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Save Your Money, Do It at Home, but Educate Yourself

I have had procedures performed in a dr. office,...

I have had procedures performed in a dr. office, and I was fairly certain that there are non-surgical procedures that I could perform myself just as well as the "pros," at a significant cost savings.

I purchased a 12.5% TCA peel and applied to my face on a Friday night. Saturday it looked tight and red, but nothing crazy. Sunday my face took on a purple-brown, shiny appearance, and by that evening, some of it was just beginning to peel in certain areas. Monday my whole face was coming off in sheets! The hardest part is not picking or rubbing at it.... I would just apply more moisturizer and then do my nails, to keep my hands busy. Tuesday evening I felt comfortable enough to take a warm bath and GENTLY rub my face-- wow! By Wednesday I was comfortable out in public, though there was still quite a bit of peeling going on, the color of my face was more normal and the really deep sheets of shedding had subsided.

Now, 9 days post-peel, my skin looks more even in color, smoother... I'm pretty excited to do this again in 6 weeks or so. I am 30, with a few signs of early aging, but my primary motivation was hyperpigmentation from prior acne. I also have a few shallow boxcar scars, which I didn't really see any improvement in, but it's still early yet, and I didn't expect miracles from just one peel. It's a process, I know...

I knew what to expect and I was pretty careful with application. Use Vaseline around your hairline, because while you want "all over" coverage, it's easy to miss these parts when rinsing (you wash it off pretty quickly!) and you don't want to over-treat those parts. I would actually do this is "regions" of the face, rather than all over at once, because by the time you're finished with one area, it's basically time to take it off another.

In terms of discomfort and pain-- it burns, yeah. Did I need any painkillers or the other anti-anxiety meds they give you at the drs. office? No. Having read comments from people who say it's one of the most painful events of their life makes me wonder about them-- seriously, it's not that bad at all, and it's all over in about a minute (of course, if you do section by section, it's one minute, then wash, then apply to another section, wait ~one minute, and repeat...).

Definitely start with 30 seconds application time for thinner areas, maybe up to one minute for "thicker" skin (for me, this means forehead, cheekbones). And very important: It doesn't HAVE to "frost" to have an effect! I was concerned that my face didn't frost, save a few tiny areas, and it wouldn't be effective. Oh well, I thought, worse case scenario, I will re-apply in another week and leave it on longer next time. Not needed! My skin was peeling and shedding plenty, even in areas which looked almost unchanged from pre-application.

Please note that you will look pretty bad for days 3-6. Try to leave the peels alone-- it's tempting to try to remove them, but remember that the skin underneath is still healing! Think of a scab-- it's ususally better to leave it alone!

Anyhow, despite all the bad results that a few people have had (but use judgment, people-- 100% applied to your face the first time!!! puh-leez! not smart!), I think a TCA peel can be safely applied at home with near-drs. office results. That has been my experience.

did it myself

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (9)

Please let me know what you used and where you purchased it! Thanks
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I tried a 12% peel just recently that I bought from Make-Up Artist Choice (google the name ti find the site. I peeled very lightly and could go out in public. I "glued" the peeling down using Cereve' cream (not lotion). The peeling was barely noticeable, and I'm going to try it again only this time I will do two applications five minutes apart per package directions to see if this brand and strength will work a little more dramatically.....
  • Reply
there's so many types of peels it's hard to know which one to do. And how strong should you go? Do they all take a week to peel, look ugly, & keep you house bound before you can step back into public again?
  • Reply

Hi Kim,

Welcome to the laser community. Based on community reviews and doctor Q&A it really depends on the person. There is no direct answer. So based on community members you should really do your research and talk to your doctor and ask a lot of questions. Hope that helps. Please keep us updated.

Thanks,

-Britt

  • Reply
Plesae do let me know what percentage of TCA product you used for face.
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It sounds very good. I want to try it at home. I want to know where I can buy your TCA product? Thanks,
  • Reply
I am very interested to follow your path but I need to know where you bought your TCA product.
Thanks for your answer and advice
  • Reply
This sound good I want to try an at home peel. I don't want to get ripped off with phony product. Where did you buy your TCA product???
  • Reply

Hi Savannah,

Welcome to the Chemical peel update. Your info about doing it at home is really useful to the community. I'm glad you had such a positive experience doing it at home. Please keep us updated and if you have pictures to share that would be great.

Thanks,

-Britt

  • Reply