Alright… I’m not one to post photos of myself on my blog, but I felt like this was an important post to really strip down and show my face for. I hope these pictures help any worry-worts out there who recently got a chemical peel (or are considering it).
Please for those of you with sensitive stomachs- avert your eyes.
…….No really it’s not pretty……..
For all others, feast your eyes upon the stages of a chemical peel…. (no makeup and no shame)
Okay, not so much.
I got my peel done almost 16 days before my big day from Annie Chiu at the Derm Institute in Redondo Beach. (For those of you in the area looking for a dermatologist, I HIGHLY recommend her. She is very thoughtful and takes a lot of time with each patient) I had a peel from her once before, but it was less deep than this one. I kind of remembered the drill- but after my skin started getting tight the day after the procedure, I knew this would be a different story.
Because of the pending nuptials, I documented my process throughout the process to gauge my healing. I wish I had a before the procedure shot. Sorry guys!
What is a chemical peel?
I love this explanation from Birchbox, especially because I specifically sought out that Sex and the City Episode they reference (p.s. it’s in Season 5)- “If the term “face peel” makes you want to back slowly out of the room, we have news for you. Sure, we’ve all heard horror stories and seen the Sex and the City episode where a blotchy-faced Samantha dons a black veil after a treatment goes awry. But when done right, face peels can work wonders on some of the most frustrating complexion issues, from acne to uneven skin tone.”
“Face peels remove top layers of skin to exfoliate and expedite cell turnover. When new cells are formed, this creates a new layer of skin—one that is fresh and smooth. Face peels can improve skin’s texture, even skin tone, minimize fine lines, and clear up acne by unclogging pores.“
That’s pretty much it.
A few things I learned from my chemical peel:
1. They are serious when they say “Don’t pick.” I know it’s so tempting to pull of the layers of hanging skin, but don’t do it. I couldn’t help myself, and those are the spots on my face that took the longest to heel.
3. The results are worth having people stare. They’ll get over it and when you heal it’s totally worth it!
4. Do NOT lock yourself at home or worry about what people think.
5. Ignore the concerned looks. (Notice that I refer to that a bit?)
6. Wear sunscreen- every second of the day. Even when you’re just driving to the store or sitting at home. THIS IS IMPORTANT!
Since I work as a reporter, I had to be in the public quite often for council meetings and even a couple of election debates and city events- so I had to get over people staring at my face pretty quickly. I noticed that the people I know felt like they could ask what happened (sometimes kind of rudely), while people I work with outside of the office tried their best not to stare and continued talking to me normally… I know they were wondering what happened, but most didn’t say anything.
[Actually conversation with a coworker- “I guess that’s one of the perks of getting married, you can look like shit and they still have to love you.” BTW the boy got an explanation, but he continued to say, “I think you always look great!” Bull shit, but still sweet.]
I guess since I live in California a lot of people must have just assumed I got a really bad sunburn! I really appreciated the people who just ignored it and didn’t make any comments… On the third day (and one of the must crinkly face looking) the boy and I watched a movie at home with our neighbor, who normally likes to crack jokes at me, but this time he didn’t say a word. That’s how I knew it looked serious.
A couple of things I would recommend for anybody considering a peel
1. Get it from someone you trust. There are at-home treatments out there, but please get it done by a professional.
2. The price point may be higher than you think, but it’s worth it.
3. Leave a little wiggle room for it to completely heal for special events.
After the peel (and my wedding and honeymoon) I walked into the office and everybody commented on how I looked ‘glowing,’ and really- my skin looks pretty good. Any past acne spots are completely healed, a few of my darker sun spots have lightened significantly and many are completely gone. I noticed that the area on the left side of my forehead (where I part my hair) that previously had a lot of sun spots because of past sunburns is almost completely evened out. The only thing I’d do would do differently would be to get it done four weeks before my wedding instead of a little more than two. On my wedding day (final photo) my skin was still slightly red and a few spots on my cheeks still had to heal.
So there you go – a no makeup, skin flaking off my face account with pictures of my experience with a chemical peel. I hope it helps anybody going through one or considering having the procedure done. I would definitely recommend it… just get it done properly!
*Please note this is about my experience with a chemical peel from a dermatologist. No doctors have been consulted to review this post*