Index Peeling

Salicylic peel

The salicylic peel is one of the types of chemical (acid) peel. It has already been used for a long time in a cosmetology without losing its popularity.

The application of this peel contributes to better epidermal structure, improves the skin texture and complexion. The use of it provides material improvement of the skin condition without interventional rejuvenation procedures.

The salicylic peel has a strong antiseptic effect and evident cleansing properties as well. It normalizes the sebaceous glands functioning and results in pores’ contraction. Another advantage is its effective compatibility with other types of peels (glycolic and lactic) meant for oily acne skin.

The salicylic peel is effective in combating blackheads and acne especially when used with a mechanical (manual) face cleansing procedures.

It’s safe to say that it is a peel for a young oily skin with insignificant problems as well as for a mature skin showing photo- and biological aging.

Properties of salicylic peel

The basis of the salicylic peel is a salicylic or phenolic acid relating to isomeric p-hydroxybenzonic acids. First it was derived from the bark of willow in the XIX century, it also may be derived from the flowers of decorative rose bushes. Having a great penetration power and keratolytic effect, this beta-hydroxy acid causes the active peeling in the orifice of hair follicle preventing blackheads from emerging. It is salicylic acid that fights against such unaesthetic symptoms.

The salicylic acid is very effective as anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent, reducing also sebaceous and sweat production.

Due to easy lipid hydrolyzation the salicylic acid provides perfect exfoliation, removing the dead cells from the skin. When the salicylic acid is used in the correct concentration it is able to coagulate microbial proteins.

The salicylic acid is incompatible with resorcinol and zinc oxide. Therefore if you are going to make peeling with this acid, you should avoid application of the products containing such ingredients.

Many peeling products include the salicylic acid because it is able to soften and make loose the horny layer of skin. It makes them more penetrating and causes more obvious result, but one should be careful, because the peel can be very aggressive and result in the undesirable complications.

Particular properties of salicylic peel

Depending on the concentration and рН salicylic peel may be a superficial peel or medial superficial peel. In every individual case the cosmetologist chooses the level of activity of the agents taking into account the individual characteristics of the patient.

The superficial salicylic peel is applied for the problem oily skin and acne (blackheads). In this case the concentration of the salicylic acid is 15%-20%, and рН is from 3 to 3,5.

The medial superficial peel improves the skin texture, soothes fine lines, makes the skin firm. It is very effective in preventing pitted acne scars. When making such peel the concentration of the salicylic acid makes 25%-30%, and рН is from 2 to 3.

As a result of use of the product with higher concentration and with lower рН several layers of skin cells are peeled off, and thus the collagen and elastin are produced more actively, and in its turn that causes the active generation of new cells of the skin.

The salicylic peel is a perfect product for treating the fading skin and the skin with other signs of aging. After the procedure the skin becomes firm, smooth, it stops to be flabby and the peel is extremely beneficial for skin’s texture.

Another advantage of the salicylic peel is that it makes the pigmented spots almost vanish.

Moreover in such a way one may treat freckles on young skin as well as senile pigmentation.

The salicylic peel can remove photodegradation of skin completely, when skin becomes coarse and flaky.

In addition to the rejuvenating effect the salicylic peel has keratolytic effect showing great improvement of the condition of the oily acne skin. After such peel the skin grows younger and less oily, the complexion and texture of the skin is getting much better.

It is recommended to apply the salicylic peel in series: 5-7 procedures with a pause of 1-2 weeks between them – for skin of face, neck and décolleté area, and 3-5 procedures with a pause of 1 month for the hand skin.

To treat the seborrheic dermatitis and acne the peel is conducted once per 1-2 weeks and consists of 8 procedures.

The treat the hyperkeratosis (hyper normal thickening of a horny epidermal layer) the peel is conducted once a week in series of 5-7 procedures. The first two procedures can be conducted with a shorter interval between them. To treat the hyper pigmentation the salicylic peel should be conducted once per 2 weeks. The complete course consists of 8 procedures.
There are two kinds of the salicylic peel. Its liquid form is applied to the facial area. The treatment for body, hand backs, coarse skin of elbows and knees is conducted with salicylic paste.

Advantages of salicylic peel

There are a lot of undeniable advantages of the salicylic peel. First among them there are:

- high efficiency;
- generality (can be applied to a face and different body areas);
- the procedure can be conducted at any age;
- can be used for a fair and dark skin;
- easy appliance and controllability.

Another undeniable benefit of the salicylic peel is that it affects only epidermis without penetration deeper that minimizes skin’s traumatization.

There are just a few contra-indications to the salicylic peel and it can be used at any age as it is suitable for the patients with a high level of photodegradation of skin.

We can mention the following positive results of appliance of the salicylic peel:

- the texture of the skin improves a lot;
- the visible incipient characters of aging skin disappear;
- after the top layers of the skin are peeled, the facial tissues regenerate more quickly;
- the pores of the skin are cleaned and as a result the skin begins «breathing»;
- it prevents from further acne eruption.

However the salicylic peel may result in some negative effects (edema, redness, burning, flacking and so on), but all such bad reactions usually subside within several days.

Indications and contra-indications as to salicylic peel appliance

Peeling with salicylic acid is a simple procedure but at the same time it really works.

It is used in the following cases:

- seborrhoeic dermatitis;
- acne of the 1-2 level of severity;
- folliculitis;
- hyperpigmentation of skin;
- removal of the residuals after the acne treatment
- aging and photodegradation of the skin

But we do not recommend to apply the salicylic peel in the following cases:
- being pregnant or breastfeeding;
- having herpes fulminating;
- having inflammatory processes;
- the skin is damaged;
- having intolerance towards the peel components;
- hypersensitivity of the skin;
- sunburns on the skin areas where the peel is going to be applied to;
- taking glycemic drugs

Salicylic peel should be abandoned during the high sun activity, especially if it is impossible to avoid being in the sun continuously. The best time for the peel to be applied is a cloudy weather during fall or winter.

Preparation for peel

In spite of the fact that the procedure of the salicylic peel is not difficult, it requires the specific preparation. At that the more deeply you are going to affect the skin, the more seriously one should prepare for this procedure. And that determines the duration of the post-treatment period significantly.

Preparing for the peel procedure should get started at least two weeks beforehand. During this period one should refuse visiting sauna, bath-house and swimming pool. It is forbidden to be in sun when preparing for the peel. Patient also should not visit sunroom.

You shall not conduct the peeling procedures with the use of different scrubs and gommage cleansing. A good effect is observed when using special cosmetic products meant for such a preparation before the peel. There are creams and cleansing products treating the skin carefully and preparing it for the forthcoming procedure, and also the doctor uses the special solutions immediately before the peel.

The steps of salicylic peel

It does not take a lot of time to conduct the peel. The procedure is conducted gradually in several steps:

1. Make-up removal

At this stage the decorative cosmetics is removed from the skin, whereupon the special product is applied to the skin in order to soften the epidermis. As a result the skin becomes more sensitive and the agents of the salicylic peel affect more beneficially.

2. Degreasing of the skin

The skin is degreased and disinfected with a special solution. It allows minimizing the risk of unfavorable side effects after the procedure.

3. Appliance of the solution or paste of the salicylic acid

After the make-up is removed and the skin is degreased, the solution or paste of the salicylic acid (depending of the area of usage) is applied to it. At that patient may feel an easy pricking or slight burning. It is a normal reaction to the chemical agents contained in the peel. If reaction is more aggressive, the peel should be immediately neutralized by appliance of a special neutralizing product, if one feels comfort the peel shall be neutralized after the termination of the procedure time.

The salicylic peel produced by some firms can be removed with water, but if it contains the UCON complex preventing from crystallization of this acid, then the neutralization must be conducted.

4. Termination of the procedure
Upon termination of the procedure the special creams are applied to the skin, they consist of calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients for example aloe that stimulates a rapid regeneration of the skin cells after the peel and protects the skin from unfavorable influence of environment. And also some salons may suggest that the masks should be applied, which are also beneficial for the skin returning back to normal complexion.

Salicylic peel. Photo before and after procedure

Salicylic peel. Photo before and after procedure
Salicylic peel. Photo before and after procedure

Skin care after peel

The skin affected by the agents, which the salicylic peel consists of, suffers chemical burns as a matter of fact. The level of such burn depends on the concentration of the active agents in the peel composition and the person’s individual receptiveness to such agents.

After the procedure the skin is getting red on the treated areas and that may endure a certain period of time. Then the patient feels a kind of the skin dryness and tightness. To avoid these unpleasant reactions, it is necessary to use moisturizing cosmetic products from the series of after-peel treatment (creams, tonics, lotions and others).

The process of desquamation (peeling-off of top layers of the skin) begins in 2 days after the procedure. This is probably the most unpleasant moment in the peel procedure but it cannot be avoided and one just have to come through it.

As a rule, peeling-off begins on the 3-rd - 4-th day after the procedure is conducted. During this period the skin should be carefully protected from ultraviolet rays.

The sun-protection cream is recommended for use. If there is no strict necessity to go out, it is recommended to stay indoors at daytime.

It is very important not to speed things up and not to try getting rid of the crusts which appear, removing it from the skin.

One should be patient and wait when the loose scales of the skin fall away. Failing to comply with it may damage the skin and rehabilitation process will take more time.

The peeling off may be rather heavy, that is why it is recommended to plan out your time beforehand in order to stay at home for the period necessary for the after peel rehabilitation.

After the peeling off the skin improves greatly. It becomes firm and smooth, its texture and complexion are getting much better, the fine lines are disappearing, and the deep wrinkles are getting less noticeable.

Depending on the concentration and рН of the product applied and individual characteristics of the patient, the salicylic peel can cause some complications. When the procedure is conducted correctly and the requirements for the proper after peel rehabilitation are followed, all these complications can be minimized, as a rule.

The most common complications after the salicylic peel are:
- hyper normal tightness of the skin, caused by dewatering of the cells after the procedure;
- redness of the treated areas of the skin;
- peeling off;
- edema and inflammation of the peeled skin areas;
- strong burning and tingling of the skin after the peel is conducted;
- allergic reaction to the components contained in the peel;
- exacerbation of the herpes.

But if the undesirable reactions still appear, you should take measures to remove them. In severe cases you should seek medical assistance immediately.


In beauty salon one procedure of salicylic peel costs $100-$150.

Tags: peel  


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