REVIEW | My Chemical Peel 101 Progress Report with Photos and Post-Care Tips

Neutrogena post-peel care kit from my MD's office
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen that I am currently healing from my chemical peel.  Many of you requested information regarding what kind of peel I got, so I tried to answer all your questions and share with you some valuable tips I've learned over the years.  Check out the progress photos after the jump!
Day 3  //  Day 3 End of Day  //  Day 4 Morning
I met my dermatologist, who is a medical doctor, through a skin care project I worked on years ago. I regularly see my esthetician who works at a medi-spa, but my hormonal acne took a turn for a worse several months ago due to adrenal fatigue, stress, and lack of sleep.  Since seeing my dermatologist, I was put on two prescription topical treatments and I just started on an antibiotic (which is supposed to help clear 50% of the breakouts after three months).

Even though it is beyond mortifying for me to share my mummy face online, I have posted progress videos on my Instagram stories to show you a real raw honest look at a chemical peel in action.  I want you to know what to expect and many of you have been horrified by the graphic images of my skin, but I promise, it's not painful like it looks.  More uncomfortable and rather inconvenient, actually!

I still wash my face twice a day regardless of my skin's condition.  It might scare you to wash your face while it's peeling, but just be careful.  My dermatologist provided me with a kit containing Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Face Wash and one of my favorite drugstore moisturizers, the Neutrogena HydroBoost Gel Cream.  Both products are impressively gentle.  No redness or stinging with either product.  She also gave me a container with a hydrating mask to use on day 4 or 5 but I haven't needed to use it yet (see below).

You can apply the moisturizer liberally throughout the day to prevent dryness and formation of crusts, but I just trim off the extra dry bits with my eyebrow scissor when they get distractingly large or when I get tempted to peel them off.  NEVER pick at the skin and NEVER peel it off because it could cause scarring.  It is tempting and I do still find myself subconsciously touching the crusts, but I remind myself that scrubbing or even rubbing the skin can cause scarring.

NO SUN EXPOSURE even when you're driving or taking out your dog.  Sun protection is critical.  I wear a minimum of SPF30 daily, but I wear 48 or higher post-treatment because my skin is extra prone to sun damage.  Once hyperpigmentation sets it, my skin is stubborn and won't release it.  That's why I am very diligent when it comes to sunscreen, especially now because I don't want the efforts of this treatment to go to waste!  The delicate new skin needs to be protected to keep it clear and even.

DAY 5  More than halfway done peeling   //   DAY 6  Should be done peeling by end of day
Most chemical peels will cause swelling, redness, crusting, dryness, skin sensitivity, itching, and peeling that could last for 1-2 weeks.  These are expected reactions, but the trio of 10% TCA 10% Glycolic and 15% Salicylic acids turned out to be more effective than I expected.

My skin is sensitive but considerably tolerant of acids due to the countless light and moderate peels over the years so my skin rarely sheds this much.  My dermatologist said that medi-spas and estheticians use denatured acids so they're not as effective as the acids utilized at doctor offices and in my experience, that is true.
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