Hi there. So, you did your TCA peel and now you have some questions. Great! I am here to answer all of them.
IF this is your first time performing a TCA peel – or any peel – you can sometimes be thrown for a loop when your face is looking a bit different. Well, this is a peel and the changes you want will require a little bit of “down time”. So let’s get started so you understand what is completely normal, and what you will want to be doing after your peel.
Immediately following the peel. You will rinse the acid off, and then apply Fade Bright *if you have darker skin or are dealing with hyper pigmentation.
Then apply your Luminosity – which is a .50% retinol. This will help your skin peel more quickly and will give you a big BOOST of antiaging Vitamin A. *Please be sure NOT to apply any acids here such as tretinoin (retinA) or Serum 15 or Serum 30.
Now, apply your healing oils. We suggest our Essentials Healing oil or our Certified AEA Emu oil – but you can apply any other healing product you have at home that you love.
What you DON’T need, is to apply a thick layer of Vaseline or bacitracin. These are too occlusive and will not allow your skin to breathe.
Day 2. Now it is the next day. Your skin can feel a bit tight, or have a shiny look to it. This is perfectly normal.
If you have a Fitzpatrick skin type of 4, 5, or 6 you may be seeing some dark areas on your face. They can sometimes resemble a bruise, or hyperpigmentation. This is quite normal for someone with medium toned skin. These areas are just where the pigment dumps into the upper layers or, it is just the skin darkening as it sits there preparing itself to be removed. We always encourage that you apply Fade Bright to any skin types such as these to help prevent PIH. So make sure you are doing that 2x per day.
If you have Fitzpatrick type 1, 2 or 3, you are most likely just seeing your normal skin tone – or possibly a bit of pink.
This is for the men. Can I shave my face?
We recommend shaving 24 hours before you apply your peel. Not the same day that you will be peeling – because shaving is an act of exfoliation as well and we don’t want to over-irritate your skin.
And now, after your peel is completed you may need to shave before you head to work. That is just fine. An electric shaver is best, but if you must use a blade, be extra gentle as you slide the razer over your skin and use a lot of shaving cream to protect the area. Make sure to apply lots of hydration as well.
Can you wash your face?
Absolutely you can. You want to wash off the oils and treatments from the previous day and start anew. You can generally use any cleanser that doesn’t have scrubbing beads in it. You can use something super gentle, or most of our customers just use their everyday acid cleanser – such as our AB or Revitalizing washes. Rinse well and then apply your *Fade Bright* and healing oils. *If you are heading outdoors for the day – winter or summer – always apply an SPF of at least 40 or 50. Avoid the sun on your face.
Make sure to wash again at night. After washing apply your Luminosity and then your healing oils.
Day 3. This is about the last day you will be applying the Luminosity cream. *Remember, you are applying this UNTIL your skin starts its flaking. Then you can stop.
It is also the day where your skin can start to look old. Meaning, if you make a facial expression your look as though you have aged about 20 years. This is right on track.
What is happening is that the skin is no longer attached to your face – or, its on its way completely detaching. It is no longer being supported by your body with hydration and nourishment. It is dead and is drying and preparing to come off.
It is not going to stay there forever. It is not glued to your skin. Be patient and let your body work on turning the skin over. In the next day or two, you will start to see the skin loosening on the areas where you move your face the most.
This is usually around the nose and mouth. Then, over the course of the next 4-6 days or so the flaking will radiate outwards and completely remove itself – leaving you with fresh beautifully smooth skin! … And this is why we do it.
So, on average it goes like this. Day 1 you apply the peel.
Day 2 everything looks good – but tight.
Day 3, skin is starting to look old and wrinkly – possibly has a dark cast to it.
Days 4 – 6 the flaking is starting in the center of the face and is radiating outwards.
Now over the next few days any remaining flakes will be coming off. So, all together this is a good 9-11 days before all is said and done. Use this knowledge to TIME when you do your peels. Then, you won’t be stuck in a situation like this one….
So, lets say you have an event coming up and you really want to get that skin off more quickly. Well… first of all – don’t make that mistake again. LOL. Always give yourself at least 2 weeks for the skin to come off if you are planning something big – like a Wedding!! I can’t tell you how many times we have people contacting us because they are getting married in a few days and are still peeling. Please don’t do that. You want to be glowing in those pictures – not dry and flaking with uneven makeup.
So, what you can do is to use – VERY GENTLY I stress – our Diamond Dermabrasion Scrub 1x per day. This will help to get some of those last, pesky flakes off more quickly. Please don’t go overboard with this, as you will only create irritation in your new skin. Gentle circular motions.
Another option that you have – and that I prefer – is to use our Antioxidant Enzyme Mask. Enzymes will dissolve dead skin tissues. So by applying this a couple of times per day, you will help to remove those last flakes quickly and without any abrasives.
Enzymes will also NOT hurt your normal skin, so you can do this as often as you wish.
Now some FAQ’s
1. Do I have to keep using the Fade Bright 2x per day now that my peel is done?
Yes. This is not a one and done event here. You will be performing a Series of peels. Roughly 6-8 in a row. Now that your first peel is done you are preparing for your next one.
2. When can I do my next peel?
This depends entirely on what percentage you have applied and how many layers. See your peel manual for these specifications. In general, if you applied only 1 layer, you can most likely do a peel in about 2 weeks.
If you did a 2-3 layer peel, you will be looking at 3-4 weeks.
If you did 4-5 layers, then you are looking at a peel 1x every 4-7 weeks.
3. Can I pull off the little flakes?
I am not going to lie – it is SO tempting to tug at those flakes. What you need to do is keep your skin VERY hydrated so that those flakes are not all dry and loose on your face.
Wash every day and use a washcloth to GENTLY remove any little bits that are ready to come off. Little circular motions with your cleanser will help those to come off easily.
Then, if you have any larger areas that are coming off – especially after a long night – you can gently take some manicure scissors and just snip those off. There are some that you can gently flake off with your fingertips –but don’t get caught up in this. Go wash your face again with a washcloth instead or do the Enzyme mask.
WARNING – NEVER just pull at flakes that are still attached at the end. You will rip them off TOO EARLY and then be stuck with red marks on your face.
My skin is not flaking. What do I do?
There are cases where people just aren’t visibly flaking. This could be because the peel just wasn’t strong enough for them – or not enough layers were applied. I am sure they are getting some microscopic flaking – but not what they envisioned.
So, take this as a learning experience and adjust your peel next time. If you only did 1 layer this time, go ahead and do 2 or even 3 layers.
Make sure that you applied the peel correctly. Did you Wash, and then prep with B or alcohol? Then apply the acid, wait the proper time and then rinse accordingly? The protocol is there for a reason. IF you don’t use a prep solution your skin could have lotions left on or oils and it will not penetrate as well as it could. Next time do a more thorough job.
Can I wear Makeup?
Sure you can – and in all actuality it will look pretty dark great on days 1-3… but once the skin is drying and those extra 20 years are showing on your face?????..... less is more at that point.
Instead of foundation and powder – I suggest you use a tinted SPF instead. Go ahead and apply your eye makeup and a bit of blush. That will look pretty good – but absolutely avoid an allover face powder. It will just enhance the flakes and your uneven textured skin.
Can I dermaroll after or before my peel? Here is the rule with dermarolling. WAIT 1 week.
If you dermarolled, then wait one week before applying any type of chemical peel.
If you did a peel, wait one week before you do any dermarolling.
What if I want to do a different acid peel next time. How long do I have to wait?
With peels, you can absolutely bounce back and forth between acids – I do it all the time. Mandelic this time, TCA the next. I choose my peel based on how much flaking I want to deal with.
So, the rule with this is just --- follow the directions from the last acid you applied.
If you did a Mandelic peel and it says you can do another peel in 1 week. Then it doesn’t matter if you are doing a salicylic peel or a TCA peel. Just wait one week.
Likewise, if you did a 3 layer TCA 13% peel and are going to do a Lactic peel this time, …. The manual says to wait 2-4 weeks. 2 weeks if your skin is quite tough – and 4 weeks if you are sensitive.
Then you just apply according to that. Simple! No matter what acid you use – just make sure to complete your Peel Series.
I did a body peel. What is the after care?
When you peel the body it is not as quick as your face. It will take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to start and finish flaking. There really is no “speeding” up the flaking.
After your peel, apply your Luminosity and healing oils for 3 days. After that your skin will most likely just feel normal. You can start applying our Triple Treat 25% Body Lotion at this point – as long as it is not irritating on your skin – or you can just apply healing oils or our pure shea butter to keep your skin as hydrated as possible.
Once it starts actively flaking *this is usually around week 2 or 3, you can definitely use the Triple Treat to help it come off more quickly.