Why does a peel work? The peels I use are a combination of glycolic, salicylic, mandelic, and lactic acids, with a little Retinol thrown in the mix. Some of the peels use denatured alcohol to dissolve excess oils on the skin and aid penetration of the acids.
How do these ingredients work?
Glycolic acid comes from sugar cane and breaks down the glue between dead skin cells, aiding exfoliation.
Salicylic acid derived from the willow tree dissolves excess oil as well as softens keratin, making it an excellent ingredient for oily/acneic and ingrown-hair prone skin types.
Mandelic acid is made from almonds and also dissolves the glue between dead skin cells, more gentle than glycolic acid and useful for dark spots and acne.
Lactic acid comes from milk and is typically the most gentle of acids with the largest molecule size it doesn't penetrate as deeply but is still effective as an exfoliant and moisturizer.
Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and like its prescription cousin, Retin A, speeds sloughing of skin cells.