Phytic acid, also known as inositol hexakisphosphate, is a compound ether composed of myo inositol, cyclic sixfold polyalcohol, and 6 units of orthophosphoric acid. In nature, phytic acid is found in cereal grains, beans, some vegetables, and oilseeds.
American beauty experts were the first to provide phytic peel treatments. For this reason, some beauty parlours call it a “Hollywood-style peel”. In the United States, it is extremely popular as it can be performed in any season and does not require a long recovery period. One can start going to work or going out immediately after the treatment.
The phytic acid is a superficial acid. Neutralization is not required during the procedure. Besides phytic acid, the phytic peel has proven to be a great way to solve problems of mature skin with couperose.
The phytic peel can be performed all year round. Beauty experts recommend using it even during the periods of high solar activity.
Indications for for phytic acid:
- Skin with enlarged pores
- Demodicosis in remission
- Ageing skin
- Stretch marks
- Old and new scars
- Photo ageing
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Dehydrated skin
- Fine lines
- keratomas (skin growths caused by excessive sun-bathing)
- Preparatory stage for more complicated skin treatments such as laser skin resurfacing or microdermabrasion.
Contraindications for phytic acid:
- Pregnancy and lactation
- molluscum contagiosum
- secondary infection
- small scratch marks on skin
- skin hypersensitivity
- oncological diseases
- renal, heart, or liver failure, pulmonary insufficiency
- herpes lesions
Properties of phytic acid:
- scientifically proven ability to exfoliate and cleanse skin very mildly.
- capable of inactivating tyrosinase – the enzyme, which causes hyperpigmentation when it is excessively produced. This also explains good antioxidant, whitening, and anti-inflammatory properties of phytic acid, which help to remove existing pigment spots and effectively prevent the development of the new ones. Phytic acid is also characterized by significant rejuvenating and lifting effect.
- One of the characteristic features of phytic acid is that even highly concentrated 50% acid with low рН=1,2 does not cause any damage to deep epidermal layers. The effect of phytic acid on skin is therefore achieved quite rapidly and does not provoke any pain or discomfort.
- The molecules of phytic acid are relatively large in size; during skin treatment, they do not penetrate deeply into skin, but stay in the horny layer. At the same time, they are capable of retaining hydrogen ions and keeping them from penetrating into skin. When skin is exposed to phytic acid for more than 15 minutes, keratinocytes start dying; this time period is considered the maximal possible time of exposure.
- Preliminary studies conducted by Israeli dermatologists have shown that phytic acid solutions have a significant anti-cancer effect.
Advantages of phytic acid:
- capable of whitening skin
- mild and almost non-aggressive
- characterized by high antioxidant activity, since it slows down production of free radicals
- can be used to treat couperose
- stimulates regenerative processes in skin
- has high efficacy (compared to the efficacy of 50% glycolic acid)
- causes less discomfort and painful sensations than other chemical peels
- can be performed in summer
- post-peel complications are rare
- the peel procedure is simple
- requires minimal specific pre-peel and post-peel care
- presupposes the briefest recovery period
- has a long-term effect
- suitable for sensitive skin
Complications that may be caused by phytic acid:
Phytic acid is almost non-aggressive, which contributes to the fact that various complications in the post-peel period are quite rare. Their development is associated with individual sensitivity to the active component of the peel.
Individual responses to a phytic peel treatment might include:
- dehydration of epidermis, resulting from removal of its outermost layer;
- patchy erythema with moderate intensity that is present for no longer than 3 hours;
- slight skin peeling present within 2 days after the treatment;
- swelling and pastosity of the eyelids and neck caused by considerable amount of various anti-inflammatory mediators;
- herpes infection;
- streptostaphylococcal pyoderma, which might occur if hygiene rules were violated during the peel procedure;
To minimize the risk of such complications, experts recommend that the post-peel skin regimen should be precisely followed.
If there are long-term swellings and erythemas lasting more than 3 days, use of anti-inflammatory medications is necessary (18-glycyrrhetinic acid, Voltaren, Indometacin, Traumeel).
In case of streptostaphylococcal pyoderma, a standard antibacterial therapy is prescribed; doctors recommend using such ointments as Baneocin.
Allergies are very rare and can be treated by a single dose of antihistamines, e.g. Aerius.