Adventures in Chemical peels & Champagne

So, last night I tried it for the first time…a peel, a chemical peel, to be specific. I’ve had many-a-standard facial in my day; I’m a big fan of those. But after a particularly rough winter, my skin was looking bleak and needing something MORE. I couldn’t seem to kick those tiny, white heads on my cheeks (gross, I know) and my chin wouldn’t stop flaking despite applying loads of moisturizer. My aesthetician suggested the chemical peel – she said the type she would use is stronger than microdermabrasion but because of the higher PH balance it wouldn’t irritate my skin or cause it to peel.  I was diggin’ the idea that my face wouldn’t be literally peeling afterwards because my plan was to get it after work yesterday and return to work ‘as usual’ today.  So let me start with some background:

Why get a chemical peel?

  • There are multiple benefits to chemical peels but in short, it helps resurface the skin – be it to smooth out the texture of your skin, improve the evenness/tone of your complexion, or help clear up inflammation or scars from acne

When to get a chemical peel?

  • Given the solutions involved and that skin is more sensitive after a peel, I’d recommend getting one when you don’t plan on being in the sun. Therefore, this time of year (in the Northeast) is perfect as you’re less likely to be out in the sun. If you live in a climate with more sun or if you want to do one in the Spring/Summer when we’re move likely to be outdoors, you absolutely need to do your best to avoid the sun after treatment  for a few days (if not longer if redness or sensitivity persists) – wear a hat, put on the sunglasses, and still apply a good SPF as your skin is more susceptible to burning
  • If you want to do one before a big event (say a wedding or a reunion etc.) get one a few weeks out so that, should you have any adverse side effects like peeling or extreme sensitivity, you have time to heal. Also, many people suggest signing up for a series of peels that are spaced out over time so that you can see a more dramatic difference and keep up the good effects

My experience:

It was a shorter appointment than my standard 60 minute facial. It started with a good cleansing and then we got right down to business. Yanna, my favorite aesthetician of all time, applied the chemical peel solution to my face and décolleté with a cotton pad. An intense slightly citrusy, slightly chemically smell filled my nose – I had a brief moment when I almost panicked because it was ALL I could smell! It was thick and intense smelling…and legit invaded my nose and wouldn’t leave. Then I realized I could breathe out of my mouth (phew) and that made it easier to get fresh air into my lungs! Yanna also fanned me with a towel to dry the solution and waft some of the scent away. That was helpful!

How’d it feel? Stingy. Especially on my chin – it felt like little mini pacmen were eating up the dead skin on my chin – at least, that’s what I pictured.  It stung on my nose where I had a fresh pimple. But the stinging subsided within a couple minutes. It was totally bearable.

Following this, Yanna applied a pumpkin enzyme mask which sat on my face and décolleté for a few minutes – she massaged my forearms and hands during this part which was lovely!

Once this was washed off, Yanna used a few different vitamins and essential oils to coat my skin. She didn’t rub or massage it in too crazy – I assume because my skin was too sensitive at this stage.

Within 35 minutes, we were done. I was glowing, quite literally. See for yourself!

: the no make-up, post peel look – glowy and slightly blotchy – taken in the ladies locker room aka judgment free zone

The no make-up, post peel look – Glowy and slightly blotchy – Taken in the ladies locker room aka judgment free zone

She told me I’d notice results right away but the full effect would take shape over the next couple days. I’m going to share another picture in a few days to show progress. Today is only day 1 and I’m not seeing anything dramatic yet. Which is both good and bad – I didn’t want to look weird today or super red/irritated (which I don’t, phew) – but I also want to see some noticeable, positive results!

So, what did it cost? It ran me $100 + tip. I thought this was quite reasonable.

After my treatment, I waited for my husband to pick me up – I decided to grab a drink in the lobby of the hotel (I had my treatment at the hotel spa). I’m not one to dine or drink alone, ever – probably because I’m self-conscious (maybe immature?) either way, I felt empowered to sit down and have myself a good ole glass of champagne.  My first chemical peel and my first solo glass of champagne in a hotel bar – I was feeling classy.  I will say, I was super greasy and my hair kept sticking to my face which was irritating me – but the champagne helped melt my cares away. I went home, didn’t touch my face, and fell asleep on the couch with my husband and dogs.  How sheek, right?

Got any specific questions for me – just ask! And if you’ve tried a chemical peel before – please share your experience, I’m curious how other people feel about them!

my first, official, solo-in-a-hotel-lobby glass of champagne

My first, official, solo-in-a-hotel-lobby glass of champagne!

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