We all want younger and healthier looking skin. Some of us will go to great lengths to get it: high priced lotions and creams, microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, facials, peels, etc. But, at what cost is our vanity? Is it worth sacrificing our health and well-being?
I remember the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha gets a chemical peel, and then later has to go to a fancy event; she shows up looking like Freddy Kruger – skin bright red and raw. The side effects she experiences are not typical of the chemical peel that most people get, but you might end up looking like her if you get a deep chemical peel administered by a physician. Regardless, it still highlights the ridiculous things we do in keeping up our appearance.
A chemical peel is a facial administered with highly concentrated chemical solutions. Essentially, it burns your skin, creating a controlled wound that will cause old skin to slough off and new skin to grow back in its place. A lot of the chemical compounds found in chemical peel solutions are largely naturally derived and relatively safe; however, some are entirely man made and quite harmful. Let’s look at a breakdown:
- Glycolic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Critic Acid
- Tartaric Acid
- Resorcinol – derived from benzene, this is a carcinogen
- Trichloroacetic Acid – contains chlorine
The unsafe ingredients are not present in all chemical peel solutions, but it’s always good to check first, especially if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant in the near future. However, there are other side effects to consider as well: sensitivity to sun, possible scaring, risk of infection, hypo/hyper pigmentation, prolonged redness, activation of herpes, itching, and prolonged inflammation. Wouldn’t it be easier to go with something more natural?
How to make your own vegan “chemical peel”
I want to preface this by saying, that a lot of blogs encourage use of dairy based yogurt because of the lactic acid. Lactic acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy family, and is beneficial for skin, but I’m going to promote a vegan ingredient list. The list below is almost exactly what is in a physician chemical peel, without the crazy side effects or the price, and best of all, you can make it 100% organic!
- Sugar cane/granulated sugar (glycolic acid)
- Apples/pears (malic acid)
- Oranges/lemons (citric acid)
- Grapes (tartaric acid)
Make sure you have a least one ingredient from each acid group above.
- Juice the fruit. If you do not have a juicer, buy ONLY 100% fruit juice.
- Whisk the juices in a bowl
- Add enough sugar so that you have a vicious like paste.
- Apply to your face and leave on for 10 minutes.
- Wash the paste off. As you are washing, take the time to work the sugar in for extra exfoliation.
At the end you should have bright and smooth skin! You may experience some redness, so do this at night so your skin has time to repair.