Out Damned Spots!


In the latest edition of SPA+CLINIC magazine we have brought you an extensive guide to the biology of those damned spots – pigmentation and acne – the importance of correct diagnosis so as to plan an effective treatment protocol, and an overview of the kinds of treatment options available to salons, spas and clinics and your clients. (if you’re not a print subscriber we would urge you to sign up!)

We would have needed to devote the entire magazine to explore each treatment option in depth and examples of the products and technologies that facilitate these.

So this week, SPACLINIC.COM.AU looks more closely at professional peels to clear discolourations and blemishes. Next week, we tackle device technology.

Depending on the extent of a client’s acne or pigmentation concerns (and whether they are prepared to take downtime for the skin to recover from more aggressive options) there are essentially two types of peels that can be offered in a salon, spa and non-medi clinic environment.

Light chemical peels and enzyme peels

These are often called ‘lunchtime’ treatments because clients can get them done quickly over the equivalent of a meal break and return to work or regular activities directly afterwards.

The skin is exfoliated using an AHA (such as glycolic acid) or BHA (such as salicylic acid) or an enzyme (usually the active ingredients of certain fruits or vegetables).

They rapidly exfoliate the skin – usually they are left on for around 10 minutes – allowing dead cells to shed more effectively.

By keeping dead cells and excess oil from clogging the hair follicle, pore blockages (comedones) and pimples or pustules can be drastically reduced.

Done in a series, they can improve mild to moderately severe cases of acne, and can be given over the face or other body area where acne is a problem.

They will also soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin texture and fade discolourations.

Some professional peels to try

Among the following there are peels that are effective for treating both acne and pigmentation, or each condition individually. Most have follow-up home care products to maintain results between professional treatments:

Christina Cosmeceuticals

Comodex professional acne treatment: The eight-step protocol works hand-in-hand with the ongoing home treatment to address the key causes and symptoms of oily and combination skin, acne and acne damage, including production of excessive sebum, formation of black and white comedones, bacterial contamination leading to the formation of pustules and nodules, and brown spots or discoloured skin patches. Comodex disinfects and detoxifies skin while promoting the healing of unsightly skin conditions through cellular regeneration and purification. Combining scientifically advanced and natural, clinically proven ingredients with a unique treatment protocol, Comodex yields gratifying results.



Professional treatment: An efficient lightening method of blemishes caused by excess melanin. It works to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase which is integral to the production of melanin (melanogenesis).This paralyses melanin production for a long period of time during which corneum stratum flaking plus the action of the macrophagic cells taking the melanin deposits with them lightens the skin. Tyrosinase inhibition does not make the melanocytes disappear, but simply paralyses or stops melanin production without risk of white blemishes appearing. Its high-antioxidant vitamin complex stimulates collagen production and cell renewal, revitalising skin, to make it more luminous and radiant. Vegetable origin substances with lightening properties also hydrate and soothe.



Pumpkin Peel: An advanced exfoliation treatment, excellent for age management, acne and hyperpigmentation, it uses acids and pumpkin pulp to create a very strong heat response on the skin. Pimples are instantly zapped, pigmentation immediately looks lighter and fine lines softer. It is DermaQuest’s most-asked and talked-about treatment.

Acne Peel: Quite often the skin can’t heal itself and needs aid in reducing the inflammation and then a solution to help build the skin to prevent further breakouts. DermaQuest favours salicylic acid and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) for its acne solution. Research shows that BHA is quicker to reduce inflammation, decongest pores and kills bacteria than glycolic acid. With this treatment, clients’ skin will peel/shed for up to a week but as the dead skin cells fall away, so too will breakouts be reduced.

Mango Peel: This exfoliation treatment uses acids and mango pulp to create a brightening response on the skin, helping to lighten the appearance of dark spots and promote a glow. lt is DermaQuest’s newest peel. 



Enzyme Peel: Removes dead skin cells with the use of pineapple and papaya extracts to improve the condition of both acne and pigmentation, which prevents the condition from worsening.

Terra Sana Mask: A clay mask that is perfect for acneic and oily skin. It clears blemishes and decongests pores, as well as drawing out impurities and absorbing excess oil.



Signature Enzyme Therapy: These treatments revise the skin by removing dead cells and minimising impurities, to help with both acne and pigmentations as well as anti-ageing. Where some cosmetic treatments may only act on the surface of the skin, DMK Enzyme Treatments are designed to work with the skin. Enzymes are used to strengthen its structural integrityto create a healthy environment for cells to thrive in. Enzyme Therapy is unique to DMK.



Glycolic 30%: Contains citric acid, bilberry fruit extract and phytic acids. Works to repair and regenerate skin. A versatile and fast acting acid exfoliant appropriate for most skin types, effectly aids oily, problematic skin. Improves the appearance of facial lines, uneven tone and texture.



Calming Recovery Facial Protocol: Even sensitive skin will be left glowing after this calming, soothing treatment. A gentle peel refreshes skin without irritation while a nourishing mask helps to protect skin and restore hydration. Start combating sensitivity with peptides and a botanical stem cell that help to promote an even skin tone by reducing visible skins of redness, an uplifting eye treatment gives the perfect finish to this gentle, restorative treatment.

Acne Clarifying Facial Protocol: Improves skin clarity while combating acne and unbalanced skin. A combination of salicylic acid and acne-fighting peptides improve skin smoothness and balance oil production. It deeply exfoliates to promote healthy cell renewal, clears and evens the complexion and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles.


Klapp Cosmetics

ASA Peel Face Treatment: An optimal ingredients combination with high dosage fruit acids, it is ideal for the intensive treatment of  mature skin also affected by dark pigmentation. The self-contained treatment kit contains: Pre-Cleansing, Exfoliating Mask Strong, Post-Cleansing and Finishing Care. 



Beta Peel: An anti-acne peel which helps to control acne and reduces the risk of future outbreaks. It counteracts all three fronts of acne by targeting each assault individually; blocked pores, comedones and inflammation. Beta Peel delivers a heavy dose of salicylic acid and azelaic acid straight into the pores and follicles, helping to keep the pores clear of cellular debris therefore reducing the number of pore blockages and breakouts on the skin.

White Peel: The most effective way to achieve a brighter and even skin tone, free of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, is to eliminate skin cells rich in melanin and prevent the darkening of the new skin cells. Especially designed to target sun damage and hyperpigmentation problems. White Peel penetrates the skins pigment cells (melanocytes) to gently and effectively reduce the appearance of unwanted discolouration, for a more even skin tone.



Mandelic peels: Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almond extract and provides deep exfoliation with minimal irritation. Indicated for the treatment of photo-ageing, oily, congested and acneic skins. Available in concentrations of 40 percent and 50 percent.

Salicylic peels: Salicylic is derived from willow bark, ideal for acneic and oily skin, photoageing. Available in concentrations of 20 percent and 30 percent.

Modified Jessner: Formulated with an exclusive, precise and synergistic composition of chemoexfoliants, it is a combination of lactic, salicylic and citric acids. This modified clinical peel is ideal for skin rejuvenation, fine lines wrinkles, superficial acne scarring and is safe on sensitive and dark skin types. Available in concentrations of 35 percent and 50 percent.



Vegetable Peel Mask: Developed by OmVeda founder Yasmin Sadikot, it is a specialised Ayurvedic mix of active herbs featuring key ingredients of wheat, barley and jambul (a tropical plant native to India and parts of south-east Asia, high in vitamins A and C). This potent mask also contains sandalwood, cinnamon and nutmeg. It comes in powder form and is designed to be blended with organic milk or yoghurt. The natural enzymes in the yoghurt/milk work in synergy to activate the herbs helping to accelerate cell renewal, minimise the appearance of darker patches and brighten the complexion. While we may be familiar with the many acids that tackle uneven discolouration, certain grains such as wheat, barley and rye contain azelaic acid, a component that is reported to be beneficial in minimising the appearance of pigmentation, help reduce scarring and acne.



Peel and Recapture Micro-Retinol treatment: This high-performance treatment combines a deep cleansing, potent yet gentle peel, and Micro-Retinol to help smooth wrinkles, strengthen the skin’s elasticity, even out pigmentation and counteract the ageing process. Not recommended for those suffering with acne.

Lacto-Flora Peel: Naturally-derived, this mild but effective acid peel formulated with lactic acid exfoliates gently while hydrating the complexion. Teamed with pyruvic flower acid, AHAs and green tea, it is suitable for most skin types and is particularly effective for treating uneven texture, thickened epidermis and hyperpigmentation. It will also reduce sebum production and pore clogging.



Acnipur: It combines two specific highly effective formulas for extraction. The deep cleansing acid exfoliant (AHAs and vegetal acid cocktail) deeply cleanse the pores and facilitate the extraction of comedones. The second formula is a serum to soothe and calm the skin after extraction of comedones. Skin flaws are minimised, clogged pores are unblocked and excess sebum is regulated. It also provides a long-lasting matte effect.

White Illumination Brightening Radiance Treatment: Skin cleansing and chemical exfoliation promotes a ‘new skin’ effect. Acid Exfoliant with AHA, Perfecting Massage Cream, White Lumination Brightening Serum and Luminous Complexion Mask Platicizing with Vitamin C combine to diminish dark spots, tighten enlarged pores, visibly brighten skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.



MicroPeel Plus: Containing salicylic acid and glycolic acids, it is a safe and effective treatment for all skin types and colours, indicated to treat acne, ageing, pigmentation and sensitive skin. It is a unique treatment of chemical exfoliation designed to help refine skin texture, smooth fine lines and even out skin discolouration while reducing the appearance of acne scars and environmental damage to the skin.



Vita-Clear Skin Workout: Ideal for treating acneic, problematic or congested skins, this mandelic acid peel utilises AHAs to quickly decongest, clarify and help control oil production. With proven anti-ageing ingredient niacinamide (vitamin B3) and potent antioxidant clove oil, this peel is improves surface congestion and reduces inflammation.

Vita-GLOW Skin Workout: Ideal for hyperpigmented, ageing or sun damaged skin, this potent Vitapeel features high-strength AHAs and BHA. It works to rapidly exfoliate surface congestion while diminishing the appearance of dark spots and blotchiness.

Radiance Plus+: A paramedical treatment for hyperpigmentation, this Brightening Accelerator Mask combines a powerful blend of eight skin brightening agents to rapidly reduce the appearance of dark spots and blotchiness to instantly reveal a luminous complexion.


Medium depth peels

These are designed to improve more extensive skin damage than an AHA, BHA or enzyme peel can provide and fewer treatments are needed (indeed one may be enough to achieve desired results).

However, they will leave a client peeling for up to seven days, and the skin will turn from pink to brown.

A client must therefore be made fully aware of this before proceeding, and be well informed how to care for their skin during the downtime. For instance, they must be cautioned not to pick at or pull off peeling skin, or expose the healing skin to the sun.

Medium depth peels also require a high level of knowledge, skill and care on the part of the therapist because of the potential for burning the skin, with subsequent scarring, or hypopigmentation (loss of pigment) or hyperpigmentation.

They are not recommended for darker skin types. The peels help loosen stubborn acne because of their deep exfoliating effects that clean out congested pores, reduce the appearance of open pores, acne scars and hyperpigmentation, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and improve the overall complexion.

There are two key types: A Jessner’s peel is made of salicylic acid for penetration, lactic acid for exfoliation and resorcinol (which is good for the treatment of acne). A TCA (tri-chloroacetic acid) peel is one of the original skin rejuvenation peels and range from eight to 30 percent strengths.

These peels can be repeated at roughly four-week intervals until desired results are achieved, but one may be enough depending on the client’s needs.

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