**I've had a lot of "why would you ever do this" reactions... please understand that it was an accident, you can read about it in the original post linked below :)**
How do you know that I love you? I'm putting pictures up of this whole chemical burn deal. If you MISSED THE ORIGINAL POST, head over to find out what happened. If you're too lazy (no judgement), basically I did an at-home chemical peel and kept it on for too long.
I should clarify: according to many (many, many) professional offices where chemical peels are performed, I didn't necessarily keep it on for too long, just too long for the desired results. See, I was trying to give myself a light chemical peel (which I've done for years) and instead gave myself more of a medium-deep chemical peel. Before we go any further- please understand that I'm not encouraging you to follow in my foolish footsteps. I took some criticism from a reader who unsubscribed, emailed AND commented because she was so angry about my post. I'm not encouraging you to have a chemical peel, whether in office or at home. I want to write this so that the women who DO end up looking like me post-peel can get an accurate idea of what to expect as well as some encouragement that it *will be ok*. I had several readers (and friends!) write in to tell me that they had the same results from a professional office, so I know that this happens often. I spent HOURS online and couldn't really find an honest approach to the post-chemical peel. Women were (rightfully) pretty shy about posting pictures.
Don't get me wrong- I'm not super excited about sharing these rather ugly photos with the entire online community, but it's worth it. I would have been forever grateful to the woman who would have been willing to do the same. I was desperate to get a look at post-peel skin and see how it compared to my experience. You'll notice that I watermarked the photos. I generally don't do that, and I apologize if they get in the way a bit (I tried to minimize that), but there was no way I'd put these out without at least a link back to my site. I would hate for someone to just use them without a link back and for random people to have no back story on this horror-skin. People are mean, especially on the internet. That's my face! I have to defend it, haha.
Remember that I was in Europe for this ordeal (brilliant, right?) so I didn't document it as well as I would have liked, but you can get a general idea.
Ready? Let's walk through it.
I performed the chemical peel (50% glycolic acid, 10 minutes) on Monday night at 9 pm. This is Tuesday morning, about twelve hours later. To be honest, it actually looked worse in person. You can see areas where it was bleeding and the red dots are blisters that burst and also bled. The worst areas are a) bottom of my chin, b) spot next to my nose and c) mid-cheek.
This was Thursday, just before we boarded our plane, so about 48-60 hours post-peel. It's beginning to get scaly and is super uncomfortable. I was literally slathering on aloe vera as this point. I used gel, but also bought the leaves from the store, cut them open and laid them flat on my face. I didn't wash it off, but let it stay in my skin. In fact, at this point I was moisturizing like crazy (every hour) and rarely washing my face (once per day, water). My skin felt really tight and cracked/bled when I laughed or smiled. Eating was really hard, too.
Here I am Saturday at the wedding, about 5 days post-peel. In some photos you couldn't even tell (see left, holla!) that my skin was jacked up. On the right you can see a little bit of what was left. Still no makeup on my skin, except my nose (which I hadn't put acid on), lips and eyes. Peeling had begun, but was far from finished. Some people talk about the skin peeling off like snake skin, but I didn't have that experience. For me, it came off in chunks and was softer and not as crispy. Gross, I know. A lot of it came off in the shower, too. So showering was my favorite time of the day. I couldn't wait to get the skin off! My forehead, cheeks and chin were really patchy and still kind of crispy at this point. Less burned areas were softer as they peeled off.
This is Monday- one full week later. You can see a lot of really bright pink skin, which was underneath what peeled off. There are still big, bloody/crusted/scaly areas and spots (especially on my cheek and chin). You'll notice lots of red dots left over from the blisters, too. It has mostly healed at this point. Tons and tons and loads of sunscreen.
And here we are the following Thursday (10 days later). Left is me, middle is John and right is Ewa. My skin is totally 100% better.
So now you've seen my little journey to healing. I've been wondering if I would ever be willing to do another deep peel. I think that answer would be "no". Even if I didn't have anywhere to be (Europe... rage) during the healing process, it just didn't seem to be worth it. I was trying to get a nice "glow" for the wedding as well as get rid of some old scarring. I would say that it did major damage to the scarring, but it also broke my skin out really badly. After the burn, I couldn't wash my face and had to pile on moisturizer. Not a good combo for me. I broke out really badly, especially in areas where I hadn't applied acid, so they were getting lots of moisture, plus zero face-washings for nothing.
I would be willing to do light peels like I did in the past though (25-30% glycolic acid for a much shorter period of time), which did give me a nice glow with no down-time, peeling or risks of complications. Once again- not that I'm suggesting that you do peels at home, this is just my experience.
If you missed the list of upcoming goodness inspired by our time overseas, here it is!
A. Beauty. I found some *amazing* beauty products over there that I can't wait to share with you!B. Style. Of course...
C. Home. French magazine... items we saw on the street, there are some great DIYs as well as just elements to bring into our homes.
D. Face. The aftermath from the failed chem peel is over and I'm going to document the healing for you.
E. Travel. Tips for packing bags (and packing less) as well as what to wear on planes.
F. Food. Just a few of my favorite recipes from abroad! Fresh baguette, light + delicious pastas, just pure goodness.
G. Lifestyle. I love different cultures, we all have something to share with each other that can enrich our lives! America rocks, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from other countries.
That's it for today! I hope your week is going well. Until tomorrow, all the best and as always thanks for reading!