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 Amazon.com 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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**