Horrible Pigmentation Post Jessners Peel - Buderim, AU

I stupidly agreed to have a Jessners peel for...

I stupidly agreed to have a Jessners peel for acne/clogged pores with a nurse/beautician, without really researching first. I have olive, oily skin and am not normal sensitive to anything and in fact use a AHA/BHA cream on my face every night to unclog pores. I am kicking myself now for not insisting she did a test patch, and was not told beforehand that due to my skin colour I am high risk for pigmentation and more sensitive.
It was supposed to just be a 1 layer first try peel, and it did sting quite a bit and then cooled off. However in certain areas it then seemed to reactivate and start to sting again! I told her this but she did not seem overly concerned. Her comment was that my skin frosted extremely well- almost all over in fact.

Afterwards I was sunburnt looking and went to work a few hours later with makeup. At home I tried ice and milk and all sorts to cool down the slight sting that remained. It continued to sting a little at work, but when i got home at 10:30pm and took my makeup (was tinted moisturiser only) off and my whole face was significantly brown.
I put loads of creams and all the usual on and went to sleep.
In the morning I looked horrific and couldn't leave the house.
I had to call in sick to work for a few days as it looked that bad! Didn't hurt after the first day, just looked scary.

I was extremely brown the next couple of days, which the nurse/beautician seem surprised at but not overly alarmed. I of course was researching all the peels gone wrong etc.
I think by day 3 I had started to peel, and continues on through day 3-6 until it was mostly sloughed off by day 5-6. Oh, and did I mention I got multiple cold sores in a chunk on my cheek???? No idea that this could happen!!
During this time I could not leave the house, I had no idea it would be like this and was not properly warned.
My new skin looked red but ok, some areas seemed to flake and peel a bit again. I followed instructions with hat and spf 50 and avoiding sun, however by day 7 I had started to notice a hint of shadowing.
By day 9 it had significantly darkened. Went to a GP who worked with her husband dermatologist, and the GP told me it was just still skin that needed to peel. I knew something was wrong and after getting useless advice from a 2nd GP i finally begged for a dermatologist appt day 15. He then confirmed what I knew day 8, post inflamm hyperpigmentation.
I was frustrated as inital GP refused to give me the bleaching creams (klingmans) I had asked for, and the pigmentation worsened in that week despite staying indoors.
This has been the worst experience of my life, and I hope the Derm is correct when he says the hydroquinone will work at around 6-8weeks. Of course you can never be sure, and I had no pigmentation beforehand so am devastated. It is impossible to hide, it appears grey under even the heaviest concealers/foundations. Even Dermablend doesn't cover it without a truckload- which then looks gross and rubs off.

PLEASE don't think a peel is no big deal, DO A TEST PATCH and if you are tanned/olive skin tones you must realise you are at risk of pigmentation even if you stay out of the sun!!!!
Go and see a Dermatologist if you must have a peel, I have spent far more in DRs appointments, all these different makeups to try and conceal it, and skin creams etc.


Maybe it was the ice you used on your face afterwards? Apparently aftercare can affect hyperpigmentation. This includes avoiding hot and cold temperatures on your face.
  • Reply
I googled "Ice burn" and "hyperpigmentation. Perhaps you burned your face with the ice? This may be a good question for your dermatologist.
I think it's pretty unlikely, I had a thick wrap around the ice and didn't have it on long at all as I was busy getting ready. Plus this was day 0 of peel, and shouldn't affect the pigmentation that came up after all peeled etc. My pigmentation is also in finger stripes where she put the peel on me in some places. I just have a feeling the peel re activated itself during the procedure rather than neutralising. Most people don't look like my day 1-3 face when they have a single layer Jessners.. But then I did frost ALL over my face rather than just here and there. Thanks for your point I will ask Derm next time.

Almost one week since cream.

Just wanted to point out that my face in those first couple of photos was actually darker than Iphone photos appear.
All I am saying, is that I feel my skin reacted and soaked up the chemicals far deeper than was intended for a first time, and that lead me to developing pigmentation due to the damage to my high risk skin type.
My face after a week of the Klingmans formula is in fact getting a lot better. Which is odd as they say you won't notice results for a month or more. Perhaps this again is due to my skin being very receptive/sensitive to things. Very expensive cream here in AUS though!


Honestly if I spent the time and was able to find official medical literature to prove the ice damaged my face I would probably sue her for the cost of my recovery. It's not cool for people to experiment with your precious skin and face. If she did the most basic research she would have known ice was not appropriate.
  • Reply
She says she was trained that Ice is fine. I think the bigger issue is my skin type is type IV and probably not suitable to this peel as I have now researched, due to high risk of pigmentation with the Resorcinol acid in it. Usually it appears I should have been on the pre bleaching regime if I was willing to take the risk. Suing would be no benefit, the court cost etc and lawyers etc are far greater than worth, in Australia it isn't common to sue for things like this because of the possible reward not being worth it the hassle. But yeah..
The main point is do not go to people who are not certified to do this. In Australia this is unregulated area, nurses are daring to do anything regardless of lack of broader medical education in dermatology field.

This is what I mean by effect of makeup/tint over normally light brown pigment


How is it looking right now?
  • Reply
You need to try Hyaluronic Acid for your face. Its the best for holding moisturizer and calming skin.
  • Reply

Much better

So the cream has worked well, I feel like my skin has really taken to it, like how it took to the peel quickly. In this photo all I have on is tinted sunscreen, barely tinted. I found the best 50+ sunscreen btw! My skin has been very clear really but it wasn't worth it! The pigment areas up close are only slightly darker than surrounding skin and I still have 4.5 weeks until I have to stop using the cream (you can reverse effects if continue = hyper pigmentation again). This has been a really traumatic time! Work mates actually thought I was bruised and getting abused at home, no joke.


I've looked at your photos and am sorry that you have to go through this. It must have been a tough time during recovery. Luckily it is reversible. You look great now.
  • Reply
I just had this peel done and my dermatologist was very clear in saying to not put any make up or products on my skin for the next 12 hours. She also said to avoid having a shower getting my skin wet or even sweating as getting it wet can re activate the peel and cause the burning to start again which can cause damage. I would imagine Ice would fall under these concerns?!
  • Reply
Oh I just read all the comments and this has been noted! Hope your all better now :)
Name not provided

She is lovely, but should of known the risks and sensitivity with my skin type/ Fitzpatrick score. I also didn't sign the disclaimer before hand, and if I had of been warned about risk of hyperpigmentation then I wouldn't have gone ahead. I also was not told that I could possible look so brown and horrific during the initial peel. No test patch performed either. She has been sympathetic throughout but really, what can she do. Hasn't offered my money back...

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful