When we last left off, I was still completely miserable. I spent all of Friday morning hiding in my cube, and because I came in so early, I left around noon. I did a conference call for work from my kitchen island (holding my precious Diet Coke cans to my face), and then went upstairs to try to take a nap.
I actually slept! I was pretty excited. When I woke up, a lot of the pain was gone. It was still uncomfortable, but that burning/stinging sensation was gone.
Now, my face just felt extremely tight. It also was very scaly to touch. The redness went down a lot, but when I tried to apply some lotion, it still hurt a lot. So, I washed it off and just let it relax.
Obviously, I spent Friday night at home playing video games.
Saturday, February 16
I slept a full, happy night! I was so relieved–even though I’d taken a nap, I was pretty exhausted from not sleeping for two days.
I woke up without any pain or burning (hooray!) but my skin was incredibly tight. It felt like I was wearing a mask of paper and glue.
Very carefully, I took some lukewarm water and washed my face. As I washed, a lot of the dead skin started to rub off in little balls. I was very careful to not pull or rip at the skin, but just used the pads of my fingers in really gentle circles. I did this for about five minutes, and when I got out of the shower, my skin was bright red again.
I layered on a super thick moisturizer (my first time), and let it sit for about thirty seconds before wiping it off. Again, my skin did not like anything besides water touching it, but at this point, it was so dry I felt like I needed something.
I had grand plans to spend my entire Saturday at home feeling sorry for myself, but then my parents called for brunch. I cannot resist brunch (or my family!) so I decided to try to face the world.
My skin hurt too badly when I put sunscreen on, so I compromised with giant glasses and a scarf to wind around my head against the sun. (Sidenote: Your new skin is extremely sensitive to sun. Burning would be really detrimental at this point, so if you can’t bear the thought of rubbing lotion on your face, make sure you cover up as much as possible!)
I also tried to apply a little bit of Bare Minerals powder to where I was really red. It didn’t do a lot, and my skin flaked it all off really unattractively.
After brunch, I went back home and tried to relax. By now, my skin was so tight that it was almost painful again. (But, nowhere near my pain from a few days earlier. It was like a 2 on the pain scale.) I kept splashing my face with water every ten minutes, and I also probably drank like two gallons of water in an attempt to hydrate from the inside.
I decided to skip my Valentine’s Day dinner (wah!) because my skin was so tight that I couldn’t really open my mouth. Also, I didn’t want to deal with people looking at my face. I know it’s vain, but I always feel so put together that not being able to do my makeup was making me really self conscious.
I had church on Sunday morning, and I didn’t think God would like me skipping because I felt ugly. Haha.
I did another round of gently scrubbing my face, only this time, I actually used a little Noxema. A lot of the dead skin was off, and I felt so free!
I tried wearing a little makeup for the first time in like five days, and this was my end result:
Looks so much better, right?! The majority of the pain and tightness was gone, which made me thrilled. I was so happy to look normal again.
My makeup only looked good for like a half hour though. Halfway during service, my face got so dry I couldn’t concentrate. I felt like I had to sit on my hands to keep from scratching at my skin. I eventually went out the back to the bathroom and splashed some water on my face. After lunch, I went home and did another round of face washing, and was pretty happy when my cleaner didn’t make my face burn. I added a very gentle scrub. I made little circles on my rough patches very, very gently. (Like I was massaging a baby rabbit or something.)
By now, I had patches of smooth, happy skin with only a few spots of scales. I did one more round of face washing before bed, and I slept great!
The pain and agony of the first few days seem like a distant memory. I still have some dry, scaly spots, but I just make sure to wash my face and moisturize really well before I use makeup. I had off work for President’s Day, so I lazed around my house all day. It was good timing that my skin was feeling better because I had a camera test shoot at 6 PM and a birthday dinner after that.
Here’s how my skin looked (with makeup)
Nothing new to report. I still have a few rough patches (mostly around my mouth and at my temples), but overall, I feel 100 times better. I think my cheeks are probably going to have another round of peeling though–they’re starting to feel rough again.
My skin’s still a little pink, but that angry red color is gone. Also, I’m not swollen anymore. I’ll probably go home after work and do another round of face washing to work at some of the major dead skin areas.
Also, in case you’re interested, here’s my makeup routine after a chemical peel!
1. Wash face with a very gentle cleanser. Use tiny circular motions to get rid of the dead skin, but be very gentle! Your skin is very sad right now.
2. Use a thick moisturizer. I used a huge glob Garnier’s Extreme Moisture Gel (it’s pink!) and let it just hang out on top of my face for like five minutes to soak in. Then I wiped off the rest.
3. BB Cream with SPF. I use Boscia’s version–which is light and fluffy. It’s a good moisturizing base that also offers sunscreen protection. I let that set for a minute while I straighten my hair.
4. Dust with Bare Minerals. Another layer of sun protection, plus it helps even out your discoloration and redness.
I would keep a little bit of lotion and powder in your purse for touch ups!