I had a few Spa Finder cards lying around and I had no clue what to do with them. Looking at the website at the spa closest to me that accepted the cards I saw that they did facial chemical peels. A friend had recently had one done and loved the results. I thought...why not?
And that's me, about an hour after the procedure. As you can see...no burning red skin. Nothing crazy. A Jessner Peel, which is what I had done, is 14% salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol in an ethanol base. (Well, according to Wikipedia, anyway.) According to the spa where I had it done it's, "A moderate chemical peel providing deep exfoliation. Excellent for acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and rough textured skin. Skin will undergo major detoxification, exfoliation and bactericidal cleansing through a peeling process."
The procedure was painless. It tingled but never burned. I was at the spa for less than 45 minutes. They sent me home with sunscreen and after care procedures that included no picking, tugging or pulling at the skin, avoiding the sun, no scrubs for four days and no alpha-hydroxy acids and other harsh skin treatments for 14 days. I have heard that the darker your skin the harsher the process can be. I'm the color of a stick of chalk, so all in all, things progressed mildly for me. Around day three I started to see some flaking on my chin. Days four and five there was serious flaking on my cheeks and forehead. I never saw large amounts of peeling. My esthetician had warned me that everyone reacted differently to the peels and it didn't mean it didn't work if I didn't have actual skin peeling. (To be honest, I took the flaking as a sign something was happening and I was glad I never had to deal with large areas of peeling skin.) Other than the flaking, which resembled a severe case of dry skin, I had no other symptoms except some mild itching and tightness.
Here are my pictures on day one and day twelve. As you can see there was improvement in color and texture. Nothing dramatic, but remember...this was done at a day spa and not in a dermatologist's office. I had purposefully gotten my peel after Christmas while I was still home for the holidays. (So if my face started to fall off I could do it hidden at home.) If I had it to do over again I would have actually gotten it done just before Christmas so that my peeling and flaking would occur just after Christmas and be done by New Year's.
I'm not ready to start getting chemical peels on a regular basis, but it's something I'd definitely consider doing again. (Oh, and ignore my eyebrows in all of these pictures...that's a whole 'nother blog post that's coming up!)