Burn, Baby, Burn- an Intro to Chemical Peels

If I was thinking logically, I would wait to write this until I wrote up a nice introductory post on acids. But what’s the fun in being logical? I teased about a post on chemical peels and I figure it’s only fair to deliver. I promise to try to cover the basics on acidsin the near future. 

Chemical peels are essentially acids on steroids. Where many skin types can tolerate regular acids (AHAs/BHAs) on a pretty consistent basis (even daily), chemical peels are designed for less frequent use. Depending on the peel, that could mean once a week, or it could mean once a month.

I’ve been using chemical peels on and off for the last two years. In that time, I’ve been slowly working up to stronger peels. I’m currently using the TCX Fusion Peel by Makeup Artist’s Choice. The TCX Fusion Peel is a combination of every acid I’ve ever heard of for skincare: TCA, glycolic, lactic, mandelic, salicylic, citric, and phytic. 

The peel is designed to be applied in layers, with each layer sitting on the skin for 3-5 minutes before applying the next layer over top. The instructions from MUAC state that only one layer should be applied when using this peel for the first time, after which you can build up to a maximum of 4 layers. 

Here is a series of pictures to show my experience with TCX Fusion Peel:

Slightly warm at first, but by the time I took this picture, there was no real discomfort

By the fourth layer, my skin was definitely red and definitely feeling the burn

Strangely enough, neutralizing and rinsing actually felt worse than the peel itself

The next day my skin felt drier and tighter- it’s super important to pamper your skin with lots of moisturizing ingredients during healing phase

I tried to capture how crinkly my skin was (all due to dryness)

By the third day, I had visible peeling- peeling can last for several days

No single peel is going to make a huge difference difference- generally the results are cumulative over a series of peels, but this demonstrates how my skin responded to a single peel (first in a series)

A few considerations before diving into chemical peels:

  • These are serious products and can absolutely cause damage to your skin if used incorrectly- be sure to follow directions closely
  • Start slowly- if you are new to peels, look for more gentle acids (mandelic is a great one for newbies; MUAC also sells a fruit enzyme peel which is super gentle)
  • While a peel will involve some discomfort, always err on the side of caution- if it hurts, neutralize and rinse
  • Stronger peels will likely require some thought as to scheduling to allow for peeling time
  • You should already be using sunscreen regardless, but it’s extremely important if you’re playing with acids and peels- these products will make your skin more photosensitive, meaning you will burn more easily 

3 comments

  1. Could you post a side by side before- after?

    Your skin looked great in first picture so not sure what to look for 😉

    I appreciate your day by day diary! So helpful!!!

    Like

    • For most people, myself included, it’s tough to see visible results after a single peel- that’s why most places that offer chemical peels recommend a series of peels. Sadly, I’m horrible at remembering to do peels on a regular basis, so I will probably never have amazing before and after pics. I will also say that daily skincare is way more important. A series of peels can help undo some of the effects of bad or non-existent skincare, but it’s impossible to maintain those improvements without a good daily routine.

      Like

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