I was able to test out a Rejuvenize Peel by SkinMedica yesterday at my dermatologist’s office, and I agreed to chart my daily progress so they could see how it worked on a patient. (Yay for being a guinea pig!)
Day One (2/13):
First, Heather cleansed my skin with warm water and soap before prepping it with a strong rubbing alcohol (at least that’s what it smelled like). Then she began applying the actual peel with a cotton ball. Depending on your face size, you could get a number of “passes”, or times she’ll run the chemicals over your entire face. A reputable place will use the entire bottle (it’s small), while Heather told me other spas will sometimes only do one “pass” (which is a rip off, since you’re effectively paying for an entire bottle). She let it sit for a minute between applications, and then once the peel solution was gone, she used another bottle to neutralize it.
This peel was a little more painful (initially) than other peels I’ve had. Think about the strongest astringent you’ve ever had (that tingling, burning, clean feeling) and combine it with a sunburn. That’s the pain level. Good news is that it lasts maybe five minutes initially, during which hopefully you get a little handheld fan to help take your mind off how it feels. But, don’t let the pain factor dissuade you–I’m being honest when I say it’s pretty uncomfortable, but you won’t be rolling on the floor or crying or anything.
Other peels left me with a faint yellowish tan tinge, while this one had me much more red and blotchy. (Like, bright, noticeable red.) Because I’m vain and didn’t want children to run away from me crying, Heather gave me a little mineral makeup to even things out. (Only apply mineral makeup on top–no foundation or moisturizers or anything!) I totally planned to go to J.Crew right after, but then I thought about rush hour traffic and decided to go home early.
This is a procedure you could easily get done during the day and be fine to go back to work (or wherever). I would recommend having some kind of mineral makeup just in case you get super blotchy like I did.
I won’t wash my face or get it wet for the rest of the day. It’s normally like six hours to wait before doing this, but Heather recommended I just sleep in it and wash it off tomorrow. My skin feels tight, but it’s not painful.
You can see the weird discoloration, and the flaking on my chin and cheeks–although I think the flaking is from having wicked dry skin.
Day 1.5 (2 AM 2/14)
I woke up in the middle of last night, and I never wanted to tear my face off so much. It was this hellish combination of burning and itching–like the worst sunburn of my life. I tried that thing where I scratched with the pads of my fingers, but then I felt guilty and stopped. I ended up getting a cold washcloth and laying it on my skin until I fell back asleep. At least it’s only mostly on my chin and jawline. I don’t know if I could handle that sensation on my entire face.
Day 2 (2/14) (6:30 AM)
The burning/itching sensation is still here. My face feels hot too–exactly like when I’m sunburned. As you can tell from the pictures, I look terrible too. The last few chemical peels, I could throw some mineral makeup on top and be fine, but right now, I can’t bear the thought of anything else touching my skin. I had to grit my teeth and get through a light application of Aveeno Ultra-Sensitive lotion, but that feels like I did nothing.
I just have to keep reminding myself that the worse it hurts, the better the results will be. (So sayeth Google.) Time to drive to work pressing an icepack to my face. I’ve already called ahead and arranged for caffeine to be AT my desk so that I don’t have to traipse through the halls looking like a sunburned mummy. Good thing I sit in the corner of the office where no one sees me.
This was a few minutes after waking up. No makeup, for the win. Also, you can see how red I am–especially around my mouth (where she applied Vaseline to protect my lips) and under my eyes.
Update (8 AM)
Maybe I’m being a little bit of a baby about this. If I focus on other things, the discomfort level kind of subsides. I guess it helps I have an icepack though.
My coworker fetches me some water and Advil to help with the pain/inflammation. He says I don’t look that bad. I think he is being very kind. I was also gifted with an ice cold, sugar free Monster (my FAVORITE!), which I promptly pressed against my face.
I’m supposed to get some Valentine’s Day sushi tonight, but I feel so swollen than I can barely open my mouth. I know this is all expected because I’m pretty much burning away the top layer of my skin, and every time I’ve done it, my skin’s come out looking better. BUT STILL. OUCH!
BEAUTY IS PAIN, PEOPLE.