Will an at-home peel help me?

Q. I have slightly rough, dry skin and wonder if a peel would help.  Can I do one at home as I don't really have a budget for a professional one - and can you recommend any brand, type, strength etc?  Would there be a problem with my light Asian skin?  If not, would a scrub be good, or a mask? A. We asked Dr Rabia Malik, a London-based doctor who specializes in non-invasive, holistic cosmetic treatments for problem skin and rejuvenation (www.skinw1.com), for her advice on your question.  She says:  ‘Dry skin can be caused by a number of factors, so it is helpful to figure out the cause of your dry skin. Normal healthy skin has a layer of fatty substances (lipids), which help to seal in moisture, leaving the skin soft and supple. If this “lipid membrane” gets disrupted, the result is often dry skin. ‘

‘Long hot showers, central heating, using the wrong type of cleanser and/or moisturiser, or poor diet can disrupt the lipid membrane as can skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis, and certain medications.’

l_LFO0001Our advice here: Do make certain you get enough omega-3 essential fatty acids in your diet, from oily fish, nuts, seeds and dark green veggies, and/or consider a supplement such as the Power of Krill, which we take daily.

Dr. Malik continues, ‘As we get older, our skin cell turnover also slows down from a 28 day cycle to eventually 90 days, so we accumulate more and more dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. This can also lead to dryness, particularly dry patches on the face, and that’s when a peel can help.’

‘Skin peels are basically chemical exfoliants.  Depending on their content and strength, they remove the upper layers of skin and stimulate new skin cell growth.’

Cosmedix Cleanser‘A superficial skin peel would most likely help your skin, and would ideally be done in a clinic by a trained professional. There are some home peel kits available but I would advise you to avoid these. Those that are strong enough to get a good result should really be done professionally to avoid any possible side effects, particularly as you have Asian skin, which is more likely to pigment. The really mild ones are usually not worth the money spent, as they tend to be less effective.’

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel‘My advice is to try switching to a gentle, non-sulphate-containing cleanser, such as Cosmedix Benefit Clean or Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, and also to use an enzyme exfoliator once or twice a week. Cosmedix Pure Enzymes Exfoliating Mask  or Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel are good. Enzyme masks exfoliate effectively without being abrasive to the skin (as is sometimes the case with scrubs) and will definitely help smooth your skin over time with regular use.’

Hope that helps...

Power of Krill/£24.95 for 60 softgels at www.victoriahealth.com

Cosmedix Benefit Clean/£31.98 at www.amazon.co.uk

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish/£14.75 at www.uk.lizearle.com

Cosmedix Pure Enzymes Exfoliating Mask/£46 at www.amazon.co.uk

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel/£29.50 for 50 ml at www.johnlewis.com