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AHA peels are effective in improving skin texture, causing some collagen and elastin rebuilding, minimally reducing the appearance of acne scarring, and reducing the appearance of skin discolorations. Repeated treatments are necessary for all concentrations to maintain results.
Peels are used for the purposes of exfoliating sun-damaged, thickened surface skin while stimulating collagen production for firmer skin. Peel solutions most typically contain either alpha hydroxy acids (an AHA such as glycolic acid), beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid, also known as BHA), tricholoracetic acid (TCA), or phenol as the exfoliating agent.
Overall, you can expect minor to major improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, skin discolorations, skin texture, rebuilding of collagen, removal of blackheads, and a temporary reduction in excessive oil production.
After a peel, you should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (preferably one whose only active ingredients are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) to your skin. Skin will be sun-sensitive for a few weeks after the peel, and it makes sense to use sun protection to protect the investment you just made. Don’t bother with peels if you insist on getting a tan, either from the sun or from a tanning bed.
Peels are helpful for improving skin tone, texture, and for some cases of hyperpigmentation (brown spots) but for best results, they must be accompanied by daily use of a well-formulated sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater along with a brilliant anti-aging skin-care routine.