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Masks and Peels: Healthy?

Let's face it; women can be cruel to their skin. We all want our skin to have a healthy, clean glow so we use chemicals to clean, chemicals to treat blemishes and yet more chemicals to moisturize but are all these chemicals safe and effective? Web MD published an article on September 11, 2011 which asks the experts that exact question.

Rachel Herschenfield, MD, with Dermatology Partners, Inc in Wellesley, Mass., and Macrene AlexiadesıArmenakas, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor at Yale University answers our questions.

Are store bought masks and peels as effective as salon products?

The secret it seems is in choosing the right mask or peel for your skin type and problem for instance Dr. Herschenfeld advises that peels which contain the same ingredients as those found in the expensive salons at lower concentrations can be as beneficial to gently remove the outermost layer of skin which can produce smoother texture and even out skin pigmentation, clean out pores and fade fine lines.

What is the difference between masks and peels?

According to AlexiadesıArmenakas the biggest difference between masks and peels is the duration of the application.

So which is better?

Because of the way that peels work it is best to use them sparingly as they can cause the skin to become over stressed and sensitive when used too often.

What ingredients should we look for?

Not all masks and peels are created equal so you should look for something that conforms to your skin type and need. Below are a few suggestions.

  • Emollient ingredients, such as hyaluronic acids, ammonium lactate, squalane, ceramides, glycerin, and dimethicone, help build barriers that keep moisture in the skin.
  • Salicylic acid decreases oil production and helps prevent acne.
  • Clay is infused with silicates that leave a slick residue on the skin's surface, making it temporarily feel smooth.

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