Day 1- Sunday, April 3: Application and Start of the 25% TCA Peel Diary

I decided to take the plunge and do a 25% TCA chemical peel at home. I purchase the peel from for around $30 and received it within 2 days. Beats the hell out of 1-3k. I have some acne scarring that I wanted to get rid of as well as fine lines that I associate with smoking cigarettes for several years. I’ve quit now for 3 years.

After reading the instructions, washing my face, applying alcohol to rid my skin of any extra oils, I was ready to begin the peel. I applied the peel with a cotton ball. After about 10 seconds, I really started to feel the intense burning. The instructions say to leave it on for 3 to 5 minutes. I left the peel on for 3 1/2 minutes. I stood in front of a fan for most of those 3 1/2 minutes to ease the pain.

After I looked in the mirror and had not “frosted”, I applied a second application. I left this on for about 2 minutes because the burning was really painful. I was seriously feeling like Richard Pryor at that moment – ON Fi-yah and running to put myself out of misery! I rinsed the peel off with water and then applied a skin neutralizer. It felt better pretty much immediately.

My skin was frosted (the intended result) for about 30 minutes and then changed into a light sunburned glow. Not really attractive but I could still go out in public if I needed to. I applied Triple Action Antibiotic cream and called it a night.

Day 2- April 4

Today was a fair enough day. I didn’t look that bad when I woke up, although my cheeks were pretty red. I had to go grocery shopping this morning and run some errands so I put on some Laura Mercier Tinted moisturizer with a built-in SPF, some concealer, and some mascara. When I walked into Wal-Mart, I didn’t think I looked that bad but I did get plenty of double glances. Oh well. I have a good personality, right?

I was busy most of the day. When I went to take a bath, I noticed my cheeks had gotten a little bit more red and swollen, but I hear that is pretty normal. I def can not go out in public anymore. I look pretty scary. Shit! I forgot toilet paper! Urg!

Day 3 – April 5

Ok, I’m worried. I woke up around 5:00 a.m. this morning sleeping on my worst cheek. It is now super swollen almost to the point were my eye was completely closed. I itch like a son-of-a-bitch and look like hamburger! Ahh!

I called my dermatologist and got an appointment for 10:30 a.m. I had them work me in because I sounded like a crazy woman. “My face is going to fall off!!” That pretty much sums up my conversation with the nurse. So, when I got to my appointment, I was thinking that after his first glance at my atrocity, he would be sending me to the hospital. At the very least I expected him to shake his finger at me. Well, that’s the exact opposite of our conversation. He said that it looked “fine” and “normal.” “The peel is doing its job.” He prescribed me a cortisone cream to reduce the itch & inflammation and gave me some good advice. He also said I will have “great” results. That is pretty good news! He did ask me if I wanted to exit through the back door…. so I know I look scary. Hmmmmmm. So, basically I embarrassed myself in public and scared small children at the doctor’s office all because I am super paranoid.

I came home, put on my cortisone cream and began to itch like crazy again. This time, I start peeling around my chin area. A few hours later I took a bath to remove some of the creams on my face. When I washed, skin was just slipping off. I’m not sure if I am supposed to start peeling this soon? When I got out, I saw oozing from the side of my nose and chin area. My swelling is about the same, although I seem to be swollen under both eyes and look a bit more red under them. My forehead is fine, my nose is fine. I feel like I can’t open my mouth all the way because my skin is really tight. I still am really itchy. I’m just friggin’ miserable. It’s 10:00 p.m. and I’m fixing to go to bed. I will update more tomorrow.

Lord, I hope my doctor is right. Please don’t let my face be ruined. Amen.

Day 4 – April 6

I woke up this morning to a surprise. I am not as red AND the swelling has completely left my left eye area. I still have swelling under my right but it has reduced a good bit. I slept pretty well last night and drank plenty of water before I went to bed to hydrate my body. I’m thinking the water is what helped because the cortisone cream is really uncomfortable to wear. It sort of burns and doesn’t take out the itch.

Today I think I am itching too because of all this loose skin flapping around on my face. It flutters in the breeze and tickles any area around it. This drives me crazy because I just want to pull it and pick at it. I am a notorious picker, ask my husband. If he has a pimple or something, I’m squeezing it.

My face still looks atrocious.

I worked out this morning before the sun really came up. This is the first day I’ve been able to get back into my routine in days. It felt good to be outside doing something. It was 42 degrees this morning so I had a good excuse to cover my face. I wore a big gardening hat with huge bug-eyed sunglasses, a big fluffy scarf around my neck that came up to the bottom of my sunglasses. PERFECT!

Ohh, and seriously, and I’m not even kidding – Jehovah’s Witness people came to the house this morning. I could have scared them off forever if I wanted to, but I didn’t even answer the door. Trying to shield them from the unsightliness, ya know. They were bringing out the big guns today. Sending sweet looking old ladies. I’m on to their tricks. ;)

Day 5 – April 7

Last night before I went to bed I coated my face with Bactroban, which is a prescription antibiotic cream. It’s very strong but has seemed to do a great job so far. That is until last night. The stuff made my face itch so bad from my neck to my eyeballs. Finally, after several hours I figured out that I was probably having an allergic reaction to it. After taking Benadryl around 2:00 a.m. the itching subsided completely and I was able to get some sleep.

As far as looks go, I am peeling in large amounts now so every cream I put on my face misplaced skin from one place to another. In other words, I am a walking mummy. Skin from my cheek is stuck to my chin by thick ointments. Really messy and hideous. At this point, I don’t think I will ever put myself through this again. If I do, it will only be small spot treatments or something because this is just ridiculous. It’s really embarrassing! I went for my morning run/walk thing and everybody was outside in the neighborhood. Everybody wants to talk. I just stayed my distance but I could tell they were noticing something was definitely “off” about my appearance. Besides the sunglasses and huge sun hat. I brought my taser in case anyone got too close.

I will remain inside for the rest of the day only to venture out to check the mail. Will update tomorrow.

Day 6 – April 8

Wow! What a difference a day makes! I woke up this morning and when I looked in the mirror I looked almost completely normal. My husband even kissed me and told me I looked pretty. Not something I usually get when I first wake up. Even I know I’m ugly in the mornings. I was stunned!

I washed my face and applied sunblock to go out for my morning run/walk. My face was soft and really fresh looking. I still have some peeling left to do on the sides of my face close to the hairline, my forehead, and around the corners of my nose. My cheeks, which were the ones giving me such a hard time, are radiant and beautiful. I didn’t have to wear my sun hat for a disguise. I feel great! Mandy Quebedeaux is BACK!

I can’t wait to see the final result with and without makeup. Maybe all the pain and torture has been all worth it after all…

I will post more later on today if I need to mention something. Otherwise, I’ll be back tomorrow. Thanks for viewing. Comment or contact me with questions.

Day 7 – April 9

Today was a great day! I am unofficially/officially back to normal. I went to my mother-in-law’s house today for a visit. The only thing that was mentioned about my looks was my “pink” face. I had been working out in the yard earlier in the day, so I think that is what they had attributed to the color – Sunburn. Obviously, my family doesn’t read my blog!

I have a tiny spot on the left side of my left eye that may be the hyper-pigmentation people speak of. I’m gonna give it another week and post another update regarding that and any other concerns I have.

My face is beginning to break out again around my chin area. This is the part of my face that I refer to as “disabled.” My disabled area has been an issue for me since adulthood. I will start applying pimple cream tonight. It may be a little soon though.

Overall, I do see a difference in my skin, in a good way, and am now glad that I went though the turmoil. My face is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I will give it time to get it’s mojo back. So, here goes with my final conclusion: Drumroll please…

Although it has been a difficult week, I do believe that the product is worth trying. Do not expect to have perfect results. Chemical peels are traumatizing to the face (and to your peers) and they are not without risks. If you are thinking about doing an at home chemical peel, first take the necessary precautions and use **common sense**. Other than that, if you do a peel and are wanting to redo another make sure you wait at least 4-6 weeks before re-applying. So far, I am satisfied with the results that I have gotten. I can see a clearer, more fresh skin tone. Some of the acne scarring is reduced and that is definitely progress.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact me anytime. Thanks for viewing!

Day 9 – April 12 (Final Update)

I forgot to update yesterday but really didn’t have anything new to add. My skin looks really great and as the days go by it is only improving more. The area around my eye that I mentioned on Day 7 has vanished. I officially have no adverse side effects to the peel. SO HAPPY!

Will I do another full face peel? Ehhh, I don’t know. I say that now, but I’m still in the “hangover” stage. Once the bad memories fade, I’ll probably do it all over again…

**TCA Peel Update with pictures – click here**


  1. wow.. I’m pretty scared to do this but I do have scaring from past acne.. I’m 32 and finally getting ot the point where I dont have breakouts anymore.. so now onto undoing what it has caused.. not fun… If you can name the products you used to put on your face and how often.. also I see that you did not rinse it of with the baking soda

    • Hi Heather!

      As far as a daily cleanser, I use only Dove products. After I wash my face I use “Embryolisse alit creme” to moisturize. I use prescription acne cream (Tazorac) to control my adult acne. I did not use baking soda to neutralize the peel. Instead, I bought a skin soothing neutralizer from a company called “Cellbone”. This was purchased from Amazon. It’s a skin pH balancer.

      I hope this helps and that I answered all of your questions. If not, feel free to shoot me another. Thanks!! x, Mandy

  2. I am on day nine of a professional 30% tca peel and am terified that it weant wrong. I ma soooo red and it is painful. I quit using the peroxide/water to wash my face today, it is just to dry. I also stopped using the vaseline I was told to use, I started using bicitracin cream, looks like, I tjink the redness is fadeinfg very little. I can’t stand it. I not only can still see the scars I already had that I was teying to get rid of it looks as if there is new scares on my cheek area, which is still a whitish color. and red around it. My forehead and nose did ok but I haven’t had any peel om my cheeks. I’m terrified. and wishing I would of never spent this much money for this?

    • Hi Tamie,

      I’m so sorry you are going through such a hard time! When it’s happening, it is really an unbearable experience- to say the least. I am surprised you are having trouble still at day 9. If I were you, I would use only the antibiotic cream daily and stop using peroxide immediately- period. Peroxide will irritate the hell out of your skin. That is why you have the whitish color, I bet. When you wash your skin at night, only use gentle pats with your hands. No wash clothes at all. Also, use only gentle cleansers like Dove plain white bar soap.

      I have a few questions for you though. Have you started peeling at all? How long did you leave the peel on for? How many times did you apply it to frost? Where did you get the peel? These are important because I want to find out how deep it went and what stage you are at in the heeling process.

      Let me know and I’ll write you back immediately.

  3. I’m about to do this. I have prepped my skin by using retin-a for a year and glycolics since october! can’t wait for the results.

  4. Mandy,
    I can’t Thank You enough for posting your experience on your blog and on Amazon. I just did the same 25% TCA Skin Obsession peel on myself last night and I have to tell you, I was scared out of my mind. I thought (and maybe still do to a degree) that I had really messed up my skin. I’ve had a chemical peel before in the doctor’s office as well as some laser treatments but from my recollection, my skin has never reacted like this before. I have so much redness as well as darkening of the sun damage along with a very definite line on my jaw area where you can clearly see where the chemical was ran across my skin. I hope and pray that this is all normal and that in a week or so, I will have beautiful, pink skin.
    I have taken pictures if you would like to see them. Did you post any pictures of your experience on the web anywhere? I have searched through the You Tube for videos of chemical peel experiences but have found nothing to compare mine to. The videos I have watched are of people who have mild sun damage or acne scaring.
    Well, I just wanted to show my appreciation and gratitude to you for allowing the general public to know your experience. It’s what helped me go to sleep last night… No Kidding!!
    Thank You So Much!!!
    Jennifer in Texas

  5. Please remind people to wear sunscreen (at least SPF 50) religiously after the peel, especially while it is in the healing stage. Not wearing sunscreen will undo the benefit of the peel, because your new skin is very susceptible to skin damage- and it’s also a good way to get more hyperpigmentation.

    Otherwise, it’s a GREAT post.

    I love chemical peels- I am doing a series of 3-4 peels of a Jessner/TCA combo peel.

      • hi there Mandy,firstly thankyou for your blog greatly appreciated…ok nw about me..i have had a 25%tca peel at a clinic (have paid £1020 for a course of 4 treatments)i Have had my first peel and yes it was extremely frustrating staying indoors as i looked butt ugly day 2 and onwards atfer the peel. i am asian and have brown skin so i didnt look pink but darker. teh skin peeled 3-4 days and 5 day im fully recovered.My results are nil,im sooooooo annoyed as its been awfully difficult to lock myselt in,mp partner having to do the school runs,not sending my boy to his after school clubs as i just couldnt face anyone. i have a few acne scars but worse than that is i have pitting in my cheeks (dints from previous acne)skin doesnt look brighter,havent had side affects but just NO RESULTS.I am upset the fact ive paid sooo much, i am aware i do have 3 peels treatments left,but i dont know if it will next appoimtment is a 2 week gap from previous,the clinic i no wont increase the % to save themselves really and im annoyed as my family too didnt notice any result…plz give me some advice

  6. I live in England.. so most of the products you use I can t get here.. Amazon do sell a tca peel for £40 25% which I am going to get today.. but what do you recommend for using on the face afterwards? Emu oil has been suggested and can I spot check the peel as I.m scared to use it all over my face in one go! Also does the peel get rid of blackheads and acne scarring? Lauren

    • Hey Lauren! The products I suggest using after the peel: a good moisturizer – I don’t know anything about Emu oil but if it is natural and moisturizing, I’m sure it’s great. I would also suggest using an antibiotic cream in between moisturizing.

      When you apply the peel, usually you can tell were it has been applied due to frosting. However, sometimes you will not frost in some areas. I suggest starting on the forehead and work your way down. If you don’t frost much, then reapply the exact same way. Use soft even strokes and distribute the product evenly.

      The peels will help with acne scarring but may take a few treatments. Blackheads- maybe some of them will be removed. Those are tough little bugers.

      Oh, make sure you don’t reuse until at least 6 weeks. If you have anymore questions, feel free to contact me! Thanks so much!


  7. i did tcapeel20% % under my eyes today is day five and no peeling is this normal and under one of my eyes looks purple black thats the best way i could describe am using emu oil and cetaphil daily moisturizer i need some advice fast my big day is in two weeks please help

    • Hi Lizzie! Sorry about getting back to you so late!

      When applying the peel under the eyes, it takes awhile for the peel to actually make your skin peel. The reason is because your under eye area is so thin. The reaction you are having sounds completely normal and should resolve in a week or so. Try to be as patient as you can, and the results will we great.

      Congrats to you on your wedding also.

  8. Hello Mandy,

    You said you applied the first coat for 3 1/2 minutes then the second for 2. Did you rinse your face in between coats? How long after the first coat did you apply the second? How often did you wash your face thereafter? Lastly, it’s been almost a year since the peel. Have you re-done it?

    Thanks for posting your experience.


  9. Hi Mandy,

    You blog is very interesting. I got my TCA 15% peel for, i very scared, but it nice to get input from someone who knows. Anyway, firstly, can you give a detail step by step instructions on how to apply the peel, before and after care and what to expect during and after the peel, especially when it comes to the frosting part, since I’m not sure if frosting should appear for you to know if the application was correctly applied.

    Thanks for you time and sharing you experience, really looking forward to you reply.


  10. Mandy
    Thank you SO much for taking the time to post your experience. I love your honesty about running to your dermatologist.
    I have a 25% TCA peel. They recommend that I cut it to half strength for a first use. I may not have as good of results, but I’m not sure when I have the time to not see people for 7 days or so. Maybe I’ll get braver after this one. After an appropriate wait time, of course.
    And as a wedding photographer I was mortified that poor lizzie did this so very close to her wedding day. PLEASE, if you are reading this, do NOT do that:) Yes, I could fix your skin in editing, but it would take so much time, many photographers would not do it and most, if not all would charge PER PICTURE to do so. You are talking about 30 min to an hour per image of editing time, not to mention not being happy with how your skin looked on your big day. Don’t do anything to your skin before your wedding out of the ordinary. A facial 7 days before is as aggressive as you should get.
    Mandy, you also do a really nice job of making educated responses to people. Your effort is most appreciated. I too would love to know how you feel after a year:)
    Thanks again!

  11. @ Rebecca, Thanks so much for the compliments! It’s much appreciated! I will be doing another soon (within the next month or so) and will update with pictures this time. I’m still very happy with the results from my first peel, though I still have some acne scars I want to reduce.

    Thanks again for the comment!


  12. Hey I have a question… So is it cheating if I’m scrunching up my face to speed up the peeling?? Like will there be any scarring? Yeahhh I did it and I think I’m peeling more because of that but I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing to do…

    • Well, it is certainly not a good idea. I know it’s tempting to hurry up and get it over with. The dead skin can be very irritating. What you’re actually doing though is stripping layers of healthy skin underneath. Peeling the dead skin off prematurely can cause scarring, discoloration, infection and lines of demarkation. If it was another part of your body I would say go ahead, but why chance it on the most important part? Especially the area you initially were trying to improve.

  13. Hi,
    I think your blog is hilarious and more importantly REAL. I just ordered a 25% TCA peel and I’m trying it for the first time..scaaarry! I’ve been doing more research on TCA peels in anticipation of recieving mine in the mail.I think though that I should have used a lower percentage to start. What do you think? I was hoping it would keep me from getting acne anymore…too bad huh? ahhh wishful thinking at its finest:). I have very light acne scarring but it covers much of my face. Do you think I can hope for it to completely disappear? Don’t worry you can be honest I can take it. thanks so much

    • Hey! LOL, thanks for the compliment! The peels can definitely be a very…..humbling experience to say the least! They can be scary and nerve racking, especially when you don’t know what to expect. All peels are different. Different acids (TCA, Glycol, AHA, Phenol) do different things and react differently to the layers of skin. The 25% TCA is a medium peel for your first time, but it’s still safe enough to not worry about terrible side effects like some of the others. I think most people start off their peel journey with a 20% TCA because is feels safer. However; the differences between the 20% and 25% is marginal.

      The reason it’s called a 25% is because it’s been diluted with water at a ratio of 4:1. The higher in concentration, the less amount of water, the deeper the “burn” will be. 25% TCA (in my opinion) is perfect for acne scarring over time. It will not make pimples go away as much as I wished it would. They go away for a few weeks, but always come back. It will help with discoloration due to acne, thin out some fine lines, and make your skin glow. It all takes time though and you have to be patient. So many people contact me wanting to prematurely peel the skin or reapply after a week or 2. Don’t do it! You want your skin to look better then before, not worse.

      Anyway, I’m rambling. To answer your question, I think 25% is fine and I think you will have great results. Always use common sense. Don’t put it on your eyelids or anything. It will be uncomfortable for a week. As long as you keep it clean, moist, and your hands off- you will do beautifully. Contact me again if you have any questions at all. I’ll be glad to help!

      Good luck!


  14. I am on my 5th day of TCA 25%. i look ugly & my face is typically shedding like a snake. I am using petroluem jelly to moisturize it since it works better for me. im hoing tomorrow all teh dead skin is gone. but anyways i wish u have some pics… but pretty much u have a very detailed & informative blog about this. stay happy & pretty.

  15. Mandy and others,
    Loved all of your info. I’ve been getting a series of RetinA/glycolic peels and asked about TCA. After hearing the price and the pain associated, I decided not to do it. But, after reading your blogs, I may try it on my own. I am 58 and don’t have acne scarring, but do have the normal small wrinkle lines, etc Will the 25% TCA help erase some of those or should I do something more aggressive? Which product do feel is the best for this?

    • TCA is perfect for fine lines and wrinkles. The great thing about a 20 – 25% is that it’s aggresive enough to see results, but mild enough to not have many side effects. Any peels stronger, the more risk you have for complications. It may take 2 -3 applications (6 weeks between applications) and you should have beautiful results.

      • Hello! I just ordered 18%. I have very small shallow dented acne scars. They are very minor. Do you think just spot treating the area will be ok? Do you know if there is a success rate for tca peels and acne scars?

  16. Hey Ashley, Thanks for the question! I don’t like spot treating acne scars. If you think about what a peel does, it removes the skin. In a large area it would look more uniform and even. In spots, it would cause MORE spots by removing skin from that area only. If you spot treat, you’re not raising that area – you’re increasing the depth. If you want to use a peel for scarring, use it all over the face. I would only spot treat on raised scars only.

  17. Before doing the tca peel do you just use plain old 70% isopropyl alcohol? Also do you leave the tca on the full five minutes even if it frosts or should it be neutralized once it frosts? Another question about frosting– can a second layer be applied to areas that have frosted? One final question! In your blog it says your skin appeared frosted for 30 mins after neutralizing.. I’m assuming that’s a normal occurrence then? I did a patch test on one of my more damaged areas and it frosted almost immediately. Once I neutralized it remained white for about 10 minutes after and I wasn’t aware that was supposed to happen. Sorry for so many questions! Great blog, hope to get some replies!

    • Yes, 70% is fine. You are just trying to remove all the natural oils from the skin that would interfere with the effectiveness of the peel. Wash your face first, then apply the alcohol, then the peel.
      I try to leave the peel on as directed (3-5 minutes) even if it frosts immediately. The longer the better, but don’t leave it on longer than the 5 minutes. Treat the second layer the same. Leave it on 3-5 as long as you can bare it. A second layer CAN be applied to all the areas that have frosted; however, keep in mind that it means that it’s penetrating the layers of skin deeper. You will have better results, faster results- but it will burn like FIYA and you will have more peeling. Which basically means you will be out of commission for at least a week.

      The frosting (for me) went away after about 30 minutes. Some people it will be longer, some shorter. Frosting is always temporary. As long as you frosted, it doesn’t matter how long it stays. Frosting = Good! Even if it’s a shorter frost, it still is working.

      I hope this helps! Contact me again if you have any additional questions. I will be happy to walk you through. Good luck!

      • Try a Salicylic acid acne wash. I think Neutragena makes a good one. If that doesn’t work, I would try a salicylic acid peel (which doesn’t make you peel at all) it’s just a stronger exfoliant that cleans pores. Hope this helps!

  18. funny story-as I have swollen eyes from a glycolic ebay treatment I left on too long
    My face is 3x as big as normal and eyes seem to be puffed up with water all around to where I look like I have tiny eyes inside a bloated face-depressing
    and I am one of Jehovah’s witnesses but am not going to the door either if they

  19. Haha! 😉 Good luck with your peel! Let me know how it turns out! I’m about to do a 20% Salicylic acid peel tomorrow. I’ve been having a lot of breakouts lately and read that it’s great for it. Hopefully I won’t have swelling or anything and just a little flaking. Fingers crossed!

  20. Thanks for your quick response last time. I have yet another question.. I did my first at home tca peel 2 weeks ago. I did one layer of 12.5% and left it on for five minutes then neutralized. I had mild redness directly after but hardly any the following days. I started flaking by day 3 on my cheeks, nose and chin. The flaking lasted only about 4 days. My forehead never even flaked! 🙁 which has some fine wrinkles & scarring I wanted to address. Good news is the large pores on my cheeks have minimized drastically. Yay. So given your at home experiences & my info that I’ve given you when I do my next peel do you think I should do two layers on all areas of my face and three layers on my forehead? How long should i leave each layer on? Also in my directions for my MUAC peel it says one extra layer will add a 25% boost so does that mean my peel will essentially be 37.5%? Sorry for all the questions & long posts.

  21. Hey Meshell! I don’t mind your questions at all. That’s what I’m here for! Sorry about your experience but I think I know why you’re having a difficult time. It sounds like your peel % is not strong enough for your skin. A TCA peel for a first timer usually is 15% – 20%. A 12.5% is a weak formulation for most people’s skin. That is why your skin was flaky instead of peeling like a sunburn. I’m glad that it worked for your pores though and that’s great news.

    Your forehead can be hard to peel. It’s always the first to tan, it’s an area of the face that gets the most exposure. The skin is tough. Getting it to react to a peel takes a strong %. I’ve never heard of a peel with an extra layer adding 25%, (not to discredit cause it could be true) but you can certainly try it. It wouldn’t hurt…figuratively anyways.

    You can do 1 of 2 things. Continue the 12% and layer it like you said, leaving it on for 3 -5 minutes without neutralizing in between, or boost the % up to a 20% for an all over, even peel. If you are not frosting I’d consider buying the 20%.

    Hope this helps!

    • Hi. Just did my second peel. Did two layers of 12.5% before moving up. Left second layer on for only 3 minutes cause it burned like the dickens! Frosted almost immediately and quite heavily.. After I neutralized & washed it still appears frosted & the areas that frosted are still burning slightly. Is this normal? Thanks.

  22. ALONG with a skin peel, you need a good serum that will penetrate your skin to MAKE RESULTS. I’ve used the Lady Soma Renewal Serum morning and night along with bliss sleeping peel and I’ve noticed dramatic results. I have gotten so many compliments on the glow and even tone of my skin. My breakouts had completely cleared up and my skin was sooo smooth! I ran out about a month ago, and sadly, the compliments went away, and instead I’ve even got a few concerned comments from my mom about my new breakouts. While I still am using what’s left from my sleeping peel, I know that you ALSO NEED a serum like the Lady Soma Renewal Serum to get under there and product new skin cells.

  23. You are sooooo funny!!! Thank you for posting your esperience for us who decide to do an at home peel. I just did my 2nd peel and Im a bit nervous!!!! The first one was one layer 12.5%. Light peeling. Very, very subtle improvement. Two weeks later I moved up to 15%. I did one layer. Very little frosting. Applied 2nd or 3rd layer to forehead and cheeks to address pores and light forehead lines. Left on for 2 mins or less. Frosting all over. Now my cheeks are bruple (brown-ish purple)! Immediately after peel they turned very very red and burned. The next day, they still sting and are dark purple. Im scared as heck!!!! Is this normal??? Please let me know if I went too deep!!!!

    • Hey Twana! I can certainly understand your worry. Luckily, it is very normal. Since you just had a peel not long ago, your skin was exfoliated already, so the 15% went deeper. Nothing to worry about because a 15% is mild enough to not cause scarring. Next time though I would wait 4 weeks or more before doing another. That way your skin is already healed from the peel yet ready for another round. Update me on your condition in a few days!

      • Thank you! Its Day 4…. The purple has turned light brown. My face is so tight and has a thick leathery look and it feels like a cheap leather sectional. I looks like Ive spent the last 30 years on the beach with no sunscreen. Brown and wrinkled. Its `starting to peel around my nose and mouth. I know after I peel I wont see the total results as collagen takes weeks to build. I will definitely wait 4 weeks as I dont want to go thru this again no time soon. I just ordered the BMR facial toner for firming and lifting. Im 47 and beginning to see some slight sagging. I am anxious to see how that works. I also ordered the BMR for tummy toning and used it last night. I know that will work beautifully!!! I am slim already but my top abdomen area got a bit wrinkly and it is already smoothed out after 2 sessions! My goal is a 4 pack. Ok, I strayed…..will update on my face in a few days!!! Thanks again funny girl. : )

    • Please use sunscreen! Im dealing with a dark patch created by the sun after my peel. I live in a highrise and windows all over. I used sunscreen but not strong enough I guess. sad face

  24. Hi there very glad to see this blog! I have a TCA 35% chemical peel scheduled for Nov 2, 2012 with a plastic surgeon. I don’t have to work again until Nov13th. I hope this is enough time to hide. I am getting excited and nervous. I have been preparing for a week using 10 glycolic lotion and drinking plenty of water. My doc told me that I will be using Crisco on may face constantly keeping it covered. Has anyone tried this? Also any other advise please, I would appreciate it!
    Thank You!

  25. Hello! Actually, I think Crisco would probably work really well, especially if you’re not prone to breakouts. I certainly don’t see the harm in it.

    I think that 11 days will be plenty of time for you to heal and look fabulous when you return to work. You should be glowing!

    As far as advice goes, the only things that I can think of is this: 1. It’s only temporary. The experience is not exactly pleasant, but by the end of it, you will wish you’d done it sooner. 2. Keep your face moisturized (which we’ve addressed) 3. Don’t peel it even when you want to. It’s a woman’s nature to want to pick. Try your best not to touch because it will excite the urge.

    The best of luck to you! I know you will do great!

    • Hi Mandy,
      Thank you for your quick response. I feel better all ready. Its nice to be able to share this whole thing on your blog. I’m keeping it quiet on the most part, so it really feels good to connect with someone. Another thing I am thinking is that I wear contacts ,so I’m thinking I will probably have to use glasses for a while…all that greasy stuff won’t work well with contacts. Thanks for your encouragement!!!

      Hi again hope you are still available to answer questions…I had the tca 35% peel Fri it went OK, but today ( Sun) I woke up with lots of little whiteheads, probably from the Crisco. I gently washed with water ( Dr wouldn’t allow anything else but water) and reapplied Crisco.Just the gentle washing seemed to clear some of them. I don’t see the Dr until weds. Any advice? Thank you for your help!

      • Could it be pimples coming up? I had several whitehead pustules come up after I did mine. I think it’s the peel cleansing the pours. I would just pull them with a needle to get rid of mine. They will go away eventually on their own though. They just add to the ‘overall look’, LOL! It could be all the Crisco, like you said. Maybe use a gentle moisturizer instead if it becomes too bothersome.

        • Hi Mandy yes you were right turned out to be just pimples, I sent dr office pic they told me to come in he wiped them off it really stng! He also gave me antibiotics, and yes it certainly adds to the look…Eewww. I look so bad its almost funny….almost. Cant wait to be done with this mess. I’m on day 5 I can see the new skin in some patches it looks so smooth and nice…but at this point I would be happy just getting the old me back…I’m getting really sick of being stuck inside like a leper. My Dr said by day 8 he will microderm off any left over dead skin. I thought that seemed harsh at first but I can see where I will be ready for that by then . In the future I think instead of ever doing this again ( tca 35%) I will do low level peels more frequently.Thank you so much for your continued support. Nice to have someone to talk to. I haven’t told anyone that I was doing this except those that “had’ to know like my boyfriend & a neighbor.

  26. I usually don’t put anything on my face like moisturizer for a doctor office tca 25% peel until the 3rd day….. for me I think it keeps my pores small. Warning though I started with the 15 % peel for years, twice a year and gradually went up to a 25% percent. Also my Derm has me go to the sink after he frost the whole face a nice white and I splash my face once with cool water…. seems to nuetralize it just right for me I’m fair and have somewhat sensitive skin can’t use alot of sunscreen’s that have any alcohol in them. I have started considering at home peels because of cost,,,,tried MAUC tca you see on the web they rave on. Did’nt like it…. some improvement but seem to dry my skin somewhat thru the rest away and did’nt like the added chemical’s in the ingredience probably why it did. Going to try OSS tca peel list no other ingredient other than the main one.

  27. I’ve had peel’s for over 5 year’s an average medium peel will get red and tight mostly on the third day and start to peel mostly on the 4th day usually finishes peeling on around the 10th completely.
    I’ve read stories of people who started with doctor’s office peel of 25% tca and had scarring or discoloration so It is best to start low. My sister started with a 15% and was told it was low so she would’nt peel much she’s a nurse and said she did peel alot same skin as mine sensitive. I had a friend who started with a Doctor’s office 25% tca peel and had some minor discoloration and light scarring she decided to continue 2 peels every year on a 15% tca after and got rid of the scarring. For the face I would’nt recommend going higher than a 30% tca and after you’ve had alot of lower ones over the year’s in the begining so you can know how your skin will react. I recommend getting your first peel at a good derm office takes away alot of the stress. Prices range from around $250.00- $600.00 and price does’nt mean there better there just more expensive. Note I have very light irish sensitive skin.

  28. Also I’m very apprehensive of purchasing anything from Amazon or Ebay I like to go directly to the website that way there liable on what people say on review’s about them, I’m just cautious by nature.

  29. Hi Mandy. Just purchased exact products you used 25%TCA and neutralizer from cellbone. Your posts are so helpful! Did you go under your eyes?

    • Yes, I went under my eyes but not too close (about 1/2 inch below) my waterline. Just remember that it takes longer for this area to peel, so you will appear to have more wrinkles in the area for about 3 weeks. It’s thinner skin and resist peeling.

  30. Hi mandy I’ve read your blog and it such a big help. I’m just confused if I can reaaply TCA on my face I’m on my second day of TCA peel and still no visible peeling and my skin doesn’t turned brown its just kinda red texture and it feels tight or stretch anyway just to site my produce that I did. First I applied Isoprophyl 70% full face then I Applied the TCA 20%. It only took for only a minute or two when my face frosted so I dab my face with the cotton pad soaked in a solution of. Baking soda and water and then I rinsed it off. I neutralized my face right after because it scares me that I might end up having scars from chemical peel though I’m not new to chemcal peeling it just that it was my first time doing it on my own.

    • Hi! It sounds like you did everything perfectly! I’m glad that you were vigiliant about the amount of time you left the peel on the first time. That’s smart.

      Sometimes people who have done peels before don’t have the same reactions as those with “virgin” skin. Their skin is much more sensitive and thus looks more alarming after a peel.

      I would let your skin rest for a few weeks. Let it heal underneath. You may not see things happening, but under your skin, a lot is going on. You don’t want to disrupt this important healing time. THAT will increases the chances of an uneven peel or scarring.

      After you peel (and you will) you might even decide you don’t want to go another round. However; if you do decide, let it stay on a bit longer. This will provide a deeper peel. Hope this helps! Good luck to you. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask.

  31. Hi! Thanks for posting your experience! I know this was written more than a year ago but I see you’re still checking and answering comments (awesome!!) …I’ve read most, but not all of the comments on here, so I apoligize if you’ve already mentioned this and I missed it…

    Was this 25% peel the first peel you’ve done?

    I bought the same 25% tca, skin obsession from amazon but I’ve never tried a chemical peel before! I am 30, light skinned and I’ve suffered from acne and cystic since I was 15ish. I’ve used every topical acne cream (prescription and OTC, but never did accutane even though I was told by a derm that I’m a good candidate for it), so I feel my skin is pretty tough! The acne is still there, but not as severe. I want to try the peel to help improve my skin’s texture but I’m contemplating diluting it or taking the 25% plunge!

    • Hi Holly! Thanks for contacting me!

      No, this was not the first peel I have done. I once did a 20% glycolic peel (at home) which did nothing for me. It was pretty pointless. I didn’t even flake! Like you, I think my skin was fairly tough at the time because I was using so many Rx from my doctor for acne. I purchased the TCA peel and was so scared to use it for weeks! Once I decided to use it, it burned so badly that I removed it right away (within 30 seconds). Still, I did not peel, but I did have minor flaking. I’m such a weeny.

      My husband and I were planning a trip to California so that’s what encouraged me to take the plunge and go through with it. I had given myself 3 weeks or so to heal. My skin was glowing for our trip.

      I was 31 then, I think. Anyway, to answer your questions: I would not dilute it. I think you would be disappointed with the result.

      Since you already have acne, It will cause whatever is in your skin to come forward, so you will have pustules while you peel- but that’s good! It’s cleaning all the stuff out of your skin. TCA will not prevent acne or keep it from coming back permanently though. 20 -25% Salicylic acid peels are the best for that. If you are looking for smoother skin, less scarring, and a glow – TCA will be your best friend.

      Thanks for asking the questions. Feel free to contact me anytime.

      • Thanks for your input!! I plan on doing it tonight so I can have a fresh face for Christmas! The peel, neosporin, a fan and everything else I need has been sitting on my bathroom sink since this morning!! haha!! Thanks again!

    • After a beer and some Tylenol, I did the peel last night. It wasn’t as painful as I was anticipating and I didn’t frost very much. I’m glad I didn’t dilute!!! I left it on for the full 5 minutes and only did one layer, since I’m a pansy. 30 minutes after the peel, I looked in the mirror and my face was its normal color… I maybe should’ve applied another layer… Or maybe should’ve applied more rubbing alcohol, before the peel. I have oily skin… My face is tight today and I guess it’s browning a little so maybe I’ll update again in 5-7 days 🙂
      I’ll probably do this again after the holidays for a deeper peel! I hope this helps anyone who is debating what strength peel they want to use because it’s helped me!!

      • Hi! Where did you say you got your peel from? I looked on cellbone and don’t see it. Am I blind?? Lol! Anyways, in really confused as to what strength and where to get it! I was reading some other girls blog and she said to start of with 8 or 12.5 and she used MUAC or whatever and now I’m reading this! I don’t want to waste my time with a weak peel, ya know? I have had other peels and they went fine. Also, when I try out a small spot on my face, first, to see how I react, how long do I wait to put the rest on my face? Ahh! I just want to do it right! Thanks!!

        • I got the peel from Amazon. I put the link at the bottom of the last entry. You can purchase it directly from the manufacturer also which is Cellbone is the neutralizer, which is also from Amazon. I started with the 25% because of all the reviews that I read. This peel had the highest reviews, which made me feel more comfortable about the product and the company. If you feel more comfortable starting out at a smaller dose, that would be fine too. Though, I think you would be disappointed with any lower than 20% since it is so diluted. Since you have had other peels, you would have a better peel (and not waste your money and time) with a lower % peel.

          When you first apply it for a spot test, I would wait about a minute after. Then apply it to the rest of your face. Leave it on for 3 – 5 minutes (until you frost) and then rinse with cool water. If you don’t frost the first application, apply a second coat.

          Hope this helps! If you have any questions feel free to ask. Winter is the best time to do the peel. You can bundle up the clothing and scarves so people can’t really tell in public. 😉

  32. I’m a chemical peel specialist R.N clinician. Fortunately our writter did get nice results. Let me warn you all thinking about doing this. Infection is your number 1 proplem that can create tremendous problems. You pay professoiinal to avoid that run to the Dermatologist when your face looks like it will fall off. Peels can be done by medi-spa trained nurses and doctors for approximately $350-1000 . Shop around and be safe.

  33. I’ve done these peels before and have even asked your advice.. Here I am again! I’ve done a 3 series about 5 weeks apart. I did my last peel three days ago. I did 2 layers & kept the second one on for about a minute and a half as it burned so badly & frosted immediately. The skin on either side of my chin frosted & stung the worst during the peel. Now those areas are brown and wrinkly. I have never experienced that from a peel as of yet. My chin and either side of my chin are also so tight it feels funny when I chew. Is this peel just deeper than normal or did I ruin my skin?

    • No, you didn’t ruin your skin. It feels like that sometimes when you have done peels before. It is “peeling” fresher skin, so it does go a little deeper. No worries though. It probably will be a bit more painful though and you might have some swelling. In a few days you will be right as rain. Let me know how it goes! If you have anymore questions feel free to ask. xo

  34. Hi Mandy! I have TCA 20% and it’ll be my first peel ever! I’m so excited, but I’m having mixed feelings about prep. Did you use Retin-A or anything beforehand or did you just go ahead with the peel? I’ve read multiple personal blogs and reviews of some people not even prepping their face before, but idk. I want a really good outcome, but I cannot wait another 4-6 weeks!

    • The only prep I did was cleaning my face with rubbing alcohol. I never used the retinols beforehand. Just make sure you strip your face of all the oils so that the peel can absorb evenly, and that’s it! Thanks so much and good luck!

  35. Mandy, are you a licensed aesthetician? I am, and I have been for several years, working for a plastic surgeon. Some of the advice you are giving is innacurate, so I wanted to ensure that you are just giving your opinion and not just looking things up online.

    First off, TCA peels are NOT for everyone and are very aggressive and sensitizing.

    Also, there are several medications and contraindications one must be aware of before even thinking about a TCA peel.

    Do you even know if the peel you bought from Amazon was FDA approved?

    Like I said, this is a very aggressive peel that penetrates all the way to the basal layer of the skin, which is very deep for something non-invasive. MANY precautions must be considered.

    Anyone using Retin-A, Accutane, or anyone with allergies to sulfa or salicyclic acids should NOT even get near a TCA peel. It is also not recommended for pregnant women or anyone under 18 unless under direct supervision of a physician (and only in severe acne or sun damaged patients).

    TCA peels are not effective for acne scarring. An intensed pulse light laser is the only thing proven to work for scarring.

    Please make sure you do adequate research before replying to these posts because this can be a dangerous procedure and everyone needs to contact their physician or a licensed medical aesthetician before trying ANY chemical peel.

    And please, do NOT buy something that could give you a 3rd degree burn from Amazon.

  36. Ive had success with 25% tca in the past but this time virtually no effect. I did 3 layers. 25% had some frosting and stinging. Skin was a little red invite e cream and pure argain oil soothed it. So its the next day my skin looks and feels completely normal except some tightness. Maybe i didnt use enough and my skin is getting used to it.

    • It could be! I did a updated TCA peel diary and had a similar issue. Maybe the newer skin takes longer to penetrate? I’m not sure. You would think the opposite would be true.

      When was you peel before this one?

          • Yes it did end up peeling well after a few more days. Im on my second peel now. 3rd day in. No major peeling. Im going to keep peeling. My skin is a bit pinky. I use allot of vit e cream so it peels off very easily. Im getting addicted to peels hehe.

          • I’ve read that it’s best to wait 6 weeks between peels. That way your skin has a chance to regenerate and your peels will be more “typical”.


  37. I did a tca peel my sink looks more older and more wrinkles have come after 5 days is this normal or will my sink just stay like this now please help

  38. Where can we see the TCA peel update with photos i just did it yesterday applied 2 layers of 18% and no frosting and wondering how i should check my progress

  39. Thank you for sharing if your still applying to these post please I need help….
    I just did the 25% chemical peel this morning. I did it once before, but I didn’t let it frost too much so my skin didn’t turn dark until the next day, after applying it. But…this morning, I did the peel and let it frost, and it already turned my skin Muddy black, and I just did it about 3 hrs ago. Does that tend to happen sometimes, where the skin darkens so much so quickly? I’m African American and my skin looks like it’s been smudged with a black charcoal face mask , and its only been 3 hrs. I didn’t panic the first time I did the peel a few months back because this didn’t happen, but Im trying not to panic now but it hard because it got so dark so fast. Before I could leave the house after applying it and not worry about my face looking different but This time I can’t. So yeah, did this almost instant darkening happen after you applied your peel? Well maybe not darkening since you’re not black, but did your face change drastically within a few hours of applying it?


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