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Let's talk AHAs. There's a chemical peel to suit you, we swear.

Who doesn't love a good peel? (we know Kim does, lol)

If you don't, you probably haven't had one OR haven't had the RIGHT one.


By now we know there are several different kinds of chemical peels and they're made up of several different solutions: predominantly AHAs and one BHA, salicylic.


Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are the biggies for improving the texture and appearance of the skin through chemical peels (we like to call them low pH peels here at Lift Laser and Beauty-it just feels a little nicer).


These are natural acids, derived from fruits and milk, (see now they don't seem so scary, right?) are powerhouses at exfoliating the skin.


Come along with me, let's chat about the AHAs we use.


As a way to manage acne, chemical peels are highly effective.
Applying AHAs, alpha hydroxy acids, to manage acne.

1. Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid, from sugarcane, is probably the most well-known AHA. We get all crazy over the words: chemical peel, but glycolic is simply derived from acidified sugarcane juice. So, it's just a low pH solution. It's so effective for peels because of its small molecular size, which allows it to penetrate the skin well. Check out what glycolic does:

  • Exfoliation: Glycolic acid makes it so the uppermost layer of dead skin cells can easily slough off, this means better skin texture- it's smoother and more radiant.

  • Hyperpigmentation Reduction: Peeling with glycolic can fade dark spots, sun damage, and even out skin tone (this is one of the main reasons that we do chemical peels!).

  • Collagen Stimulation: Stimulating collagen production aids in easing the signs of aging. If you're here reading this, I know this matters to you.

2. Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is milder than glycolic acid and is derived from sour milk. Sensitive skin? This one's for you. Why choose lactic?

  • Gentle Exfoliation: Exfoliation, only more gently. If you know you have sensitive or very dry skin, you'll want a peel that includes lactic.

  • Brightening: It can lighten dark spots and improve the overall complexion (you're going to see a theme here with all of the acids).

  • Hydration: Believe it or not, lactic acid has humectant properties, so despite the fact that initally your face flakes - it preserves and retains moisture.

3. Citric Acid: We don't use this in our peels, but we do in our facials. Our facial line is rich in fruit and other naturally occuring enzymes and acids. So, you can find the benefits of citric acid as an ingredient in several of our facials. In particular, you'll find it in our anti-aging and dry skin facials as citric acid is known for its antioxidant properties. Why do we love this as an ingredient?

  • Skin Brightening: Citric acid can reduce the appearance of dark spots and create a more radiant surface to your skin.

  • Antioxidant Protection: It provides protection against free radical damage. As we age, fighting free radicals becomes more and more important.

  • Exfoliation: Gently exfoliates the skin, promoting a healthy glow.

4. Mandelic Acid: Mandelic acid comes from bitter almonds (why are we so scared of some almonds? lol) and is another of the milder AHA acids that's a great option for those with sensitive skin. (hot tip: it's impressive at relieving folliculitis - razor burn). As an acid for managing acne, mandelic is a go-to. It's a larger molecule than most AHAs, which means it won't penetrate as deeply, this makes is a milder acid. There's a less significant visible peel with milder acids. If downtime is a concern for you, as in you don't want to shed your skin like a snake, a series of milder peels is your best choice.

  • Gentle Exfoliation: Mandelic acid exfoliates the skin without causing excessive irritation which means less visible peeling, which means less downtime.

  • Acne Control: Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory, mandelic can help control acne by reducing inflammation and bacteria on the skin.

  • Hyperpigmentation Reduction: Effective at lightening dark spots and uneven skin tone. (are you seeing a theme here yet?). If you struggle with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, mandelic looks good on you!


6. Malic Acid: Malic acid, derived from apples and pears, is known for its exfoliating properties. At Lift Laser and Beauty, we use malic in our enzyme mask in our facials rather than the chemicals peels. It's one of the gentlest alpha hydroxy acids (largest molecule). Here's why we use it in our facials:

  • Exfoliation: Malic acid promotes skin renewal and a smoother texture.

  • Acne Control: It can help prevent acne breakouts and minimize their appearance.

  • Antioxidant Benefits: Malic acid provides antioxidant protection, reducing the signs of aging. (we talked about how important antioxidants are as we age).

What's the takeaway here? There's an acid for you and your skin concerns that'll work with your tolerance for peeling. Whether it's a more significant peel, a mild peel or an exfoliating ingredient in your facial, we've got you!


Lift Laser and Beauty is a boutique medical aesthetics space providing services in the heart of downtown Chilliwack and Kelowna. We offer a variety of services for your skin's health and appearance. Welcoming you, where you're at on your skin care and aging journey in an open, honest, casual space is our signature.

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