I just turned 50, and I guess I was freaking out a little bit about getting old. I am fair skinned, blue eyes and blond. I have always tanned (I get a pretty nice golden tan after about two weeks) but those days are over. I now have ugly brown spots on my legs and arms. I have always used good skin care products on my face and avoided burning as much as possible, so my face was not too bad.
I started by using retinol given to me by a nurse practitioner who specializes in skin care and moved up to retinol 50. I also used a vitamin C cream she gave me. I know it must have done something because it took off a wart on my fingertip, but I was not happy with the results on my face. My pores seemed to be bigger if anything. I decided to try a skin peel.
I started with 35% glycolic acid at home. This was a very nice peel and really improved my skin tone and texture. I got lots of compliments on my skin. I did three peels, and then I moved to a 70% glycolic peel. It was very intense. I peeled for a good ten days. I did not see any greater improvement compared to the 35%. I tried it on my chest too. I am not impressed with the results on my chest either. I put the 70% on my legs spots, it did nothing; it did not even peel.
I did a lot of research and decided to try Skin Solutions 25% TCA peel. I bought it from Amazon. It has really great reviews and I felt like with my experience with peels I was ready. Sunday was my first day. I read the directions carefully. They do not recommend an antibiotic ointment. I did my whole face at once. I think sections would be better but I wanted to get it all over with. It is painful! I washed my face with Muriad gentle cleanser and swiped it with rubbing alcohol. I applied it with a folded paper towel per the directions and a Q-tip. I Like the paper towel method because you can press it on evenly. I then went back over areas on my face with more wrinkles like around my eyes, with a Q tip. I got fairly close to my eyes,5 mm or so, but was very careful. I also applied it under my eyebrows but not on the crease or lids. I applied it to my forehead last, and it barely frosted there. It frosted under my eyes very quickly. It was taking longer in other areas, but I was afraid to leave it too long under my eyes so I washed it off.
Also, it started to sting really bad. I had a blow dryer handy but it did not work. When it starts to hurt that bad you get a little panicky, so it is really important to have a clear plan ahead of time of how long you plan to leave it on after frosting etc..It is hard to think when your face feels like it is burning off! I started washing it off after it looked like most of my face had some frosting. I rinsed it for at least 2 minutes and washed it with Muriad again. When I was done, it was still stinging and my face was still white. I did not know this was normal and was a bit concerned so I washed it again and rinsed for about 3 minutes. It was still white so I got on line and found out this was okay.
I applied Kiehls midnight recover oil, took too pain relievers, and went to bed. It did not hurt that bad, but I took the pain reliever just in case. Next day, pink swollen face. I am now on day 3. Yikes! My husband says it looks like my face was burned with acid. It looks terrible, but it does not hurt and there are no open wounds or anything an no cracking or bleeding. It looks brownish in some areas. My face is a bit swollen and wrinkly looking.
I have been slathering on tons of moisturizer (Keihls facial). Some say not to because you won't peel as well, so I am backing off the moisturizer today. I can definitely see where it was pressed on evenly with the paper towel and spots that did not get enough. So far I am progressing as expected. I have a social function Saturday night so I really hope I am presentable by then! I acknowledge it is better and safer to have done by a professional, but for some of us that is not an option. If I could afford a $300.00 treatment by a professional I would. But I can't, so this is my only choice, at home or nothing.
I am a little shy about pictures but I will see what I can do. Also, I will re-post with updates. Reviews were so helpful to me in this process, so I hope my experience is helpful too. BE CAREFUL, TAKE YOUR TIME, RESEARCH, KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT, AND HAVE PLANNED DOWN TIME.
Updated on 5 Jan 2012:
By the end of day three I started to peel a little, and the rest of my face looked terrible. I woke up in the middle of the night having a panic attack. You do not want anyone to see you and it is a frightening thought. I am usually not that particular, I will go out without makeup, but I looked really scary. The next day, OH MY GOODNESS! I looked like a monster. I got online and found out I might need some aquaphor. What a life saver! At least I looked like a human being, and it was very soothing. I also did a vinegar and water soak and lathered on aquaphor after. Later in the afternoon I took a shower and 85% of my skin came off with a towel after! Yeah! Today it is pink but very smooth. I am very happy with the results.
Will post more later.