Are you curious about the Green Peel? Perhaps you prefer organic skincare and are now ready for a more intense treatment.

Although the Green Peel has enjoyed world-wide success since it was launched over 60 years ago, it's trending thanks to the wellness movement. But are herbal peels as effective as chemical peels? (Read Your Ultimate Guide to Chemical Peels.)

The History of the Green Peel

Dr Schrammek created the first Green Peel in the 1950s and it has since been upgraded by her daughter, dermatologist Dr Christine Schrammek-Drusio. Her initial aim was to help those with problem skin gain a more clear and even skin tone. But she wanted to peel the skin in a more natural way without any chemicals, toxins or synthetic binding agents.

What Does a Green Peel Consist Of?

The Green Peel contains a mixture of eight medical grade herbs including vitamins, enzymes, minerals and plant hormones, all of which have impressive healing properties; many of the herbs are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Once the skin is fed nourishing ingredients it can often heal itself.

How Does Skin Peel When Chemicals Aren't Used?

Herb micro-particles lightly buff away the dead skin which immediately makes the skin feel softer and helps the vitamins and plant hormones penetrate more deeply into the skin. Over the next 48 hours they feed and heal the skin rather than stripping the barrier with chemicals.

Don't forget that a certain amount of dead skin is needed to protect new skin cells. When the skin is healthy, dead skin falls off naturally without the need for peeling. With every green peel your skin becomes stronger and healthier.

The Green Peel Benefits

  • Increased skin metabolism brightens the skin.
  • Detoxes a congested skin.
  • Skin renews itself within five days, instead of 28 days.
  • Enhances microcirculation: reduces under eye puffiness.
  • As blood circulation is stimulated, pores open and the skin is more receptive to skincare and subsequent treatments.
  • Skin barrier is strengthened which increases moisture levels in the skin.

Pros

The Green Peel is less aggressive than a chemical peel which can remove live tissue as well as dead skin. It is non-invasive and doesn't damage the skin's barrier. In fact herbs have the same pH as the skin so strengthen the barrier. It is suitable for all age groups and skin types, including a sensitive skin, whereas a chemical peel is not always suitable for dark skins.

Cons

Your therapist should manage your expectations: natural active ingredients can never pack the same anti-aging punch as chemical active ingredients – it's a false comparison. Think of a Green Peel as a deep exfoliation which gets rid of the build up of modern life: pollution, stress and processed food.

It's a great alternative for those with a problematic skin that hasn't responded to traditional medication. Its also a great alternative to microdermabrasion which scrubs the skin without feeding it. (Read Microdermabrasion: Your Ultimate Guide to Effective Skin Rejuvenation.)

The Green Peel can however be expensive compared to a chemical peel because of the price of organic ingredients.

Risks

The Green Peel is a very low risk procedure and an allergic reaction is rare. However, natural is not always kinder to the skin. Natural can be dangerous – think of poison ivy or nettles; or the rising numbers of people with hay fever and plant allergies.

When dealing with peels, or any aesthetic treatment, safety rather than chemical-free is the most important factor.

The three types of Green Peels

Freshen up:

For dull complexions.

  • Mild - no peeling.
  • Leaves skin more even-toned and hydrated.
  • Results last two to three weeks.
  • Tired, pale skin.
  • Areas of dryness.
  • Prevents premature ageing.

Energy:

Aging: Treats fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Minimal peeling.
  • Scarring.
  • Uneven pigmentation.
  • Sun-damaged skin.
  • Sagging skin on body.
  • Minimally peeling.
  • Recommended several times a year.

Classic:

Best for congested skin.

  • Longer more intense massage: will peel.
  • Reduces appearance of pores.
  • Deep cleanses a congested, blemish-prone skin: extreme acne cases will still need medication.
  • Large-pored seborrhoeic skin.

The Consultation

It's very important to discontinue active skincare (retinol, vitamin C, AHas/BHas) for one month beforehand to avoid adverse reactions. Several conditions would contraindicate a peel:

  • Highly sensitive skin prone to redness.
  • Thin, fragile skin.
  • Open wounds.
  • Accutane or antibiotics: the skin will be far too sensitive for the herbal massage which could lead to excessive redness.

The Green Peel Procedure:

The Green Peel takes about 45 minutes. It starts with a double cleanse to make sure the skin is thoroughly clean. Then the herbal mixture is massaged into the skin in circular motions for 10 minutes. It is removed with warm water, following by a cooling mask applied like a compress for 20 minutes. After it is removed, a rich cream is applied to the skin followed by sunscreen.

Will it hurt?

During the massage the skin will initially feel warm and sensitive. By the end of the massage, it will feel more intense, as if your skin is sunburned.

Downtime:

5 days.

Afterwards, the skin will be tingly, red and possibly slightly swollen. The redness usually subsides within a few hours but tingling may last up to 24 hours. Expect minimal skin tightness the following day and light peeling around any dry areas from four days afterwards.

Bear in mind that peeling varies from client to client.

The skin will be more receptive to post peel skincare for up to 2-5 days afterwards.

Aftercare

Your skin will be light sensitive for four weeks following the peel so make sure you use a sunscreen.

Avoid the following for 4-5 days afterwards:

  • No shower. (You can have a bath however).
  • No makeup.
  • No water on your face.
  • No sunbathing.

Post Green Peel Facial

After five days your therapist will perform a facial to minimize any dryness and flaking. If your skin is congested, this is the perfect time for extractions. If you are committed to your post peel routine, it will extend the results of your peel. A course of peels may be recommended depending on the severity of your skin condition.

Holistic aesthetic treatment plan

The Green Peel has stood the test of time and is recommended once a year as part of a holistic aesthetic treatment plan which maintains clear, healthy skin. This holistic approach should also include nutritional advice and a fitness program.

Just remember that the health of your skin reflects your inner health no matter how much Botox or chemical peels you have.