Cosmetic Peels – My Secret Addiction
I have to admit to you, here on the eve of going to have my face peeled with acid, that I have flushed thousands of dollars down the dermatologist/medspa/cosmetic surgeon toilet, merely to find out that my outer shell is made of something other than mere human skin. I am special, I am mutant, I am screwed … yes, it appears that I am covered in some sort of tough, crusty, impervious hide.
My elephant hide is probably the reason why lasers that promise to tart up the texture of my skin have failed so utterly and completely. Microdermabrasion? Nothing. Facials and glycolic acid peels and RetinA? Mmmmm … not so much. So although IPLs managed to take care of my pigment issues, nothing has been able to make a dent in the actual decaying surface of my hide … until I found the TCA peel.
I originally looked into a TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) peel because my mother in law – who looks fabulous at 73 – had one done 20 years ago and … did I mention that she looks fabulous? She said it was the most painful thing she ever did, that her face looked like hamburger for weeks … and that she would do it again in a heartbeat. You know what I said? Freaking sign me up!
They don’t do TCA peels as strong as the one my MIL got (goddamn FDA) but I assured my medspa aesthetician that I wanted to look like raw meat so, you know, bring the rain. In spite of this, the first time I got one, she went (like they always do with acids because they’re afraid of blistering the shit of you) light. Way too light. She kept asking if I felt hot or burned but, really, I felt nothing. Nothing! She was shocked and was sure that I would blister up later and peel and look radiant. Uhhh … no. A little dry skin maybe. Clearly, she did not know about my mutant elephant hide.
She’s cool, though, and she was as disappointed as I was. So the next time? She brought the rain …and the pain! As it turns out, two layers of a 35% solution, left on for a long time, will eventually pierce my hide. It burned and smoldered and smoked and, when she neutralized it, it felt like eleventy-seven hundred sharp razors were cutting into my skin. It worked! In fact, I blistered before I left the office Hallelujah! Two days later, I peeled like the worst sunburn you ever had in high school when you still called it “sunbathing” and were too dumb to use sunscreen and instead used baby oil or that yummy, orange Bain de Soleil goo. I peeled right down to my cleavage. Three days after that, I peeled again. Outstanding!
Tomorrow morning, I go back for the next round of three… and I’m taking a Vicodin so I can go just a little deeper. (Is there a 12 step program for this? I’m not entirely sure that I sound sane right now …)
For the record, here’s what normal people are trying to correct with the (very affordable) TCA peel:
Medium chemical peels are highly effective in promoting skin smoothness and vitality. They also improve superficial discoloration and eliminate fine wrinkles. It may improve blotches and can sometimes improve dark circles under your eyes. Medium peels may be repeated every three to six months for optimal results. Medium peels do not treat acne scarring or dynamic wrinkles.