cons = the downtime, that it takes time (many treatments) and the anxiety of doing it myself. I was nervous, but desparate. So started with a 12.5% solution.
I did a patch test with no problems, and 24 hrs later applied one layer of solution. I had prepped my skin w/ glycolic and retin a for a few weeks, and the solution took. I frosted in many areas almost immediately.
I left the solution on for 5 minutes and removed it with neutralizer. Then soap and water.
My face turned tight, red and days 3-6 it peeled. My skin looked like it had been sunburned, and peeling. I did not have to go out thank god. Though, it wasn't as noticable as the stronger peels, I was very aware of my sking peeling, and felt totally self conscious.
I reapplied moisturizer constantly. Nothing that would irritate. O:nly all natural stuff, and aloe vera.
A week later I've peeled, and my skin does look fresher. The sun spots have faded a bit, and my pores are absolutely clean. Blackheads are gone, and my pores appear much smaller.
I can't wait to do this again. Going to wait 2 weeks. May do 2 layers of 21%.
I have had all kinds of procedures to help my skin. for the money this seems to be the best!! Co2 laser resurfacing was incredible, butexpensive 5.000.. Fraxel not so much.. 3 treatments at 1000.00 a pop, and it causeed more problems in my skin texture and color.
Good luck to you. ** It only cost $25.00, but default price was 100.00.
Updated on June 18, 2010:
I will start by saying that this is my experience only! I have heard many others had great results too, but you must understand how it works, what it addresses, decide if you are a candidate, follow instructions for application (if you decide to do it at home) and do the proper aftercare. This is so important! Also, I am not a professional or seeking to endorse any product. I am only AMAZED and so happy after years of trying other methods to improve my skin that are both expensive, and some even ineffective. So, I want to pass this on..
I am 32 years old, and started to see fine lines and so much sun damage on my face (and hands) after a ten years of extreme sun exposure. I also have acne scarring, so I was fed up and wanted a fresher more even skin tone. I did ablative Co2 laser years ago with incredible results but did not have the 5,000 up front or the month off it takes for recovery so I sought out other methods. I did three rounds of fraxel repair with no luck. It even made the texure worse, and the dark spots darker. Then 3 rounds of IPL, again with no luck. maybe even worse than before... I got so dicouraged I tried do-it-yourself TCA peels I bought online. I felt like I had nothing to lose so I bought a few percentages and decided to give it a try. I started with a 12.5 percent solution (after two months or retin a to prep my skin so it's more effective ** very important), waited a week did an 18%, waited a month and just did a 21%. you must start w/ a low percentage and move up!! or you will harm your skin!!!
Until this last peel I saw few results. My sun spots were a little lighter, but nothing dramatic. Now after applying two layers or the 21%, my skin is starting to peel and the brown spots are gone!!! I have an even, fresh complexion where it used to be brownish, spotty, orange peelish, and grey depending on where you were looking!! I am so happy! And I am going to be wearing sunblock religiously to protect this new skin! If you are going to try it, be patient, follow the instructions carefully, and work your way up to to 30 % solution at the most!! Anything higher you risk doing serious damage to your skin. God luck to you!!!