Through pain and sacrifices to a better skin.
We gotta face it: everyone wants the perfect skin. Some of us are lucky and don’t have to do a thing for it. Those bastards can eat Nutella out of a jar with a table spoon before going to bed in full make-up and they will still wake-up pore-less and glowing. If you recognise yourself in this description, I hope that beauty karma gets you one day, because while you are gorging on your pizza and ice-cream, there are people like me, who have to totally change their lifestyle and go through a couple of circles of hell to even get closer to the dream of having blemish-free, even complexion.
My latest choice of torture (not including the ongoing experiment of completely vegetarian, sugar-, gluten- and diary-free diet, but that’s gonna be covered in a separate post) was a chemical peel from the French cosmeceutical brand – Dermaceutic.
I’ve done treatments with acids before (read about the benefits of AHA for your skin here) that weren’t very successful. When it comes to peels like that, it’s often said, that it’s gotta get worse before it gets better, however when I went through two courses last spring, they significally deteriorated my skin condition without ever improving on it later on. So to be honest, I was sceptical about the Milk Peel too, but when you receive an invitation to get a facial in one of Stockholm’s most renowned clinics, you simply don’t say “no”, do you?
The treatment itself is a superficial peel (meaning it only affects outermost layers of the skin) and consists of 50% blend of glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids with pH value around 1.9. It’s recommended for fine lines reduction, skin lightening, oily skin regulation and spot treatment. Although it’s one of the brand’s mildest, for someone my age (I’m soon 26) it did sound like a handful of acids, especially as my previous experiences never went over 20% (in general, the more mature and thicker the skin is, the more it can tolerate). The whole procedure takes just about 15 minutes: first your skin is cleansed with purifying Foamer 15 and then the acids are applied (the time of the exposure may vary depending on the sensitivity of your skin, but usually it’s just a couple of minutes). After removal you’ll be smeared in Skin Recovery Cream and dismissed.
When I signed up for this adventure, I actually didn’t expect it to be as brutal as it turned out to be. I even had my brow-time scheduled for the same day, but, boy, was I mistaken. As I lied there with my face covered in acids, I prayed to all the beauty gods that this treatment would give me some astounding results, because I wasn’t prepared to suffer for nothing! Although it was supposed to tingle, I felt as if my skin was burning in hell and tears were involuntarily running from my eyes. I have to emphasise that the experience and results are very individual, so maybe for you it won’t be as painful and there’ll be no social downtime at all, but to stay on the safe side I won’t recommend these type of peels in immediate proximity to important dates or job interviews, otherwise you might have Samantha’s beef carpaccio situation, as apart from the intense sensations during and after the procedure, you might also expect redness and desquamation (a.k.a shedding).
So here’s a picture of me before the peel (on the left), two days after (in the middle) and four weeks after (on the right). As you can see, I went through some serious desquamation (most visible on the chin, but it actually affected pretty much my entire face apart from the forehead). To make it look a bit better and to accelerate healing processes, during first couple of days I had to constantly reapply Skin Recovery Cream and when that ran out, I replaced it with Elizabeth Arden‘s 8 Hour Cream. I did look like an oily pancake that’s been taken off the frying pan, but my other option was to leave pieces of skin hanging from my face, as if I was a snake in the middle of shedding time. Luckily I’ve got through this phase pretty quickly and within a week my skin was completely renewed, brighter, with less visible pores, reduced fine lines and less blemishes.
My favourite part is the forehead, that’s where I normally have the most visible fine lines and quite a bit of enlarged pores too. Immediately after the peel (the fragment in the middle) I could see that wrinkles were smoothened, the complexion looked more even and the pores got smaller. I’ve tried to maintain these results with daily use of Elizabeth Arden PRO Gentle Facial Cleanser (with Lactic Acid), Dermaceutic Light Ceutic night cream (with Glycolic an Phytic Acid and Vitamin C Complex) and meticulous application of sunscreen. As I’ve been spending this past month under the bright sun of French Riveira I was using maximum protection Sun Ceutic 50, which is currently my favourite SPF cream ever: it’s completely transparent, it doesn’t smell and it moisturises the skin thanks to Hyaluronic acid in its content.
I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I feel like I’ve finally found my ultimate skincare regime (who knew that an eco-gal will go 100% acid? ha?!) and although I’m sure I’m going to try other things in the future, it feels safe to know that if something goes wrong, I can always go through another Milk Peel and start over, with a fresher, more glowy skin like the one I have now.
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