Vitalize Peel - Palo Alto, CA

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*Treatment results may vary

Ok, so I've only had one done so far, and it...

Ok, so I've only had one done so far, and it is not an intense peel, but I see a real, albeit subtle difference in skin texture and color. One warning - WEAR sunscreen after at all times - I haven't been vigilant and after a few weeks my sunspots have come back to some extent.

I got a peel to help with dull skin, visible pores and sunspots. I'm 37 and new to all of this. I've just gone through a big renovation project, and my face was trashed from the stress and the dust - concrete, drywall, etc.

The peel took about 40 minutes, with Karen.I recommend her highly. The pain was totally manageable without medication - she gave me a small fan which made it bearable, and she asked me to tell her when the pain got to a certain level, at which point she began to remove the chemicals. She was very thorough in answering my questions and setting expectations, which, as a newcomer to facial treatments, I really appreciated. Here's what she told me:

You're going to wake up tomorrow and think that it didn't work, because your skin is going to look like nothing happened. Then, on the evening of day two, you'll start peeling, and will continue for 3-5 days. Don't pick at it! And avoid washing or wetting it as much as you can until it's all peeled.

All true. Except that I looked slightly orange the next day. I peeled a very light layer of skin, and some areas, like my cheeks, didn't totally peel. I had a few friends ask what was up with my face, and I told them I'd just started Retin-A, which can cause initial peeling. Some people, like my roommate, never even noticed. The peeling was also easy to hide with moisturizer if necessary.

They recommended a series of 3, and I think that's probably about right. I am quite happy with the changes I see and want to try it again. Specifically, I saw a reduction in pore size, my blackhead looked like the junk inside them had been evicted, my skin felt softer and more even, my color was much more even, and my sunspots were lighter.

No change to wrinkling (which I don't have much of anyway). I look fresher and younger. I hadn't realized how much skin quality contributes to one's looks.

I'm also much more comfortable with having a few minor procedures as opposed to a deep peel, which is more likely to have complications.

One more note - the changes were positive and fairly immediate, and honestly i can see this becoming addictive. However, if you look at people who have had lots of these types of procedures, their skin starts to look a little . . .odd. it's hard to describe, but their pores look a bit wide but shallow, as if the top layer of their face has been worn away. There's also the 'I can tell you're not young but I can't tell how old you are' look, which is also a telltale sign of having had, as they say in Hollywood, 'work done'. It's a subtle but distinctive look. It probably beats wrinkles, though! Have a good look at the faces of the people working at the clinic you get a consultation from, and see how you feel about the effect and if you can handle it/want it for yourself.

I've attached before and after pics, but they show basically nothing. The one on the left is the after. I look a little redder before but notice my hair also looks redder - it's interior flash versus exterior sunlight. I need a camera that can take a closeup of my cheek - I'll see if I can get pics before and after the next peels.

Many month later, my skin still looks better, and...

Many month later, my skin still looks better, and what's more important - this has finally gotten me to wear sunscreen every day. I have had my sunspots come back, but my pore size is still reduced and my skin looks better - more even, more refined, just plain younger. I still recommend this procedure. And those pictures REALLY don't tell you anything. I'm all red in the before pic becuase I have just come out of a cold swimming pool!

As mentioned above, Karen was awesome. The woman I had a consultation with - Danielle I think - patiently answered all my many questions. The front staff was friendly and the decor of the place was lovely. My only caveat was that they recommended Thermage for my eye area, which, according to Realself reviews anyway, is NOT a good idea. Perhaps they've had only good results in their practice . . .

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 Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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