The Chemical Peel Diaries Part II – First Peel with Kavina

After spending the last four weeks conditioning my skin with an array of skincare products prescribed by Kavina, my skin was finally ready for my first chemical peel. Since I was only receiving a chemical peel, my appointment would be a quick, 30-minute treatment. I was so excited to have Kavina work her magic on my skin!

SkinMedica’s Vitalize Peel

Kavina told me that she would be applying SkinMedica’s Vitalize Peel throughout my entire chemical peel series. Over the next month, I’m scheduled to receive a series of three chemical peels. Two of those treatments would just be chemical peels and one of those treatments would be combined with a special, custom facial.

Kavina explained to me that the SkinMedica Vitalize Peel is a great go-to chemical peel for aestheticians to use on clients who’ve never received a chemical peel before because its easy to predict how this peel will react on a client’s skin.

First Step: Cleansing
The first thing Kavina did to my skin was perform a quick cleanse all over my face. The cleansing is designed to help remove all of the natural moisture from the skin, as well as any topical creams applied, like the moisturizer and SPF I had put on earlier that morning.

Second Step: Prepping the Skin
After the thorough cleanse, Kavina finished prepping my skin for the Vitalize Peel, by applying medical-grade acetone all over my skin. The acetone acts as a drying agent to ensure all of the moisture is completely removed from the skin. A chemical peel isn’t able to penetrate the skin evenly unless all of the moisture is removed from it first.

Kavina then blocked off some of the areas of my face with Aquaphor – around the nose, lips, the corners of the eyes and around the ear lobes. If there isn’t a physical barrier like Aquaphor blocking these sensitive parts of the face, the peel could migrate to these areas and cause the skin to crack, making it uncomfortable and even painful.

Third Step: Applying the Peel
Kavina handed me a small fan to hold while she began to apply the Vitalize Peel all over my face. Once she applied the peel to my skin, she explained to me how the peeling process works. As soon as the peel hits the skin, it starts melting the dead skin cells off the face, creating what she called a “skin Band-Aid.” That Band-Aid will be comprised of the outer most layers of the skin (the epidermis) and sheds off within the next few days, leaving behind brand new, soft skin.

When Kavina first applied the Vitalize Peel to my skin, it felt nice and cool. Then within a few seconds, it started to warm up all over. Kavina did one pass of the peel at first and then let it sit on my skin as she observed my skin’s reaction, making sure my skin was positively reacting to the peel.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being that I’d want to jump off the treatment table and run out the door, Kavina told me that the heat factor on my skin would probably get to about an 8. She was right. The peel heated up on my skin pretty quickly and made it feel itchy – not the most comfortable feeling in the world, but at least I knew the peel was working. The small fan came in handy at this point because the cool air felt great on my heated skin.

After about five or ten minutes, Kavina applied a second pass of the peel and then finished the treatment by applying a layer of retinol all over my skin. Once she applied the retinol, the heat started to calm down dramatically all over my skin, bringing the heat factor down to almost a zero.

Fourth Step: After the Peel
Kavina explained to me that the Vitalize peel would continue to neutralize itself over the next four hours post-treatment. She didn’t want me to put any products on my skin, wash my skin or even touch my skin during that time. She suggested that I leave my skin completely alone for up to 24 hours after receiving the treatment.

What Could I Expect to See After Receiving the Chemical Peel?
Kavina warned me that I could start seeing my skin peel within 24 to 48 hours after receiving my treatment. More than likely my skin would start to shed skin around the mouth area first because this is the area of the face that moves the most. The peeling would then move to the nose area, and then work its way outward towards the forehead and outer, lateral part of the face. Since the forehead doesn’t move very much and this area of the face tends to be thicker, it makes it more resilient to peeling. That’s why this area of the face is generally the last to shed skin.

The Peeling Process
Once my skin started to peel within the next couple of days, Kavina instructed me to hydrate my skin at least four times a day with a neutral facial moisturizer. Keeping the skin hydrated helps prevent excessive cracking. Kavina advised me to let my skin peel on its own. No matter how much my skin itched or how much my skin was peeling, she told me not to scrub, pick or pull on the skin and absolutely no Clarisonic brush usage during my morning showers. I could only manually wash my face using my hands with a mild facial cleanser. Scrubbing, picking, pulling or scratching on the skin of any kind during the peeling process could cause the skin to peel prematurely, possibly creating scarring.

Kavina predicted that my skin would start peeling within three or four days of receiving treatment, with the majority of the peeling being done by the fifth day. The only skincare products she told me to use on my skin during the peeling process were a neutral facial moisturizer and SPF. She told me I could go back to using the rest of my skincare products the week after my skin finished the peeling process.

Next Step
Over the next week, my skin will need to complete the entire peeling process. Two weeks after my original chemical peel appointment, I’ll come back in to see Kavina for a special, custom facial with another chemical peel.

Want to see if you’re a candidate for a chemical peel?

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