No one wants to apprehensively teeter with a chemical treatment that could possibly destroy your facial appearance or miraculously improve it. The risks we take for beauty are pretty vain to an extent. I sometimes watch youtubers who are ripe in their “21 and over” stage speak on anti-aging products, and the thought or act of using them – and what do I do in reaction? Shake my head and laugh hysterically on the inside. On the flip side, I can’t say that I wasn’t buying those Queen Helene masks and stealing my mom’s Oil of Olay products that I’m sure were made specifically for her age group during my high school days. Vanity to women (and some men) are derived from wanting more confidence and self-love when it comes to outward appearance.
I just had a birthday and my age lingers over 35 – so yes – those anti-aging products are for sure catered towards me; now more than ever. Before I left for Paris, I was more than determined to have some type of facial treatment done. I’m talking more on the cosmetic and abrasive side, where you enter a clinic that offers botox, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and the whole nine. I wanted FLAWLESS skin. Prior to my visit, I was juggling between a microdermabrasion treatment (a device that sands away the top layers of your skin) or a chemical peel. I figured I’d wait until I had my consultation with the aesthetitician to see what she recommended.
After sharing my main concerns with her which were dullness, hyper-pigmentation above my lips, texture and tone, and mild acne; she insisted I do the chemical peel. Chemical peels are suppose to fix damn near everything. From acne/acne spots to sun and age spots to fine lines and wrinkles to rough skin, it is a highly sought out treatment. After speaking with Sonya thoroughly before she started my peel, she explained what would happen after receiving my mild or technically speaking – superficial peel. She gave me a little fan to hold, just in case the chemical smell and heat became too much. The process took about 15/20 minutes. She cleaned off my face to make sure there were no products before she started. There were a few applications of the solutions including a vitamin c that was applied to my face. After she was done, she told me to hold off on washing off the peel until late at night. My appointment was at 1pm. I was also to avoid the sun and use sunscreen. I followed the rules as she stated.
*Superficial or lunchtime peel: Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.*
The After Math:
Sonya told me to use a gentle and mild face cleanser, and moisturizer for the next few days to make sure the peel worked. Now here is where the freak out occurred. That advice went in one ear and out the other. To my defense, I never thought my cleansers were strong because the brands I use are more on the natural side, so I somewhat dismissed the gentle part and figured I would be okay. Well day 2 or 3 of my chemical peel, my face broke out in small bumps all over my face, and I panicked. I called Sonya and she concluded over the phone that it was milia and that it will go away. She asked if I would like to come in so she can see it in person. I scheduled my follow up appointment, and brought in my facial products for her to analyze the reaction I was having. After Sonya saw what I was using on my face (Burts bees Acne Solutions with willow bark) her eyes widened and she immediately insisted I stop using it.
The issue that was occurring was: with the chemicals still on my face working it’s magic (you wont see full results until after 7 to 10 days), I was overworking my skin with added salycic acid, willow bark and other ingredients that extended my downtime, so I had to stop ASAP. She recommended I get something like Cetaphil. I was about a week away from my Paris trip with a face that resembled a female Morgan Freeman, and I worried that this was all a bad idea. In addition to my milia breakout, I was having the normal dryness and flakiness that comes with getting a chemical peel. In my case, I already suffer from dry skin so I guess that intensified. After about 3 or 4 days of discontinuing my harsh cleansers and using a milder version (Cetaphil), I noticed the bumps starting to go away. It wasn’t overnight and I still had some nervousness that my skin wouldn’t be back to normal in time for my trip, but boy was I wrong!
So as I mentioned, my skin was flaking and dry (signs of renewed skin coming in) and I just made sure to overcompensate my moisturizer applications throughout the day so I wouldn’t look crazy. I was set to leave on Tuesday, 10/10/17 for Paris and my peel was done on 09/30/17. The time in between was 10 full days (easy math) and guess what??? My skin was entering its flawlessly glowed up stage! I’m not kidding here beauties. I was so engrossed in packing and making sure I was getting my packages in time, that I stopped worrying about it, and just made sure to wash and moisturize day and night for the ultimate results. I looked in the mirror and noticed a new texture, brighter skin, and a toned face. My skin has been smooth since. The peel actually worked!! Now my peel was only the superficial one (actually recommended for your first time) but I plan to get a VI peel which is more expensive and evasive, but supposedly yields better results. The downside is more peeling and literally NO sun but who cares when your skin will look new and improved! I was also told that combining a microdermabrasion along with your peel equals the maximum full effect. Because the dermabrasion is sloughing off dead skin and sanding away layers which in turn will help the chemical peel penetrate even better. I will one day do that as well.
The experts say to have a chemical peel once a month (I cant afford to do it this often), so I may go on a quarterly basis. I have also added a new moisturizer to my skin regimen which is the Glossier priming moisturizer. This product along with my new skin makes for a better makeup application or just a better day sans makeup. I am so happy that I took that leap into a treatment that can be daunting, especially right before traveling overseas, but it was well worth the breakout scare, money, and time to heal. Yay for chemical peels.
Please let me know if you have any questions and also let me know if youve ever had a chemical done before. I wanted to make sure I gave it ample amount of time before speaking on my experience. So there you have it. For more information on where I went, click here.
P.S. I have sensitive skin, so your reaction to a chemical peel maybe different from mine. Please don’t let that discourage you from trying it out. (Top image via allure.com)