It's Worth It, but Must Make Time for Recovery!

3 or so months later:    I have no...

3 or so months later: 

 

I have no brown spots, my skin cleared up a lot. Also, the texture has improved trumendously. 

I'm going to wait till the end of the month and do it again, this time i think i'll do 3/5 solution and 2/3 water, that should make the solution close to 20%. 

 

Here is a recent pic of what i look like now. As you can see, my skin looks a lot better with little make up. ( pressed powder only) . I actually feel pretty now. 

I purchased the 35% TCA peel online ( I got the...

I purchased the 35% TCA peel online ( I got the cheap version $26.00 and $10 for shipping), and diluted it to a 15% ( or so ) solution. I didn't expect much, actually thought i probably got scammed again ( i bought one a month before and it turned out to be water).

I didn't do a skin test, and i reapplied the solution with a big unused art brush 5 minutes after the first application ( the brush was a good idea, reapplying it was not). It burned like a MF and i had to use a dryer set on cold to get through it before i neutralized the solution.

I've had acne since i was 11 years old; it used to be bad cystic acne and I've spend a good portion of 10 years sleeping with all sorts of prescription creams and ointments on my face...

My dermatologist, after sucking thousands of $$ out of me for treatments, visits and procedures, finally put me on Accutane some years ago when i was a freshman in college and even though i had to do 2 consecutive treatments ( almost a year on accutane), it did a good job on clearing up my cystic acne.

By then the damage was done, and my skin looked like an elephants ass ( wrinkled, discolored, ice pick scars, and thick needle size pores that would turn into blackheads 2 days after a clay mask or a peel that was supposed to clear my complexion ).

I've tried a lot of things to resurface my skin; alpha hydroxy creams, prescription retinol, beta hydroxy, home micrdermabrasion kits, soaps, scrubs, peels, masks,green tea oils, scar creams,.... If you've seen it on the shelf in your drug store, i've used it, and nothing has worked as well as this peel. It reduced the size of my pores, resurfaced my scars ( now they are only visible in daylight),unclogged my pores, improvement the tone and overall brightness of my skin and diminished some of my wrinkles ( im 28, don't have to many of those yet).

Yes, i recommend it, full heartedly. but!!!! DON'T BE AN IDIOT and dismiss the instructions because of your eagerness to see results. Do a patch test and prep your skin prior to the treatment. It will only give you better overall result and i reduce your recovery time.

I've only done it once so far, but i'm looking forward to doing another treatment. I'm set on making my skin baby-butt smooth...

There are to many pics of 'before and after' online, but not enough of 'during', so i decided that i would post those so that if you plan to do this you're fully aware of what you will look like during your recovery time. The pictures were taken with my phone cam, reality was much worse.


good luck!

Updated on Sep 23, 2009 I've read a few negative...



Updated on Sep 23, 2009
I've read a few negative results that were obviously the cause of carelessness on the part of the user, vs. potential negative/ adverse results of a home TCA peel. I've decided that outside of sharing my pictures and story, i will take the time to bring to light some of the reasons behind why people are so dissatisfied with a home TCA peel by listing a few rules that NEED to be followed in order to get great results. By listing those reasons, i will come to show why some individuals say the peel is worthless. Here are a couple things you need to do to be happy with the results of your peel: 1. Decide it the peel is for you. Research and ask: what am i treating? ( ex: acne scars, discoloration: sun spots, huperpigmantation from medication, age spots, tattoo removal, wrinkles and so on...) Once you identify your reasons for the peel, verify that the peel will be helpful and research any other more cost effective treatments. There is always a possibility that there is something better and cheaper out there for you. 2. Ok, so you have decided to do the peel, and you are set on doing it at home to save some money. Now it's time to find a place to buy the peel from. This is the part where people make an unexpected mistake that results in a bad peel experience. It's a fact, all of us want to save money. So what do we do?, ( and i did this too the first time), we turn to ebay. We look over the pictures and the great results and buy the peel that is a 50% or 100% solution, thinking that our results will be as great as advertised. Truth is that no professional will use a 50% solution or more on a patient the first time, so you shouldn't either! If you feel like your skin will not benefit more from just the typical (up to 20%) solution, you need to see a professional. It will be more cost effective for you and it will prevent you from a bad experience or potential damage you might do to your skin. Unless you have done the peel in the past, YOU SHOULD NOT use anything stronger the first time than 15%! If you do, you will regret it! You will burn your face!, (just look at some of the pictures of the people on this blog, their scaring and discoloration is the result of a too strong solution)! The consequences will be that you will pick your skin, or it will nip on your pillow or something like that and that will cause scaring and discoloration, or brown spots and uneven skin texture or other unwanted results. TCA peel is not a joke, don't treat it as one or you will regret it! 2. So after you do your research, find a place and a peel that people have reviewed well and it's worth buying from, you need to prep your skin. The idea of prepping your skin is to help your skin peel better and faster. If you work and cant take 10 days off, i suggest you take this stage seriously. It will save you 2-3 days off work and some serious embarrassment if you will work during this period. I used an alpha hydroxy cream( nothing special, drug store brand) daily, but i believe that you can use retinol-A cream as well and some other one's too. You need to use it daily for at least a few weeks before the peel. A good way to tell when you are ready to do the peel is that your skin does not get red,dry or flaky from the cream you have been using. If you are still in that stage where you are getting red, flaky, dry or your skin burns when you apply the cream, than you need to discontinue using it for a couple days, or you wait till your skin 'is used to it'. For some people that might mean 2 weeks, for others 2 months. you can think of the cream as a light peel that you do daily, so that when you do a TCA peel your skin recognizes it, accepts it and reacts favorably. After all, your skin is alive, it will react better if you slowly adjust it and 'easy it in on your plan, so to speak. 3. Ok so you're ready now, you got the peel, your prepped, you have done your skin test and it's been 24 hours and you didn't have any adverse or allergic reactions. All looks good. Now it's finally time to do it. You researched your stuff, and you know what method you will use. ( this part is more personal than anything, it's based on what you are treating. For example, if you are treating ice pick scars, the cross method might be the way to go, and if pigmentation, than maybe just a layer in that area might be enough). You prep up, clean and dry your face, have your buffer ( baking soda and water) ready just in case the pain gets to bad, or your skin frosts up faster than expected and you need to neutralize the peel before the 5-10 min mark. You're ready to do it, but wait! Here are some things you should pay attention to: -if you are doing a peel on a big area, be aware that where you start will be on longer than where you finish. 25 sec can make a difference, as i have found out. Your skin can go from lightly frosted to completely white( which will result in a very strong peel and should not happen on a first time peel) in less than 30 sec. If you used a strong solution with no skin prep or skin test, there is a strong possibility that that might happen and you need to be ready to neutralize the area you started with as soon as you see it going beyond frosting. - you should care and follow the instructions that came with your peel, but be aware that everyones skin is different. Just because it says leave it on for 5-10 min, doesn't mean that you should! Sometimes your skin will take to the peel so quickly that anything beyond 3 min would result in a burn. Skin should be frosted, not white! The peel will continue working after you neutralize it for couple more sec, whatever the instruction might claim, you can bet your money that you will feel the burn after you neutralize it. - It does happens sometimes that you put the peel on and you don't feel anything. In those instances, you might need to apply a second layer. I suggest that you wait around 4 to 5- min between each layer. By pilling one layer on top of the other, you are increasing the %. So even though you started with a 12.5 solution, after a second layer of 12.5%, the true solution used will have the effect of a stronger solution. I don't believe it doubles up completely to a 25% solution , but the solution becomes stronger. 4. After you have done the peel and you are satisfied with the solution you used and the burning has subsided, wait a couple of hours to put on jelly/moisturizer( don't use any crams that are meant for anything other than moisturizing! So stay away from your daily wrinkle cream or anything along those lines, non-greasy baby oil might be the best to use) Within the next couple of hours ( for some people it might be a day) your skin will get rosy and dry. Treat your skin well by moisturizing it and keeping it clean. Use only water, no soap, or cosmetics for the next couple of days till you finish peeling, after all you don't want to irritate it more than it is. Within 10 days or so, if all directions are followed, your skin should look brighter, smoother and younger. I posted my pictures and story on this blog, under the title: It's worth it but must make time', if you would like to see my results and read my experience. Good luck and happy results!
I got the peel from a place called Makeup Artist Choice

cheap and effective.

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What is the difference between the skin "frosting" and turning white?
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Dear mary! Did you have laser or chemicalpeel damage?
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hello there. you look amazing. i have been thru the SAME problem as you, but i never made a tca treatment in my face because im afraid to get permanent burns. i found a 12,5% you think it worth a try? thank you!
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I appreciate you sharing your story, especially since you were on accutane before; I've been interested to see how well one can take peels after being on it. Great pics!
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Thank you for sharing your information.
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Your georgeous. I obviously wasn't expecting that from the 1st few pics.
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I just did a tca peel at home and my face looks pretty much how yours look.I would like to know what i could do to speed up the healing process.i am using tea tre oil,i wash my face with a cleaing bar and i apply lotion.I also used benedryl. Let me know what are the do and don'ts.

Thank You,
I would deeply appreciate it!
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thank you for your indepth info! I am looking into this for wrinkles, I have been using retinol A .5% but want to see more results. You look great!
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Hello,Dr:I performed the 25% tca full face,I neutralized it after I keep the solution on face 2 minutes . 5 weeks have passed ,I want repeat it and I am planning to perform the 25% tca five times after each 5 weeks.Please tell me is this ok?
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YIKES, I think that is tooooo often! Use nothing but the most gentle creams, no retin-A or anything active after the peel, and wait MONTHS before doing one again. Skin needs to rebuild itself, this ain't a simple glycolic peel.
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I'm getting ready to try this myself. I hope I am successful like you. I must say you are gorgeous:)
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I had a 25% TCA peel done by a plastic surgeon 2 years ago under general anesthesia. It hurt like a MF afterwards and I was glad he gave me vicodin. I molted like a snake and had very, very, good results. My worry is that people will do this at home and be in so much pain, they'll end up in the ER. I want another one, but my face is too important to take the risk of doing it myself.
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Wow. You look gorgeous in that after photo, truly beautiful.

Thanks for the info, was very helpful.
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What is the final picture like? How is your skin now?
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I got the peel at http://www.makeupartistschoice.com/catalog/TCA_Peels-22-1.html And yes, a bit of the peel got on my lips, that's why they peeled.
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Wow your skin really good in the last photo. Where did you get the peel?
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Did you apply the TCA to your lips? Thank you!
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Hi Mary! You look great! I have the same problem with all these acne scars. And I'd like to try the product you used. I'm wondering if it is possible to go to work with the skin peeling off. I mean does it look too bad? Thank you
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the way i looked, i was afraid to look in the mirror. Maybe, maybe you could do a light peel and than go to work with a lot of jelly on your face when your skin starts peeling to hide it( cause it gets flaky, like a really, really bad sun burn), but in reality, i would recommend doing the peel 2 days before a long weekend. That way you you miss work when your skin is peeling the most, 3rd-6th day after the peel. Seriously, unless your skin is thick( and i mean that figuratively) than i wouldn't recommend going. A good peel is that bad on the looks at first.
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Oh, and i think Makeup Artist Choice hiked up their price on the peel. I just looked it up a few minutes ago and i think i remember it being cheaper.
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Hi Mary, you give me hope. Thank you. I have a few questions if you don't mind. 1) Did you have work / school during the downtime? If so, what did you tell the people around you? I don't know how I could handle this, please help. 2) Do you plan to do the TCA CROSS method as well for scarred pores / icepick scarring? I have some of that and I plan to use 100% only as spot treatment using a toothpick 3) How did you dilute it? Did you use water, salt, etc to buffer it? I'm not sure which one to use. 4) Did you also use a dermaroller, LED panel, copper peptide cream. Thank you, you look so beautiful. Please know that you are an inspiration to all of us with scarred faces behind the computer.
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Travis, 1. No, i did not work or have school. I timed my peel during my vacation period. I don't know how i could have explained it to my co-workers, or school mates. It would have been tough. I've read stories on here that people did go to work and it was tough on them. I suggest that you do the peel 2 days before you go on vacation( assuming you dont work the weekend), you wont start peeling till about the 3rd day. So doing it on a Wed before your vacation starts on Monday might be enough time to go through the worst in privacy. 2. No, i didn't do the cross method, but i did prep my skin by using a alpha-hydroxy cream ( generic from Walgreen's) about 2 weeks prior to the peel. I read somewhere that it helps the skin peel faster and the TC acid takes to the skin better( meaning there is a lesser chance that your skin might have some drastic reaction) 3. I used bottled water, and for the buffer I used baking soda and water. it's best to probably make a supersaturated solution for the buffer, just in case you need to neutralize the acid fast. 4. he he, i used an artist fan brush. Oh, by the way. Most of these peels say you should wait to neutralize the solution after you see frosting. I have one thing to say about that. It literally takes seconds to go from light frosting to turning white.( my second peel is an example of that, the burned side was the side that i started with, so the peel must have been no more than 30 more seconds on that side then the other, and yet that's all it took to go from pink to fried skin) Most people scar, experience discoloration or do more damage to their skin and end up regretting the peel because they either keep it on for to long, or use a solution that is not meant for their skin, so please be careful not to make that mistake. Good LUCK!
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I updated the profile and put up a new pic 3 months after. No brown spots. From the horror stories and the pics i've seen posted by others, i think i just got lucky. I cant stress enough how much one should prep for this before going through with it. PLEASE DO A SKIN test ( on the area you will put the peel on; not your knee or buttcheek ! ) than decide what % to use, if you don't feel it working(burning), try to apply a second layer within 2-3 min of the first; Good luck!
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Mary, do you have brown spots left after the peels?
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From your description of your acne experience, it sounded like your face is a mess. Here's a little reality - you look better than a lot of people who live in sunbelt areas. Hawaii is full of people with worse skin than yours due to ordinary daily exposure. You look young. In a few short years, everyone with perfect skin is going to look just like you, and you will feel very ordinary. Don't overdo your peels. You look fine.
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