The Chemical Peel Diaries Part I – My Consultation With Kavina

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that all of the years of spending the summer months out in the sun on the water and the winter months up on the mountain as an avid snowboarder are now starting to show up on my face in the form of hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin, typically caused by sun damage or hormonal changes. Since I refuse to live my life hiding indoors, I was excited to learn that having a series of chemical peels would help improve the tone of my skin and reduce the discoloration caused by sun damage.

Up until this point, I had relied on manual forms of exfoliation to help improve the quality of my skin. I use a Clarisonic skincare brush daily and have had microdermabrasion and dermplaning treatments performed on my skin during the occasional Signature Facial at SkinSpirit. Each treatment left my skin noticeably brighter and smoother, but nothing ever really helped get rid of the hyperpigmentation.

According to my master paramedical aesthetician, Kavina Trujillo at SkinSpirit University Village, Seattle, manual exfoliation only treats the very most superficial, first five layers of the skin known as the epidermis. If I wanted to see more dramatic results, she recommended that I have a chemical peel because the treatment would penetrate deep into the base layer of the epidermis and into the dermis layer of my skin, helping to reduce the discoloration of my skin drastically.

My Initial Consultation

When I went in to see Kavina for my chemical peel consultation, she took a good look at my skin and noticed the hyperpigmentation right away. The discoloration was more prominent on my cheeks than anywhere else on my face. I told her that this area of my face is always be exposed to the elements whenever I’m on the mountain – sun, wind and the reflection from the snow because my goggles don’t cover that area like they do the upper portion of my face.

My Treatment Plan

Kavina explained that lifestyle plays a huge role in determining a treatment plan for each of her clients. Since I was planning on spending a good portion of the upcoming winter months on the mountain, she wanted to make sure that the plan she came up with me would be realistic for my lifestyle and get me the results I was looking for. For best results, Kavina suggested that I have a series of three Vitalize chemical peels over the course of a month, with each treatment being within two weeks of each other. The first treatment would just be a Vitalize Peel. The second treatment would be a Signature Facial with a Vitalize Peel. The third and final treatment would be another Vitalize peel.

Skin Conditioning

To prepare my skin for the chemical peel, Kavina advised that I undergo a four-week skin conditioning preparation program before my first scheduled treatment. Skin conditioning is designed to bring the skin into a tolerant state so that it responds better to a chemical peel and lessens the chance of triggering an undesirable response to the treatment. Without the skin conditioning program, I run the risk of not having my skin respond well to the treatment and not getting the results I’m hoping to achieve. Over the next four weeks, Kavina recommended that I apply a retinol and a skin brightening complex, once a day to my skin.

Products To Use And How To Use Them

My goal is to target the hyperpigmentation on my skin and I’ve never had a chemical peel before. With this in mind, Kavina suggested that I use SkinMedia’s Retinol Complex 0.5 and Lytera Skin Brightening Complex once a day, together in the morning after cleansing my face. What’s nice is that I can easily use these products in conjunction with my facial cleanser, Clarisonic skincare brush, daily moisturizer and sunscreen. The daily use of these products will help suppress the pigment on my skin before having the treatment, in addition to helping build up a solid foundation and tolerance for the chemical peels.

Kavina also recommended that I use SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum twice a day – once in the morning and once at night after cleansing my face. She said for a minimalist like me, this was the perfect product to use daily. It’s an all-in-one, rejuvenating serum that will not only help enhance my skin texture and tone, but also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving my skin looking healthier and younger. Who doesn’t love an easy-to-use product that does all of that?

With my skin conditioning program in place, my skin should be good to go for my first chemical peel in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see the results!

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