes after the first application. Time of exposition is about 20 minutes
• removal of the peel solution with cold water and soft cloth
• application of a neutralizing agent on skin on the face, including lips and eyelids, neck, and décolleté area, and slight massage of these areas. The required time of exposition for neutralization purposes is about 10 minutes
• removal of the neutralizing agent with cold water and soft cloth
• application of a whitening and pore reducing mask with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Time of exposition is about 20 minutes
• application of an azulene lotion, which acts as a skin tonic
• application of panthenol in order to prevent skin irritation
• application of a moisturizing cream, which acts as a brake on melanogenesis
Next ABR peel treatments are even more intense since any kind of alpha hydroxy acid is used as a tonic lotion on the stage of the pre-peel care.
ABR Peel. Photo before and after
Stages of Post-Peel Skin Care
In order to achieve the best results, experts recommend that a patient should receive quality post-peel care. This includes the use of photo protecting, antioxidant, regenerative, and moisturizing products at least for one month after the last ABR peel treatment. Special skin regimen allows for normal regeneration of epidermis.
Intensive skin moisturization during the recuperation period helps to solve the problem of dry skin and accelerates epithelization. For these purposes, one should use moisturizing products with hyaluronic acid.
Products containing panthenol, phospholipids, shea butter, and ceramides help to restore the epidermal barrier and prevent skin’s water loss, making a recuperation period more comfortable for a patient.
In the post-peel period, patients often develop large, scale-like skin flaking and hemorrhagic crusts on the skin areas that have been treated with peel solution. It is highly important for fast and effective recuperation that any crusts should fall off naturally. It is prohibited to remove them mechanically.
Within at least one month after the last ABR peel treatment both sun bathing in natural conditions, and indoor tanning are prohibited. During this period of time, it is recommended to apply a sunscreen with SPF 50+.
To receive the most impressive results, experts recommend a special treatment that should be performed 3 days after each ABR peel treatment. This procedure helps to recuperate faster since it improves exfoliation, increases lymphatic drainage, restores epidermis, and allows for gentle skin lifting.
Possible Complications of ABR Peels
Complications during an ABR peel procedure and afterwards – in a recuperation period – are rare as this kind of treatment is particularly mild. Usually, complications may develop if a patient is particularly sensitive to ingredients of a peel solution.
Side effects that might incidentally occur and last 8-10 days include the following:
• welts and swellings;
• skin dehydration caused by removal of the horny layer of epidermis;
• hemorrhagic crusts;
• little pustules;
• large, scale-like skin flakes;
• herpes infection.
To minimize the risk of such complications, experts recommend following the rules of post-peel care.
Benefits of the ABR Peel Procedure
ABR peels provide visible positive effects as they:
• reduce depth and number of wrinkles;
• remove pimple marks and various infiltrations;
• refresh and rejuvenate skin thanks to better production of collagen and elastin;
• have significant anti-inflammatory effect;
• reduce pore size;
• normalize the functions of sebaceous glands;
• smooth skin’s surface;
• accelerate hemodynamics, which makes skin tone better;
• reduce pigmentation;
• make skin smooth, radiant, and soft;
• provide lifting effect;
• have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect;
• accelerate regeneration of damaged tissues;
• speed up metabolic processes;
• cleanse skin surface and remove dark spots.