Skin peels can tackle problems, from ageing to acne. Jenny Needham reports

If your skin looks uneven, dull and lacking in life, take a tip from a snake: slough it off. Remove those layers of dead skin cells and reveal the younger looking you beneath.

Easier said than done? Well don't try it at home, but salon-administered skin peels can help you slough off dead skin cells with impressive results. Corrective peels can be used to treat skin conditions such as acne breakouts and oily skin, redness and sensitivity, uneven complexions and premature ageing, and involve little more than a trip to your beauty therapist and little, or no, downtime afterwards

"The beauty market place is crowded and it can be confusing to pick out what will really get to the root of your skin issue," says beauty salon owner Kirsty Jewson, of Saks Northallerton. "We jump from product to product, lured in by expensive marketing campaigns, without realising that the unsupervised, uneducated application of synthetic and chemical products only makes things worse."

Kirsty says her mission is to change skin from within, using CosMedix products in conjunction with their range of non-traumatic, stimulating corrective skin peels. "They work with Nobel Prize winning technology - Chiral correction - meaning that the ingredients used are four times more active than those that have not used this process," she says.

While their contents and intensity may vary, the ultimate goal of any peel is the removal of the skin's outer layer of primarily dead cells and the stimulation of collagen and elastin to tighten and firm the healthy layer beneath. When performed properly, this procedure can effectively diminish the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, blemishes and more with little to no trauma to healthy skin cells.

The key to a successful treatment lies in the peel's contents. They also vary in intensity, from the fairly superficial Pomegranate Peel, to the deep epidermal exfoliation of the Purity Peel, a choice the beauty therapist will help a client make after a thorough consultation to discover if you are looking to correct a specific skin concern, defy the ageing process or simply refresh your complexion.

To remedy a dull, unhealthy looking complexion with an obvious patch of pigmentation on my left cheek, Kirsty recommended three Benefit Peels, "the best all-rounder".

First my skin was thoroughly cleansed to remove excess oils before an exfoliant was applied. "There is no point on putting on the peel and expecting it to penetrate all those layers of dead skin," says Kirsty. "We remove them first so the peel can get to work on the live skin cells, delivering vital nutrients deep within the skin's layers to gently stimulate collagen production." Highly concentrated with vitamin C, the potent antioxidant peel is even gentle enough for rosacea sufferers.

Then the peel, slightly sticky and with a yellow tinge which made me look a little jaundiced, was applied, together with some anti-sun protection. Simple. All I had to do then was rearrange my hair, heed Kirsty's warning to keep out of the sun, and leave the peel on for at least eight hours. (If you're self-conscious, make sure you don't have any appointments for the rest of the day.)

At 9pm, when I showered and washed my hair, the peel came off. A couple of days later I did have a tiny bit of flaking, but it was minimal. After the first peel, my skin looked clearer; after three, I was impressed with its brightness and even skin tone, particularly on my cheeks, where dark patch of pigmentation had all but disappeared.

Finally, I had the mother of all the Cosmedix Peels, the Timeless Peel, which is the skincare company's ultimate weapon in the fight against ageing. "This highly concentrated deep peel is the best peel to dramatically reduce the visible signs of ageing," says Kirsty. Combining a retinol complex with lactic acid, the Timeless Peel aggressively works to exfoliate dead skin and encourage healthy cellular growth and renewal. Due to its intensity a ten to 30 day pre-treatment prep is required, using CosMedix products.

Despite its strength, I didn’t suffer any redness or stinging, and my skin definitely looked revived afterwards. My laughter and forehead lines were visibly reduced, but the area I was most pleased with was the skin on my cheeks, which looked smooth and even glowing - "sloughed", in fact, and all new and shiny underneath. It’s nice to know that the effect will last too, as the peels stimulate collagen and elastin, supercharging the skin’s renewal process.

CosMedix Today peels cost from £65.

Tomorrow peels cost from £195, with a ten to 30-day skin prep required using a personalised homecare kit.


Find out more and experience CosMedix at Saks Northallerton's Peels Party evening on Thursday, October 1, from 4pm. Skin analysis, relevant facial appointments and expert advice are only £20 along with exclusive offers on the night.

Alternatively, all new clients to Saks Northallerton can book an advanced skin and lifestyle assessment and a CosMedix Med facial for only £20. "The Med Facial is the perfect starting point for anybody wanting to kick-start their skin back to health," says Kirsty.

Saks, 84 South Parade, Northallerton DL7 8SJ. To book call 01609-770885.