Peeling gels or cleansers have been getting more and more popular in the Western beauty communities, but it's nothing new to Asian skincare. What is it and is it harmful for your skin? Are you actually peeling dead skin off as advertised on products? I personally enjoy using them but wanted to know how much skin was actually being "peeled off."
So, what is a peeling gel? It is usually in a gel texture or something similar, which you will gently rub over your clean, dry face. White balls will then be produced, claiming to be dead skin from your face. However, take a look at the ingredients and you will notice that in all peeling gels, you will find an ingredient called "carbomer." This acts as fibres that react to the oil in your skin to create "balls" of dead skin and some bits of the actual product. This looks like it is your skin but it is actually a combination of some skin and some of the product.
Peeling gels may not be as strong in removing dead skin as many people think, but can be thought of as gentle exfoliating scrubs. This is a safe and great alternative to using exfoliating scrubs made of microbeads, which are terrible for the environment. Beauty and science blogger, Lab Muffin touches on this subject. This is another blog post topic, but I personally stopped using my all time favorite scrub for over a year now because it contains microbeads. Lab Muffin also explains the science behind peeling gels a lot better than I can, so head over to blog to see pictures of how she experimented with this product.
One thing is for certain, peeling gels are safe to use on the skin. They aren't miracle products, but can be incorporated to be used once every week or every few weeks. Of course, patch test your skin to make sure you aren't sensitive to this type of stimulation on your skin. I have fairly sensitive skin, but I try to use a peel once every two weeks just so I feel my skin is "cleaner." I like using an essence/toner afterwards and apply a facial mask. One of my favorites is the MasKingdom Bosom Friend and Hydration masks or the L'Herboflore Camellia and Rose Water masks, because my skin always feels smooth and hydrated after doing a peel.
So, if you are ever in beauty store and the sales person tests a peeling gel on your hand and screams out how dirty your hand is, you can assure her that you know all about that the ingredient carbomer.
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