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I will do a day-by-day update again on this peel. Since today is the "Peel Day", this post will be dedicated to the weeks up to the peel and the peel itself. So to recap, here are my "stats" . 29yo male, with olive skin, recovering sun addict . I'm happy to say that it's been over two months since I've sun worshiped and boy have I noticed a difference in my skin. I never realized that all the tanning etc had caused my skin to "thicken" so much. I had layer upon layer of dead skin cells just sitting there. blah
About 4 weeks ago, I started using Retin-A Micro and that stuff has worked wonders for me. This product in itself deserves its own review (another post). Long story short, my skin is incredibly smoother since I've been using Retin-A Micro and my pore size has been visibly reduced.
So on to the peel...
For my peel I used the same TCA 25% solution I purchased from OSS back in January. I prepped the skin according to the directions; 1. Wash 2. Apply toner (I used Witch Hazel). 3. Allow to air dry.
I applied the TCA solution using a tight woven gauze pad (same as my 1st peel) and I immediately noticed something new from my first peel. THE BURN! When I did my first peel I could feel some stinging, but it wasn't bad at all. This time I could really feel it, although it wasn't unbearable and I didn't need to use a cool hair dryer etc. My theory on this difference is that when I did my first peel, my skin was so "thick" that it just didn't make it down that far into the layers of my skin for me to "feel".
Since the Retin-A Micro has been "thinning" my skin, I could definitely tell the peel was getting "right to work". (Note - I stopped using Retin-A Micro a few days before the peel).
I applied my first layer and had some minor frosting on my forehead. After 5-6 minutes, I applied my second layer (minus the forehead) and I frosted just about everywhere. I spot applied a third layer on the problem areas that had not frosted (used a q-tip for this) and once that was completed I neutralized with baking soda (don't trust just water ), rinsed my face, and applied moisturizer.
Post peel I can tell this peel was "deeper", if you will, than my first one. So now it's on to waiting for the skin shedding process to begin!
I have to admit, it's still unnerving watching your face frost. You can feel the the skin being broken down. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like ear wax cleaner haha. If you have ever used it, ear wax cleaner feels like water is boiling in your ears. Sorry weird analogy I know, but that's what it reminds me of .
Sounds like you did your research and should get good results Tony. Remember to use sunscreen after it all peels.
I've never been brave enough to do more than 2 layers of 18% TCA at home. To me it was pretty painful but the worst of the burning was over after about 5 minutes. I'd really love to do a higher % TCA because I got great results, but I'd need to go to my derm or a cosmetic surgeon for a numbing cream or anesthetic.
Yes, it'll be interesting to hear about the results since you mentioned a history of tanning and are a young guy of olive complexion.
After my 2 layer 18% home TCA peel I was with the slight fading of the sun spots on my fair skin. For me the first layer didn't frost. The second pass frosted whitish rather opaque-I couldn't see my skin.
There's some good info/precautions I read in the sticky threads here for DIY peelers. If I weren't such a big chicken I'd love to do another 2 layer 18% on myself. I have a friend that does stronger self peels at home with good results...For me it's better to set aside the recovery time and but for a heavy duty pro peel.
Anyway I hope you get great results tony. Maybe I'll change my mind if your's goes well.
Barbiewannabee wrote:Was the frost pure white, could you see your own skin through it?
This is a great question and I was actually considering my "level of frost" this evening as I was applying jojoba oil and checking things over.
Based on the levels of frost described in the post below, I would say I received a Level 1 frost on my entire face and a Level 2 on about 60% of it (mostly the places I did the 2nd layer on).
I think I'm still too chicken to go for a full Level 3 frost, which in my case would take at least 3 layers. I actually did get a Level 3 frost on one area of my forehead (which burned like crazy) and I remember thinking oh crap is that too deep?, but the next day (today) it turned brown and looks good.
Thanks for the update Tony. Curious-On this peel did you make a one time pass with a diluted version of TCA under the eyes or did you skip the under eye area? When I did an 18% 2 layer home TCA I avoided the under eye for fear of deeper penetration from the lack of oil glands there. (Maybe you didn't need it under the eyes since you haven't reached your 30's.)
...Thinking about doing a 12 to 18% one layer TCA to refresh my under eye area. Still a little chicken but why throw money away if I can DIY?!
Anyway, hope it continues to go well and you get great results. You're brave.
Hi Tony, thanks for sharing your experience with this peel too. I'm looking forward to hearing about your results...
Could you tell me if you had any pain for the first few days and whether resting your face on a pillow was uncomfortable or painful? I can only sleep on my side or stomach, so I'd like to know before I do a peel of similar strength.
ekhy wrote:Could you tell me if you had any pain for the first few days and whether resting your face on a pillow was uncomfortable or painful? I can only sleep on my side or stomach, so I'd like to know before I do a peel of similar strength.
The first day is tender, feels like a bad sunburn. I am a back/side sleeper, so wasn't much of an issue for me. You may want to try to sleep on your back for at least 1 to 2 nights. After that there isn't any pain, but again this probably depends on how deep and strong of a peel you do.
So it has been 11 days since I completed my 2nd 25% TCA Peel. First off, I want to say thanks for all the comments and words of encouragement on this thread. This really is a great site for gather information and getting feedback. Okay, so on to the results:
Summary As noted in my opening post, this peel had some key differences from my first one. I truly believe my Retin-A Micro treatments had a lot to do with this. The shedding process was complete by day 6, whereas last time it took 7-8 days. This is interesting since I had a deeper frost this time than my first. I'm guessing the Retin-A Micro helped speed up the skin renewal process or maybe I just had "that much skin" to shed the first time.
Day 2 My skin was red (bad sunburn look) and tender to the touch. An interesting observation is that when you lightly graze your skin, you can't "feel" it, a clear sign the top layer is dead.
Day 3 Today, my skin is beginning to get tight. The tenderness from yesterday is gone, but my skin is still red. By the end of the day it is starting to have brown patches on exactly the places I frosted most.
Day 4 My entire face is tight and leathery feeling. The areas of my skin that did not frost is starting to flake off. The skin around my mouth is beginning to "crack".
Day 5 Major peeling today; woke up and looked in the mirror and I look like a snake trying to shed it's skin . Some of the skin sloughed off during my shower (note I didn't pick or pull it) and it's looking good underneath.
Day 6 This morning 60% of my skin has shed and it's looking good. By the end of the day I just had a couple small patches left (the spot areas I did a third layer on), but those peeled the next day.
Final Thoughts During the healing process of this peel, I used only jojoba oil to moisturize my skin. I switch over to jojoba oil about a month ago and I can't say enough good things about this stuff. It doesn't clog your skin and does an incredible job moisturizing.
For the Retin users out there, I waited until Day 10 to start using Retin-A Micro again. This is earlier than some recommendations I've seen (1-2 week), but honestly by Day 10, my skin was completely normal and I haven't had any bad reactions to it.
I am pleased with the results of this round, but do have some thoughts for my next one. I will definitely go for a Level 3 frost on my next peel. I saw the best results on the areas that reached this level.
I have seen very good improvement in my skin after two rounds. My pore size continues to shrink, I no longer have blackheads on my nose and the small "bumps" on my forehead (probably blackheads as well) are completely gone. I can't contribute this 100% to the peels since Retin-A Micro is a big part of this improvement, but the peels provide an immediate improvement.
My wife has commented that my skin looks great, but I think she may be a little biased . Jokes aside, I really do see improvement. I can see why the derms say you have to have 5-6 treatments when going the peel route. Each time your skin slightly improves. I plan on doing a third round in 4-6 weeks.
Of course I will be back on here documenting my experience and sharing it with you. I wish everyone else the best of luck with their journey.
Interesting to me that you also experienced a faster peeling time this time around. My 1st two peels took till around day 6 till I started to flake/peel and this time, I am an day 2.5 and already shedding.
I went from burnt purple to brown in a day and a half. I frosted immediatly as well, not 3rd ot 4th layer needed.
As well, the areas that didn't frost are shedding today as well.
Stupidly I made my peel appointment based on my last experience and now have meetings tomorrow and tuesday (which before we just the sunburn days) and am mortified that I have to attend . I pray for am overnight miracle
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