Gritty body scrubs are so yester-decade. Acid peels are what’s happening now in the get-your-bod-smooth-for-summer department. And we are not talking toxic peels, of course, but healthy sugar and lactic acids. The safer, gentler, better body peel.
Wondering how these peels work and where you can get your hands on them?
I recently test drove one such body peel by Stacked Skincare, called TCA Multi Acid Body Peel. TCA, or Trichloroacetic acid, is a nontoxic acid, related to vinegar (acetic acid). TCA causes the top dry, dead layer of skin to peel off.
Stacked Skincare founder, Kerry Benjamin, was kind enough to answer some questions for us. Here are the juicy deets.
Liz Thompson: How does this type of body peel benefit our skin versus a scrub?
Kerry Benjamin: Scrubs don’t really do anything except minimally remove dead skin in a very abrasive way. They can’t do what peels can do.
Peels are so much better for your skin than scrubs. They are not abrasive, and they perform so many other functions besides just exfoliation. In addition to being a deeper, non abrasive exfoliation, peels can hydrate, kill acne causing bacteria, lift hyperpigmentation, speed up cell turnover, reduce keratosis pilaris. All revealing brighter, healthier, more glowing skin.
Also, scrubs that contain jagged sharp edges that do not dissolve, such as pit fruit seeds and nutshells, are very abrasive and scratch, tear, and rip your skin. These tiny abrasions damage your skin and accelerate aging.
LT: Who should use the peel? (should any skin types or skin issues avoid using it? What skin type benefits most?)
KB: It’s safe for all skin types and skin conditions. From dark skin to light skin. Sensitive skin will benefit greatly because scrubs are way too harsh and don’t really do anything but minimally remove some dead skin. Peels do so much more and are so gentle!
LT: What are the results we will see with the peel?
- Softer, clearer, brighter skin
- Reduction/elimination of back and chest acne
- Reduction of hyperpigmentation
- Reduction of Keratosis pilaris (chicken bumps on back of arms, typically)
- Smooths fine lines above knees
- More hydrated skin and your moisturizer will actually be able to work better
- Great for eczema: Kills bacteria, calms inflammation, hydrates while gently exfoliating
LT: How often should we use the peel?
KB: I recommend applying 1-2 layers weekly. if you want a deeper peel, I recommend applying an additional layer in certain areas, especially those that have acne, hyperpigmentation or Keratosis pilaris.
LT: Are there precautions we should take when using the peel?
- We should always avoid the sun, and if you’re going to be in the sun, apply broadband SPF and reapply every few hours.
- It won’t stain your clothes at all. You want to apply with the fan brush and make sure to not get your skin wet. The peel self neutralizes, so don’t workout or shower for 8-10 hours after application.
- Don’t apply lotion after your shower, the peel will penetrate deeper and you’ll get better results. You won’t feel dry without lotion because there is a high percentage of lactic acid.
- Start with only 1 layer on your chest as the skin is thinner in this area. After a few applications, if you want to apply an additional layer you can do so to help lift the sun damage, reduce fine lines, and help clear acne or PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) left behind.
- Make sure to fully dry your skin after showering and make sure your skin has cooled down, especially if you take hot showers (which you shouldn’t because it’s terrible for your skin and very drying).
- Darker skin types should start with only one layer all over their body and do this weekly for one month before applying additional layers.
- It feels a little itchy when you first apply for about 30 seconds and then it goes away. And then you don't really feel it after a few applications at all.
My TCA Multi Acid Body Peel Experience
So, the peel is in liquid form. Actually, it looks like water. The product comes with a fan brush and shallow dish for application. There was a very slight tingly, almost itchy sensation when I first put the peel on, but that went away quickly. After the first application I honestly did not notice much of a difference.
A week later I applied a second coating and that time I did notice something. Starting a day or two later, it was like my skin was more bumpy. It is difficult to explain, but it was like tiny dry spots were rising up. Then I noticed these dry spots were coming off, sloughing away. After three uses in three weeks my skin is noticeably smoother to the touch. Good stuff and just in time for bikini weather too.
Ditch those harsh, gritty body scrubs. Remember how Kerry said they can accelerate aging? Yikes! This peel is the real deal. My skin is soft and looks great, all those dry winter bumps are long gone.
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