#1 Best for an overall complexion pick-me-up
I’m not a peel newbie, but I was a little apprehensive about the Obagi Blue Peel ($600 for 30min) – this trichloroacetic acid peel, which is said to improve the look of hyperpigmentation and fine lines, as well as lift and tighten skin, is a relatively strong treatment, and the exposure of treated skin to the sun’s rays can cause swelling, redness and even blistering.
Luckily, Dr Komathy Rajaratnam, medical director of The Lifestyle Clinic, assured me that she does a modified version of the peel that’s milder, taking into consideration the harsh UV rays in Singapore. As I didn’t have visible wrinkles, Dr Komathy customised an even less potent version of the peel for me.
She applied the peel (in the form of a blue cream) on a cleansed face, and while it didn’t sting, it did leave a bluish tinge on my skin – which disappeared when the peel was neutralised and washed off. My face didn’t look inflamed after the treatment and there was no residual stinging. Dr Komathy recommended that I use a hydrating sheet mask every night to expedite the peeling process, and said that I would see more radiant skin in two weeks.
– Amanda Lai, beauty writer
At The Lifestyle Clinic, #16-03 Camden Medical Centre (tel: 6733-0788).
#2 For instant brightening with minimal downtime
I have dry and sensitive skin, so I’m usually cautious about getting peels. But because the Enerpeel Mandelic Peel ($220 for 15min) was formulated specifically for those with sensitive skin and rosacea, I gave it a try.
Dr Vanessa Phua, physician at Asia Healthpartners, applied a solution with mandelic acid on my face with a brush. The peel stung a little, but it was tolerable. It was left on for just three minutes, before a cold towel was used to remove the peel.
While there was some redness after the treatment, it subsided within 10 minutes, leaving me with less visible pores, firmer skin and a glowing complexion.
– Sabrina Tiong, beauty writer at herworldplus.com
At Asia Healthpartners, #05-06 Lucky Plaza (tel: 6235-8411).
#3 Good for a dull complexion and clogged pores
I tried the ZO 3-Step Stimulation Peel ($1,070 for 30min), which has a blend of salicylic, trichloroacetic and lactic acids to aid exfoliation, saponins to minimise skin irritation and glycerine to replenish moisture.
Dr Martin Huang, director and plastic surgeon of The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, applied the peel in thin layers, and I felt a strong burning sensation five minutes into the peel. A calming cream was then applied and the pain subsided.
Dr Huang also applied a retinol cream afterwards to reportedly stimulate cellular regeneration and boost the results of the peel. After the treatment, my skin looked red and felt tight but there was no swelling.
Three days later, my skin started to peel off in large flakes – this lasted for three days. My hyperpigmentation was visibly lighter after three days, and my complexion looked clearer. Try the peel a week before a big event for a boost of radiance.
– Carina Koh, beauty writer
At The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, #20-01 Paragon (tel: 6733-3372).
#4 Great for blemishes and an uneven complexion
I’ve always turned to chemical peels for a brighter, more even-toned complexion.
To prep for an upcoming wedding, I went for the Ultra Peel ($250 for 20min), a superficial peel that uses lactic, kojic, azelaic and trichloroacetic acids to treat a dull complexion and minimise the look of fine lines.
The treatment took about 20 minutes (including the time taken to remove my makeup and cleanse my face), and the peel was administered by Dr Karen Soh, medical director of Prive Clinic.
She applied two coats of the peel and after a few minutes, I felt a tolerable burning sensation that subsided about 15 minutes later. My skin peeled and flaked over the next seven days, and I soothed it with an after-care balm given to me by the clinic.
After a week, my skin looked more radiant and even-toned. I also noticed that my dark spots and enlarged pores looked less obvious.
– Jaclyn Gunasilan, beauty writer
At Prive Clinic, #03-03 Palais Renaissance (tel: 6737-6639).
DON’T FORGET YOUR NECK
We pay a lot of attention to the skin on the face, but often neglect the skin on the neck.
But, the skin on the neck is actually thinner and more prone to lines and wrinkling than the skin on the face, so do go for regular gentle peels on the neck to make it look smoother.
The Neck Peel ($250 for 15min) uses a cocktail of pyruvic acid (found in honey, grapes and apples) and lactic acid to help soften the appearance of fine lines while improving skin tone.
Lactic acid is also moisturising and helps plumpskin,whilepyruvic acid is mild even at a high percentage, so it’s suitable for use on the neck.
At IYAC Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Clinic, #06-03 Camden Medical Centre (tel: 6738-9989).
This story was first published in the March 2015 Issue of Her World Magaine.