Originally Posted by JillyB
This has been super helpful! Thank you so much for posting this Andi.
3 days ago I did my first 20% TCA peel and like you have tough skin. I did one layer, and never saw frosting (was being careful as it was my first time). I am now beginning to see light peeling on my chin and and around my mouth. The rest of my face is tight and wrinkley, I assume there is more peeling to come!
I was reading about your skin care regimen and was curious about the prep. Prior to my first peel, I was using a lightening cream (without hydroquinone) and a gel with AHA in it. I believe you recommended using Retin-A, do you recommend any other prep products to use in conjunction? I also use a clarisonic once daily, I discontinued using it about 3 days before the peel and am anxious to start using it on my face again, do you know or have any recommendations on this and when I can begin to use it again?
As for the aftercare and maintenance, do you recommend regular retin-A and salycilic acid use? Do you recommend alternating TCA with a glycolic peel? Finally, do you have any experience with or recommendations on benzoyle peroxide?
Your thoughts are much appreciated!
I meant to say that I believe a prep to a professional, in-office peel usually consists of Retin-A (and sometimes hydroquinone as well). From what I've read, a lot of people use AHAs for prep if they can't tolerate Retin-A or don't have a prescription for it. What's the strength of your AHA gel? The thing is, the better/more intense the prep regimen is, the deeper the peel will penetrate. So it's up to you to decide if you want your peel to penetrate deeper. For a first try, it's always a good idea to maybe even skip the prep regimen or just use a gentle chemical exfoliant, because you won't know yet how the peel reacts with your skin.
It's definitely a good idea that you stopped using the Clarisonic 3 days before the peel! I would give your skin several days (if not a week) after your skin is fully done peeling to use the Clarisonic again. It's a way of mechanical exfoliation, and on freshly peeled skin, there is no dead skin there that the Clarisonic could exfoliate, if that makes sense. I usually waited about 5 days after I had completely stopped peeling to start using Retin-A again.
Regular Retin-A use is definitely great if your skin can tolerate it (and many people can, for some it just takes a lot of trial to find the right strength and application frequency). There is tons of research about the benefits of tretinoin, which is why it's a dermatologist favorite. Salicylic acid is great too, I use a 2% leave on salicylic acid gel as my chemical exfoliator, and alternate that with Retin-A. But glycolic acid is great as a daily chemical exfoliator as well.
And I do alternate TCA peels with glycolic peels myself, that's perfectly fine. Just space out the peels far enough, because nothing is worse than overusing potent peeling agents!
I don't think I have ever used benzoyle peroxide though, so I can't comment on that. Check out dermtv.com on Youtube, Dr. Schultz is a very knowledgeable dermatologist, and I bet you will find tons of helpful information in his videos!