The most significant buzz in skincare right now is about chemical exfoliation. Acids are having the biggest moment thanks to their ability to resurface the skin, exfoliate dead skin cells, and even your complexion.
But the rest of our body encounters the same or even bigger damage than our faces. Strawberry legs, chicken skin, folliculitis, keratosis pilaris are all names to describe similar (annoying) conditions of our body skin appearance. Whether it’s because of keratin buildup, inflammation of hair follicles, dead skin, or bacteria, all these common causes result in an unpleasant appearance of your body skin. Chemical body peels are an effective way to rejuvenate the skin and get rid of dead skin cells.
The chemical peels can help get rid of body acne, wrinkles, rough patches, and make your skin significantly smoother and softer. Also, these chemical exfoliations can prevent folliculitis (ingrown hairs) and prep the skin for shaving, self-tanner, laser hair removal, etc.
Chemical peels are categorized by their potency, ranging from a light exfoliation to a deeper one. A light chemical peel has the lowest risk of side effects. These include peels with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid with an under 5% percent acid concentration. These small doses may still give you a tingling or burning sensation (which is pretty normal, giving the fact that you burn off a layer of dead skin with acid). Depending on the treatment, the tingling sensation should wear off once you wash off the product, but your skin may be sensitive for at least another day.
Deeper exfoliation, however, has the potential to leave you with red, sensitive skin for days or even weeks. Be cautious when using peels with higher concentrations of acids as the main risk with all chemical exfoliators is over-exfoliation. This could lead to irritation, burning, and subsequent scarring or infection. To avoid these effects, don’t use a chemical exfoliator before or after a physical exfoliation (like dry brushing or body scrubs), and don’t layer multiple acids on top of one another.
Even if you’re used to applying acid exfoliators on your face, it’s important to note that body exfoliation works differently. The skin on the body doesn’t heal as quickly or as well as facial skin. It could be more susceptible to damage, even if the products contain the same concentration as a product intended for the face.
Those with sensitive skin may want to try more natural peels formulated with fruit enzymes or gentle forms of acids (such as lactic acid) instead of more potent acids (such as glycolic or trichloroacetic acids).
When deciding to use a professional chemical peel for your body, remember that the body skin takes approximately 5-10 days to heal (even after a low-dose chemical exfoliator). Leave two weeks in between active peels, and follow with a generous application of moisturizer and SPF 30 or higher.
Below, it’s a review of AmLactin and why I believe it’s the best brand to reach for when starting a chemical exfoliation regime for your body. You probably assumed by now that I am no fan of over-exfoliation and I found these two lotions best for when experimenting with body chemical exfoliation for the first time.
When searching for good body exfoliators online, a particular brand caught my eye: AmLactin.
AmLactin is a company that specializes in products that use lactic acid to moisturize and exfoliate dry skin. They are famous in the US for their Rapid Relief Lotion and for their Daily Lotion, which we will review in this post.