Chemical Peels – What To Expect
If you have ever wondered what sort of changes happen in your skin during a chemical peel, wonder no more, because I’m here to answer all your questions. Having done many many peels on clients and being a licensed esthetician for over 9 years, you would think that I would have at least once tried a chemical peel myself. It’s not that I’ve been afraid to or have “chickened out” before, I honestly have not had the opportunity or possibly the desire to. Now that I’m in my (yikes!) mid thirties, I thought it was time, and quite honestly, necessary for my skin to experience a chemical peel. I’ve never had any major skin problems; except for the occasional break out here and there, I have never had acne or problematic skin at all. Once I hit my 30s, I have noticed many changes in my skin, that quite frankly, I had never ever experienced. Now, I must admit I’ve been “blessed” with good genes; both my grandmother and my mother have exceptional skin and I am lucky to have inherited that from them.
Of course being a bit obsessed with my skin, I do notice things that maybe others do not notice. I have a tiny wrinkle on the side of my mouth, a few enlarged pores that I obsess about, and some congested pores along my cheek and jaw line. So I decided to try this peel to see if it would help with my concerns.
ought it was time, and quite honestly, necessary for my skin to experience a chemical peel. I’ve never had any major skin problems; except for the occasional break out here and there, I have never had acne or problematic skin at all. Once I hit my 30s, I have noticed many changes in my skin, that quite frankly, I had never ever experienced. Now, I must admit I’ve been “blessed” with good genes; both my grandmother and my mother have exceptional skin and I am lucky to have inherited that from them.
I decided the perfect time to try it was Christmas night. I was already done with my festivities; I wouldn’t see anybody or go anywhere until New Year’s Eve, so I figured it would be nice to have my skin ready for the New Year. I gathered everything I needed, step 1 of the peel is the peel solution itself; step 2 is the Retinol cream and step 3 is the calming cream.
Before I explain the process, I have to put my disclaimer here: under no circumstances do I advise anyone who is not a licensed esthetician or physician to perform a peel on themselves. In other words, don’t try this at home. It is not because the process itself is necessarily difficult, but if you do not know what you’re doing, and don’t know what signs to look for to avoid burning your skin, you can end up doing serious irreversible damage to your skin. So, if you want a chemical peel, please please go to someone who is licensed and preferably under the supervision of a physician.
I applied the peeling solution, being careful not to apply it too close to my eyes and the corners of my mouth. I noticed a tingle, but it really wasn’t uncomfortable. Some people who have had this peel, have experienced more stinging and discomfort. I think it is really dependent on your skin’s tolerance.
After the peel solution, I applied step 2, the Retinol cream and then shortly after, followed with step 3, the calming cream. Overall, my skin was not very red, a bit pink, especially around the cheek area. Day one of peel, was complete and now it was time to wait and see the results.
Day 2 was similar to day 1. My skin was still slightly pink, and this time it felt a little tight and dry. No major changes as of yet.
Days 3&4 is when I really started to see and feel the effects. I started experiencing some flaking, especially around my mouth and chin. Now it’s important not to pick at the skin, or you can end up with some unwanted scarring.
My skin looked blotchy, and the “older” skin was starting to look darker, even gray in some areas. It was definitely not a pretty sight. I do also have to say that this peel, is not a deep chemical peel. It is a superficial peel, meaning it does not penetrate the dermis, so your skin won’t be “weepy”, but it will still be pretty flaky and dry. If you have a special event, date or reunion to go to I recommend doing this peel about 2-3 weeks before your event.
At about day 5-7 the flaking skin continued and progressively become better.. My skin did continue to feel a little tight and dry, especially after cleansing. I refrained from using my Clarisonic until all my skin was completely healed and no longer peeling. I avoided all scrubs and exfoliating ingredients such as AHAs and BHAs as well as Retinol. I do feel that my skin started to look better and better as the skin healed, and by days and even now, a couple of weeks post peel, my skin looks the best it has ever looked. By day 7 the flaking was very minimal; I still had some dryness around my nose and eye area. Even though I did not directly apply the peel solution to my under eye area, the skin around my eyes did feel dry and flaky, including my eyelids.
Now that I am more than one week post peel, I am really loving the results! My skin looks a lot clearer, brighter, and less blotchy. I still have a bit of pore congestion along my cheek area, but I have noticed that it has lessened. My skin’s texture has dramatically improved! I have also gotten away with only wearing a tinted moisturizer instead of my usual medium coverage foundation. I would say, overall I am extremely pleased with the results!
I will do another peel in about 4 to 6 weeks, which is generally the recommended time to wait between treatments. I also recommend to do about 3 peels total within the year. I do not recommend getting a peel done in the summer months if you spend a lot of time outdoors and especially if you are prone to hyperpigmentation.
It’s important to use the ZO Calming Cream that is included when you receive your peel. It will help to calm and moisturize your skin during the peeling phase, and also extremely important to use a sunscreen regularly. After your skin has healed and stopped flaking, you should continue to use your regular skincare routine to maintain the results of your peel. If you follow post peel directions, your skin will have a healthy glow that you will love!