Chemical Peel for Eyes

Applying chemical peel agents on the skin around the eyes is risky business. For several years, I’ve been using a mild retinol product developed specifically for the delicate skin around the eyes, which does produce very mild flaking (visible only if I look into my 10x mirror) every couple of weeks with no noticeable dryness or irritation.

I use retinol ONLY at night; the fact is that retinol products should NEVER be used during the day because the active ingredient rapidly breaks down when exposed to UV rays (directly and indirectly) and causes oxidation -- free radicals, according to several clinical studies. Use of retinols in daytime products can actually make skin age faster, yet daytime products continue to contain them.

I've often wondered if I should boost my nighttime retinol's ability to increase collagen by using an occasional chemical peel around my eyes. To find out, I mixed a solution of 6.25% TCA (pH level of 1) and applied it to the outer section of my left eye; I selected this area because my hair falls over it most of the time, so I can conceal it easily.

Not prepping this area with alcohol or acetate, I simply cleansed the sunscreen and powder using cetaphil and applied one layer with a cotton swab then applied moisturizer about two minutes later on top of the application. I never rinsed it off.

That same night, I applied the solution above my lip, just to compare healing time. The area above my lip flaked two days later, but nothing had happened to the area around my eye. It took nearly five days for the area of my eye skin to flake! I had totally given up on it until I looked in the mirror saw the flakes.
6.25% TCA Peel around the eyes
The really great aspect of this low-percentage TCA peel is that I had no irritation or leathery look while the process occurred, but it’s a double-edged sword: downside is the low percentage of acid used will take more chemical peel applications to generate more collagen synthesis.

Applying high-percentage TCA peels around the eyes is risky, something I would probably have my doctor do. This skin around the eyes is 10X thinner than the skin on other parts of the face! As we age, skin loses its elasticity and becomes even thinner due to a breakdown of collagen. This can be further aggravated by sun exposure, smoking, and other environmental exposures.

The skin of the eye contour is constantly moving, blinking alone produces 10,000 movements per day! Other facial movements and expressions such as smiles, squinting, and stress can also affect the eye area, creating fine lines or crows feet.

The epidermal layer gives the skin its appearance, color, suppleness, texture, and health. Basal cells reproduce new cells every few days. As these cells migrate upward, they become drier and flatter.  Once they reach the surface of the skin, they are no longer alive. This process of migration from basal cell to corneocytes is what gives the epidermis the ability to regenerate itself. This ongoing process takes about two weeks in a young person and about 35 days for individuals over 50.

The buildup of the flat dry cells gives skin that aged look. The skin feels and looks like crepe paper, and its ability to retain water becomes impaired. Rubbing and tugging of the delicate skin under the eye due to allergies, crying, eye makeup removal, and insertion and removal of contact lenses can contribute to sagging of the this area. The skins elasticity is similar to a rubber band - constant tugging and pulling eventually causes loss of elasticity.

Using physical exfoliation of this skin is out of the question, so a chemical exfoliant is really the only way to go, but selecting the right product is key. Because this skin is so fragile and thin, a higher pH product is better in the long run with frequent use to keep the renewal process in motion, a product for night time use with retinol is probably my favorite pick.

Will I ever do a higher strength chemical peel on the skin around my eyes? Maybe, but I'm not ready just yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment