NOTE: I am not recommending that you try this at home - especially if you have not had peels before.
I have had mild (glycolic) to mid-level (salicylic) peels done professionally and now I do them myself at home. The result I was looking for was clearer, smoother skin.
My goal is to not have to wear makeup - or at least minimal makeup.
VI PEEL: This is a peel that is cocktail of acids and vitamins including phenol, TCA, and Retin A and C. According to Dr. Kalil - each acid has "a different mode of action" thereby forcing the skin to renew itself.
I have a pretty good tolerance for pain and the initial application didn't hurt. It's self-neutralizing and you leave it on 4-5 hours. Before you go to bed, you are supposed to use the Vitamin A towelette - but I couldn't do it because it was to sore. I did the vitamin A wipe the day after instead of in the evening like the instructions say.
My face was very red and very tight. It felt sunburned for about 3 days. I administered the peel on a Wednesday night, was able to go into the office on Thursday - but would have preferred to stay home. I took Friday off and then stayed home for the entire weekend. It definitely was not pretty!
I started peeling after about 2 days and peeled for about 5 more days before I stopped flaking completely - so a little over 7 days total.
It took about a week-and-a-half for everything to settle down and by about 2 weeks my skin looked like porcelain. I would say that it lightened my skin a bit...
SUMMARY: I really like the results of the first VI Peel. The trade-off is that you'll have a couple of days of downtime. For me, it was worth it and I used my downtime to focus on relaxing, reading and all the stuff I never take the time to do.
I would say that after the first peel this treatment is effective reducing sun damage.