To begin, I’d like to say that I am very glad I was able to have had a face-to-face conversation with a Bensimon Center patient who had actually had just been through the BensiPeel (croton oil deep peel) and could assure me it was true that it was NOT painful before I scheduled my peel. And believe me, I am a big baby when it comes to pain – it was my biggest concern and far outweighed any worries about length of time for healing and recovery from ensuing redness. I am also very grateful that I live close to the Portland Metro area and have easy access to this doctor. He is a talented surgeon and a renowned expert and educator in the world of facial peels, is passionate about the stellar results he creates and he has done hundreds of deep peels over the years.
I felt nothing during the peel (oral sedation), returned home in a very relaxed state the same morning and went right to sleep for several hours. I woke up in time have some soup and to go back to bed, which, after taking a pain pill to insure I didn’t wake up uncomfortable, I did. The first 2 days I was in a tape mask that seemed to help keep the swelling down. Dr. Bensimon removed the mask at the end of the 2 days and my face was coated in an iodine powder that stayed for another 5 days. I am so relieved this is the method the doctor used for the initial recovery – I would have gone nuts having to wash my face and reapply a thick coat of ointment several times a day like some on this site have described. As well as not being nearly as messy, I feel like not putting my hands on my face time and again every day kept me from feeling the urge to pick at my face or to try and help the pieces of peeled skin off before their time.
Discomfort I had during the healing process was tightness and heat that, while not painful, was enough for me to use both the pain medication and the sleeping pills prescribed. The woman I mentioned above that had already been though the peel process with Dr. Bensimon the month before I spoke with her told me she didn’t use any of the medications available other than the Valtrex that everyone is given to help insure there are no virus outbreaks during the healing process. When I quizzed her as to why, she shared that the combination of her living alone and not having anyone around to oversee her after the first 48 hours she was home and her not being in what she considered pain made her feel that there was no need to take anything other than Advil. I however, had my husband as a live-in babysitter and chose to just not feel any discomfort.
After the powder mask was removed, I was able to start using heavy duty moisturizer and let my skin finish its rebirth. At the two week mark, I had a consult with the nurse and the esthetician at the Bensimon Center and was shown how to use a post procedure foundation makeup to cover the redness on my face and was cleared by Dr. Bensimon to go back to my normal social and work routines.
I am thrilled with the results of my peel. I am of Irish descent, have a very fair complexion, was exposed to way too much sun in my younger years and my facial skin was far more wrinkled than a typical 56 year old non-smoker, especially around my mouth and sides of my face. This is a medical procedure, not a beauty treatment and a person needs to approach the two-week commitment as such. However, I don’t think there is any other way to get such profound results and 14 days of sticking close to home and the minimal discomfort I had while healing were completely worth it to me.