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My experience with an at-home 15% TCA peel (pictures before, during and after)


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#Post 1 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 01:54 PM

DISCLAIMER:

Don´t try this at home, kids!

I´m a somewhat experienced at-home chemical peel user. I routinely use 40% glycolic & 65% lactic acid peels. With TCA, I started out with 8% 2 years ago, and over time worked my way up to 4 layers of 8%. After a year long or so break, I started with a 1 layer 15% TCA peel. Next I did a 2 layer peel. The pictures below are from my 2nd 2 layer peel. As you will see in the pictures, I tolerate 1 layer with almost no frosting at all. 2 layers (each layer gives the peel a 25% strength boost I believe) is as far as I´m willing to go, because I don´t want to take chances. Stronger is not always better!

 

If you want to try a TCA peel at home, please do extensive research online. Use an appropriate prep regimen of Retin-A or glycolic acid serum to ensure thorough & even penetration of the acid. However, the prep regiment may also cause the peel to go a bit deeper, so for a first try with a low %, a prep regiment is not necessarily needed.

Please purchase the peel solution from a reputable seller (I recommend makeupartistschoice.com). Follow instructions closely, and always start out with the lowest %. A patch test is always a good idea. Use neosporin/bacitracin for 48h after the peel. Never pick at flaking/peeling skin! And finally, sunscreen is a must for several weeks after the peel (but then again, sunscreen should be a must year round anyway)

 

The pictures may be a bit a scary, but I figured it may be interesting for people to see. Remember this is just MY experience. I´ve used milder peels in the past, and I appear to have quite "tough" skin. Some people even get a lot of irritation & pain from a much lower % of TCA!

I don´t want to advertise at-home TCA peels in this strength at all, getting this done professionally is great if you have any kind of doubts about safety & potential risks. But I think TCA peels are a great way to improve your skintone AFTER you tried milder treatments.

 

 

BEFORE:

This is after de-greasing the skin with alcohol to ensure even penetration of the acid & applying Vaseline to lips, around eyes and nostrils for protection. This is the best picture I could take, sorry! I do have minor, but stubborn, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on my cheeks from cystic acne a few years ago, which you can´t see I think. That is the main reason for me doing these peels. Milder peels & Retin-A use have improved my skin, but the residual stubborn dark marks respond best to TCA peels in my case!!!

 

before.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER 1st LAYER OF 15% TCA:

 

I experienced (as expected) significant burning & a feeling of heat on my face (aiming a blow drier on low setting and cool temperature helps!), but only minimal redness. Two spots on my face (middle of forehead, and side of chin) frosted.

 

1st.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER 2nd LAYER OF 15% TCA: (2nd layer applied 5min after 1st layer)

 

I experienced significant redness as well as a feeling of heat on my face. I got a pretty even coat of frosting almost everywhere on my face, which is a desired effect of TCA. It looks like a white cast (as on my cheeks & chin) or white dots (forehead) on top of the redness on your skin. There are different levels of frosting - a deeper, professionally done peel can even cause the skin to appear solid white.

I look sad because you are supposed to keep a straight face during the peel. It actually felt like my cheeks would crack open if I had attempted a smile! Also, the pain & the smell of the acid made my eyes tear up lol. Also, my face was extremely painful to the touch!

 

Btw, when you frost, you do not apply another coat, which is why I left out the areas that already frosted after my 1st layer. When you achieve a nice level of frosting (which is a result of the denaturation of the keratin in the skin), this is the end-point of the peel. It´s not absolutely necessary to frost (lower % TCA peels more than likely won´t cause frosting because they don´t penetrate deeply enough), but frosting may lead to better results.

 

2nd.JPG

 

2nd.JPG

 

 

(In the picture below I had splashed my face with cool water, which helps the redness & pain to subside faster)

 

2nd.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER: (about 30min after the application of the 2nd layer)

 

The frosting is completely gone, the redness has subsided quite a bit. I would expect my skintone to be back to normal in about 90min after the peel (like it was after my last peel). The pain is entirely gone, I can touch my skin with no problems. And I can smile again now

As recommended, I applied a coat of neosporin to my face after taking this picture.

 

after.jpg

 

 

 

I will continue to post pictures in this thread, but they won´t be very exciting. My skin will start flaking (and peel in some areas) in about 2-3 days from today, and get tight & crepey before it starts flaking. From past experience, my skin will flake for at least 7 days.

 

Even though some pictures in this thread may be a bit scary, a 15% TCA peel is considered to be in the low to medium range (in professional terms at least believe?), and therefore will cause only flaking and light peeling.




#Post 2 of 143 OFFLINE   Kraezinsane

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 02:28 PM

I have heard of peels and such but what are they for? Why would you use them and what is the desired effect? Do different peels do different things or are there just different ways of achieving the same end?

 

I really appreciate you doing this as I have been very curious about peels and such.



#Post 3 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 03:02 PM



Originally Posted by Kraezinsane View Post

I have heard of peels and such but what are they for? Why would you use them and what is the desired effect? Do different peels do different things or are there just different ways of achieving the same end?

 

I really appreciate you doing this as I have been very curious about peels and such.


I think all chemical peels do kind of the same thing (exfoliate, stimulate collagen production). But peels that go deeper (like TCA) can also improve skintone, hyperpigmentation, fine wrinkles etc better than milder peeling agents like glycolic, lactic acid etc.These mild peels don´t typically cause any flaking or peeling, they lead to micro-exfoliation and can be used as a "lunch time peels" in low-medium concentrations. TCA on the other hand will cause actual flaking or peeling, and it´s associated with some social downtime because of that, and more risks. But generally, all peeling agents are safe if you follow instructions closely.



#Post 4 of 143 OFFLINE   Kraezinsane

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 03:06 PM

Thanks! I will definitely be checking up on this thread!



#Post 5 of 143 OFFLINE   katana

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 04:44 PM

Thank for shring your photos Andi!

 

I am very interested in peels, except I don't know very much about them. You are definetly the go to girl, on this.

 

I am just getting into facial peels and would like to start with something gentle.

Would you recommond a Lactic acid peel or Glycolic peel?

 

I have normal skin. Not dry, not oily, very clear.

Same age as you.

At the moment I am not using a facial mositurizer.....never really have, I know, I know, very bad!



#Post 6 of 143 OFFLINE   divadoll

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 08:33 PM

You can purchase lactic acid more cheaply than you can glycolic acid.  I made my own 30% lactic acid peel from buying a jug of lactic acid from Lotioncrafters.  I also bought and made my own glycolic acid but it costs 8-10x more.  I did find that glycolic was gentler for me than lactic.  My skin is very sensitive and probably too sensitive to even try the TCA peel.  At 30% acid, my skin had scabbed over and kinda lightly crusted when I had done a 2nd coating. It took 3 or 4 days before the scabbing peeled off.  A 40% concentration had actually ate away some of my skin and left me with a small scar on the corner of my right cheek. 

 

You should always wear moisturizer under foundation.  It puts a barrier between your makeup and your skin.


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill

#Post 7 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:23 AM

Hm, I just checked makeupartistschoice, and the lowest % kit of glycolic is actually cheaper than lactic acid on there, and both are the same size.

 

I always read that lactic acid is more gentle, but I too like glycolic better. You can go either way really, if you pick the lowest %. I know the website I mentioned offers sample sizes (of all strengths) as well, so you can try out both options before buying a full size.



#Post 8 of 143 OFFLINE   xjackie83

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 07:49 AM

thanks for this awesome thread!  I am very interested in trying peels to help with my freckles and to even skin tone.  It's nice to see the pictures.  It shows how powerful the acids are and you have to be careful and know what you're doing.



#Post 9 of 143 OFFLINE   silly rabbit

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:45 PM

please don't peel your skin, as a doctor told me that nothing comes close to the original layer of the skin.  peeling it with hard acids isn't safe.  Our skin peels it self regularly  so we don't need it.

Plus the outer layer is supposed to be thicker so it can protects the inner layers.  With peeling you've damaged the protecting layer.


I've compared your before and after and they look similar.  You have good skin why go the harsh way?

Skin of the face and neck are extremely delicate.  Plus we are still young, our inner organs are still young and fresh and able to do their work properly and make our skin great.

The skin gets more of its glow from inner care (food..etc) very little from outside (creams...etc) even if the results are fast.  We're talking 10-20-30 years in the future.



If you have problems, pigmentation...etc I recommend visiting a dermatologist to prescribe on spot treatments for the problem (no peeling of course)

Also would like to add that skin problems takes months and months to be treated and get everything back to normal, never think it would go right a way.


And again Laser has now done wonders to us from removing wrinkles to tighting skins and removing tattoos.



Not trying t be harsh, but just want everyone to have good skin in a long term.


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#Post 10 of 143 OFFLINE   divadoll

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:53 PM



Originally Posted by silly rabbit View Post

please don't peel your skin, as a doctor told me that nothing comes close to the original layer of the skin.  peeling it with hard acids isn't safe.  Our skin peels it self regularly  so we don't need it.

Plus the outer layer is supposed to be thicker so it can protects the inner layers.  With peeling you've damaged the protecting layer.


I've compared your before and after and they look similar.  You have good skin why go the harsh way?

Skin of the face and neck are extremely delicate.  Plus we are still young, our inner organs are still young and fresh and able to do their work properly and make our skin great.

The skin gets more of its glow from inner care (food..etc) very little from outside (creams...etc) even if the results are fast.  We're talking 10-20-30 years in the future.



If you have problems, pigmentation...etc I recommend visiting a dermatologist to prescribe on spot treatments for the problem (no peeling of course)

Also would like to add that skin problems takes months and months to be treated and get everything back to normal, never think it would go right a way.


And again Laser has now done wonders to us from removing wrinkles to tighting skins and removing tattoos.



Not trying t be harsh, but just want everyone to have good skin in a long term.

I think that its obvious that Andi knows what she is doing and is comfortable with what she is doing as she has been doing this for a long time. You can't rely on nature to do its job if we are constantly adding oils and creams and wearing makeup that prevent the natural exfoliation of the skin on your face.  You need some help especially if you have some blemish scarring and hyperpigmentation that would fade with a deeper exfoliation like an acid peel. 

 

Lasers have their limitations because you can't use it on darker skin.  You can't remove white ink from a tattoo using lasers.
 


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill

#Post 11 of 143 OFFLINE   Chicken351

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 10:11 PM

Great Thread, Thanks for posting your pictures. I didn't really understand much about peels until now. Can't wait to see more pictures and hear more about it! 



#Post 12 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 01:39 AM



Originally Posted by divadoll View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by silly rabbit View Post

please don't peel your skin, as a doctor told me that nothing comes close to the original layer of the skin.  peeling it with hard acids isn't safe.  Our skin peels it self regularly  so we don't need it.

Plus the outer layer is supposed to be thicker so it can protects the inner layers.  With peeling you've damaged the protecting layer.


I've compared your before and after and they look similar.  You have good skin why go the harsh way?

Skin of the face and neck are extremely delicate.  Plus we are still young, our inner organs are still young and fresh and able to do their work properly and make our skin great.

The skin gets more of its glow from inner care (food..etc) very little from outside (creams...etc) even if the results are fast.  We're talking 10-20-30 years in the future.



If you have problems, pigmentation...etc I recommend visiting a dermatologist to prescribe on spot treatments for the problem (no peeling of course)

Also would like to add that skin problems takes months and months to be treated and get everything back to normal, never think it would go right a way.


And again Laser has now done wonders to us from removing wrinkles to tighting skins and removing tattoos.



Not trying t be harsh, but just want everyone to have good skin in a long term.

I think that its obvious that Andi knows what she is doing and is comfortable with what she is doing as she has been doing this for a long time. You can't rely on nature to do its job if we are constantly adding oils and creams and wearing makeup that prevent the natural exfoliation of the skin on your face.  You need some help especially if you have some blemish scarring and hyperpigmentation that would fade with a deeper exfoliation like an acid peel. 

 

Lasers have their limitations because you can't use it on darker skin.  You can't remove white ink from a tattoo using lasers.
 

 

I think chemical peels scare a lot of people, especially if they don´t know a lot about them. They think about what happened to Samantha on Sex & The City lol. When people see me with my flaking skin after a TCA peel they ask what happened. And when I tell them what I did they usually freak out and ask me why I´m "damaging my skin" lol.

I do indeed not have bad skin, but the before pictures make my skin look better than it is. I could have also done just a spot-treatment peel on my areas of concern, a lot of people do it this way. But either way, I have achieved enough improvement to decide that this might be my last TCA peel in this strength (that´s why I started this thread), until lines & wrinkles become an issue in the (hopefully far away) future.

 

That´s why I stated that I have explored all other options to improve my skintone before, including Retin-A, milder peeling agents and 4% hydroquinone cream (which faded the few sunspots I had beautifully, but didn´t really have any effect on the PIH). And I don´t recommend anyone to do this at home unless you have explored all other options and have read up on anything there is to know. If you have the money and know a great dermatologist, get this done professionally.

When I realized I had reached the end-point of milder treatments, I decided to take the next step. I´m a medical graduate and have been reading into aesthetic dermatology procedures for quite some time. Of course I´m no dermatologist myself, but there are very few dermatologists in my (rural) state that do any kind of peel, laser etc. But eiter way, this is still not a strong peel, and the reactions that happened on my face were to be expected, even though I admit they look scary. It really is "controlled injury" of the skin. I have done all of this before, with visible results, no scarring or hyperpigmentation.

 

And actually, the peeling agents I have used have been shown to be safe! Not every peeling agent is safe for everybody, but with my very light skintone & not very sensitive skin I´m on the safe side compared to people with other skintypes and skintones. And while exfoliation isn´t necessary for the skin, low % chemical peels (or serums) can help clear blackheads, exfoliate dull looking skin and be a wonderful addition to an anti-aging regimen. If you have other skin issues, peels can also show great improvement. There is really no need to be scared of them, if your skin doesn´t tolerate them, then simply don´t do it!
 



#Post 13 of 143 OFFLINE   silly rabbit

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 02:09 AM

Its your skin at he end. Nothing to lose here.

 

http://www.copywriterskitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/peeled-apple.jpg  http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/dina/PublishingImages/apple-full.jpg



#Post 14 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:09 AM

UPDATE - Day 2 post peel:

 

My skin is starting to feel "tight" all over, and looks shiny. When I wrinkle my forehead the crepey skin becomes more obvious. It´s pretty funny looking, and gives me an idea of how I´ll look once I have actual wrinkles on my face.

Other than that there´s not much to see or tell.

 

DSCN0331.JPG



#Post 15 of 143 OFFLINE   divadoll

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:24 PM



Originally Posted by Andi View Post

Hm, I just checked makeupartistschoice, and the lowest % kit of glycolic is actually cheaper than lactic acid on there, and both are the same size.

 

I always read that lactic acid is more gentle, but I too like glycolic better. You can go either way really, if you pick the lowest %. I know the website I mentioned offers sample sizes (of all strengths) as well, so you can try out both options before buying a full size.


I'll have to check there next time.  I think glycolic makes me less itchy. 


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill

#Post 16 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:38 AM

DAY 3:

The areas that you naturally move most usually peel first. That´s usually the chin, because the area is stretched everytime you open your mouth to talk and eat. I even felt the dead skin layer crack open when I opened my mouth a bit too wide to floss after I had brushed my teeth. In the picture below you can see that the skin cracked open on it´s own.

The rest of my face is shiny, tight and wrinkly in some areas (forehead), and a bit brownish and leathery-looking in other areasy (cheeks)

 

DSCN0341.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 4:

My chin has almost finished peeling, the tempes and inner cheeks are starting to peel. My forehead is always the last area to peel, and right now it´s extremely shiny and "dead looking". When I wrinkle my forehead, I look about 60 years old 

 

DSCN0343.jpg



#Post 17 of 143 OFFLINE   bronze_chiqz

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:06 AM

andi, u know something? Without the TCA peel itself, ur face look sooooo clear on ur pic before the treatment starts!!Im jelous now :P


29 yrs old ( hitting flirty thirty soon)
nc42-43~Acne Prone / Sensitive skin~ Malaysian living in France! :)

#Post 18 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:25 AM



Originally Posted by bronze_chiqz View Post

andi, u know something? Without the TCA peel itself, ur face look sooooo clear on ur pic before the treatment starts!!Im jelous now :P



Thanks, my skin is always clear now, thanks to Diane mite. But I have the type of skin where every single blemish (especially the cystic pimples I got before I decided to take Diane mite) leaves a dark mark. I´m sure it doesn´t help that I´m so pale that a dark mark will naturally show up more. It was an annoying process to treat them, but I´m finally happy with my skin now that all those marks are gone.



#Post 19 of 143 OFFLINE   newmakemom

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 02:18 PM

Wow Andi!

 

I'm an African American female that has SEVERE hyperpigmentation. Of ANY of the pictures you posted I would love to have that clear of skin. After taking birth control, picking my skin...even to the point it hurts (I know I have a problem but working on it & have to wear fake nails to limit it) and having a Dr prescribe hydroquoine(sp) my skin is extremely damaged. Peels sorta scare me.  Using toners after washing my face burns so I know I wouldn't be able to tolerate a peel...lol. Trying to find a dermatologist that I have faith in that will actually get me results.

 

As anyone knows if you don't feel confident in who you are & what u present to people it shows. I wish u much luck & hopefully u will get the results u want. I applaud u in doing extensive research and not just jumping into something.



#Post 20 of 143 OFFLINE   Andi

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 02:49 PM



Originally Posted by newmakemom View Post

Wow Andi!

 

I'm an African American female that has SEVERE hyperpigmentation. Of ANY of the pictures you posted I would love to have that clear of skin. After taking birth control, picking my skin...even to the point it hurts (I know I have a problem but working on it & have to wear fake nails to limit it) and having a Dr prescribe hydroquoine(sp) my skin is extremely damaged. Peels sorta scare me.  Using toners after washing my face burns so I know I wouldn't be able to tolerate a peel...lol. Trying to find a dermatologist that I have faith in that will actually get me results.

 

As anyone knows if you don't feel confident in who you are & what u present to people it shows. I wish u much luck & hopefully u will get the results u want. I applaud u in doing extensive research and not just jumping into something.

Sounds like your skin is irritated by the hydroquinone. How long have you been using it? And yes I agree, anyone with truly sensitive skin (or skin that is being irritated by other treatments) probably should never do a peel. The irritation would outway the possible benefits.

I did finally get my skin almost to a point where I probably can´t get any more improvement. Sadly, big pores don´t react to peels lol. My skin isn´t perfect and probably never will be, but it was a lot worse before I did all the peels and Retin-A so I´m pretty happy with the end result.