Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Christmas Chemical Adventure

Did you ever do something without really considering how things might play out?  I had one of those moments last week. I got a chemical peel. I got a chemical peel the week of CHRISTMAS. My class was certified in chemical peels the week before, and when Miss. Kellie asked for a volunteer for a demonstration on Tuesday evening, I jumped at the chance. I suppose the thought of getting a free $90 service did an override on my better judgment. But hey! Instead of sulking about how terrible my 2010 Christmas pictures would look for years to come, I decided to document my ignorance and share all the “flaky” details with you.  For those of you that have ever wondered what happens after a chemical peel, prepare to be enlightened - -with photographs no less. All these pics here where taken with the same camera, and no retouching.

The big question - Does it hurt? We’ve talked about this some in previous posts. Most of the time - yes. It depends upon how aggressive your peel is. Mine hurt, but it was completely tolerable - I never got above a 6-7 tingle factor. The chemical peel we used isn't considered an aggressive peel (like one done at a plastic surgeon or dermatologist's office). I had three layers done, which means that the chemical solution was applied three times before we called it quits (the max for this peel is 4 layers).  When we were done, my face was shining like a new penny - - literally. Everyone in class commented on how the light was reflecting off of my forehead. It was red, shiny, and tight - - like a sunburn. Here’s a pic of my face that evening after I got home.
Red faced and shining.

The next day my face was just as shiny. The skin was so tight that you couldn’t see even a faint wrinkle in my forehead. My pores were non-existent. It was like I had turned back time and was looking at 18 year old Rita again - - except for the redness and warmth of my skin. My face almost felt like it had a temperature. I needed absolutely no makeup on my face, nor did I want any. There was a slight sting when I touched it, so I only used a little eye makeup that day.

The next day was different. My face was still tight, but when I got out of the shower I noticed the tiniest flake of skin on my chin. I pointed it out to my dear husband and said, “I thought maybe I wouldn’t peel, but I've got a little flake here and there.” We prepared to start our drive home for Christmas, and decided to stop around lunchtime to grab a bite to eat. As I was eating my Arby’s market fresh sandwich, I felt a strange tightness in my face every time I took a bite. I glanced at my husband a couple of times and asked him if I was peeling and he replied, “It’s not that bad.”

Before we left Arby’s I decided to check it out myself. I walked into the bathroom and took a glance in the mirror. The tiny flake was gone, but the skin on both sides of my face around my mouth had separated and sheets of skin were dangling like Christmas tinsel. Not that bad? Not that bad?! How long had I sat there munching on my sandwich with skin hanging? I know the rules - - no picking at the skin after a chemical peel. I quickly took my hands and brushed away as much of the yucky skin as I could (with still being able to claim that I hadn't picked it), and I bolted from the bathroom straight out the door to the car. That’s where I paused to take these pictures of what was left.
Thursday around noon.

All I have to say about the next two days is…. thank God I have family that loves me through beauty school. Ha ha! I peeled Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening and Friday AM was the worst. By Saturday most of my peeling was over.
Thursday evening after sloughing away as much as I could.
Would I do it again? – absolutely. I plan to in about another six weeks. The peel I did was for fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and refining pores. My biggest success from this peel was seeing the four small spots of hyperpigmentation on my right cheek diminish. They'd been there for months. My classmates (who know my skin just as well as I do at this point) have all commented that the one peel improved them. I’d say with two more peels, they will probably be gone altogether.
5 days post chemical peel
So, while I don’t recommend a chemical peel over the Christmas holidays, I do think you’ll feel festive when it's all over (regardless of when you choose to get one). The best advice I can give you is to know what to expect and don't freak out over it! Inserting a little laughter into the situation only helps. Oh, and when your husband tells you it’s not that bad, you’ll probably want to check the mirror anyway.

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,


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