• June 8, 2023

Chemical and enzymatic peels: the differences and how to use them in the summer – iO Donna

R.they reveal a fresh and rejuvenated complexion, increase the absorption of serums and creams, reduce skin imperfections and expression lines: are the peelings, the new generation exfoliating treatments. The dermatologist explains the characteristics and the most suitable types to be used even in summer.

Face peeling in summer: what you need to know

A chemical or enzymatic peeling instantly gives a super-radiant appearance to the complexion: eliminates skin thickening, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, improves acne and dilated pores, reduces hyper-pigmentation.

chemical peels

Credits: Instagram @kaiagerber

While the mechanical scrubs are massaged to make the smoothing microgranuleschemical and enzymatic peels act with simple contact with the skin, by physiological reaction.

Enzymatic peels

Enzymatic exfoliation promotes the removal of dead cells superficial, partially devitalized and already in the detachment phase.

«The protagonists of this treatment, the proteolytic enzymes: rich in it, for example, are the pineapple stalk, from which bromelain is extracted, or papaya, from which papain is derived. These substances have a very limited action: they act superficially and only during contact with the skin. For this reason, once rinsed, their action ceases ”, explains Corinna Rigoni, president of Donne Dermatologists Italia.

Chemical peels

Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, breaks down or lifts superficial dead cellsi thanks to the so-called alpha-hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids.

They are also called fruit acids: not by chance, malic acid is extracted from apples, glycolic acid from sugar cane, citric acid from citrus fruits. It also includes retinol, an alternative name for vitamin A.

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Compared to enzymes, their activity also reaches deeper skin layerspromoting the mechanisms of renewal and regeneration on collagen and elastinthe fibers responsible for skin tone and firmness ”, explains Corinna Rigoni.

“When used, they tend to provoke a slight burning. This is a completely normal reaction: it means that they are dissolving dead cells and, at the same time, stimulating the production of new and more vital ones ».

What are the differences

Therefore, i Chemical peels and enzymatic peels do not work the same way: the former go deep and boast anti-aging properties, the latter carry out a cell renewal activity that remains superficial.

How to use them best

For both types of treatment, however, two indications apply: they are used once or twice a week, preferably in the evening.

«To avoid stressing the skin it is always recommended do not overdo the frequency, not even in the case of oiliness and blackheads. It’s important apply them before the night restor to give the skin the necessary time to rebuild the hydrolipidic film », explains Rigoni.

“For this reason, the next day a cream with a high sunscreen is always recommended, with an Spf 30“.

In summer yes or no?

Despite the many benefits of the chemical and enzymatic peels, there is often a certain reluctance to use them in the summer: they have a reputation for being aggressive, with the risk of sensitizing the skin to the sun and compromising the evenness of the complexion.

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“In reality, they can be used safely in the city even in the hottest months”, concludes Corinna Rigoni. «The only recommendation? No.or to direct sunbathing the day after use“.


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