Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to Survive a Chemical Peel - a Guide in Detail

The Background:

As a chronic acne sufferer, I will try just about anything for a clear complexion. A list of things I have tried include but are not limited to:

-Antibiotics: "you will see results within 6-8 months"... Umm, a premature child could be born in that amount of time.

-Proactiv: It works, but I never actually used it as directed: 3 different steps, 2 times a day

-Topicals: Always prescribed with an antibiotic, and effective in about the same time frame. I get pissed off after a day with no results.

Then I was referred to an esthetician to help. I now refer to her (in my head) as my skin angel, and will probably send her a Christmas present. And maybe a birthday present. I love her that much.

The First Treatment: Acne Peel

I went in guns blazin' and told her to do anything to fix my face. I would NOT recommend anyone else say that, ever. I had a double layer of the actual chemical put on, and then was given an OxyTrio treatment. Then she did a bunch of extractions. Finally, the actual "peel" was put on top.

I left there literally fire engine red (which I later found out was from the OxyTrio... so I would suggest skipping that), had open wounds from the extractions, and something yellow and sticky covering all that (vitamin A). I looked like that for about 4 days.

Then, I peeled. Talk about a catharsis. My skin looked even better than it did before puberty (a simpler time).

It took me a really long time to build up enough emotional security to put myself through it again. When I finally got another one I learned some tricks to get through the aftermath.

My Experience:

Day 1 (day of treatment): Sticky, wounded, yellow shit, face on fire
Day 2: dry skin, shiny in a creepy tight skin kind of way, refused to make eye contact with anyone
Day 3: started to peel, probably really grossed out my hair dresser due to underestimation of the "peeling", went home and picked at my face until it was all gone
Day 4: glowing, in love with self


-Only get 1 treatment done at a time. Any of them are going to show results. (I started with a Pumpkin mask)... When I finally just got the Acne Peel done, the aftermath went a lot smoother.
-Ask questions - Understand the procedure and the benefits of each step
-DO NOT pick when you start to peel... It's hypocritical of me to say that because I do it anyways, but you are literally taking off the top layer of your skin. If you peel if off before it is ready you will end up red and can actually feel how raw the new skin is.
-That being said...bring lotion with you everywhere. PAT it on gently, do not rub.
-Be super gentle on your face for about a week after... I use Cetaphil during the process. This also means don't pick at your face (another hypocritical statement). The vitamin A is blocking the top layer of skin, so picking just clogs those two layers.


-The chemicals burn pretty bad. I'm no weenie about pain, but it would probably feel like the depths of hell on sensitive skin.
-Extractions are also painful (sticking a needle in your face is the first step)... but wonderful at the same time.

Personal Opinion:

Chemical Peels - The Holy Grail of Skin Care

Motivational Ending:

You look at yourself the closest and notice everything. No one else does... They are too preoccupied worrying about themselves. If you don't look awesome for a day, it's really not as bad you think it is.

Love to all,

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