A few weeks ago in my Instagram stories I briefly mentioned how I’d finally built up enough nerve to try a 30% glycolic acid at-home “mini peel”. Now that I’ve had adequate time to evaluate how my skin has reacted (not to mention learn how to write a blog in the first place), it’s time to sit down and share! This is only about my first use, but I will be repeating this procedure once a week(ish) for six weeks and plan on doing a follow-up post once I’m truly finished.
I used Oz Naturals glycolic acid that I purchased on Amazon for $19.95, and a fan brush designed specifically for use with glycolic peels for $5.92 (I can no longer find the listing for the exact brush I purchased, but here is a similar one). The bottle was securely packaged and came with instructions, which included directions for preparing the neutralizing solution, which I prepared beforehand. The whole peel goes quite fast (4 minutes or less!!), so having all my materials staged and ready was essential to avoid possible chemical burns.
And here I am! In my pre-peel, makeup-free, #nofilter glory! After a 15 year battle with cystic acne, I really don’t look too bad (all things considered!). For further comparison, I am a thirty year old mother of three. In fact, I recently gave birth to my third less than two months before I took this photo. My skin concerns that I would like to address are enlarged pores, melasma from pregnancy, and sun damage…….. so much sun damage….. years of competitive swimming before my parents and I caught on to the importance of sun protection will do that, I suppose.
After gently washing my face (NO exfoliating, per the instructions), I applied the chemical goo to my face with the fan brush. For my first use, I only left it on for 3 minutes before carefully wiping my homemade neutralizing solution over the application area, then rinsing. The peel itself caused me no discomfort, but when it contacted the neutralizing solution there was a dramatic bubbling and a minor burning sensation. I also poured some of the neutralizing solution onto my brush to thoroughly remove any residues.
This photo turned out a bit fuzzier than I realized at the time, my apologies. Anyway, here I am completely bare-faced after the procedure. The difference, to me, is subtle. I noticed the biggest difference in the reduction of my sunspots and melasma! That was definitely noticeable after only the first application.
To the right is the cleanser I used before the peel. To the left is the moisturizer I used after. As with other chemical peels, it is absolutely essential that one use a good quality sunscreen with a high SPF… otherwise you can end up with more sun damage than you started with! On this day, I opted for Shiseido.
One of the things I learned from this experience is that I have horrible selfie skills! But here I am, once again, in the name of scientific discovery…… this time after my little at-home procedure, with moisturizer and sunscreen applied:
As advertised, there was no down time or noticeable peeling that you would get with stronger clinical peels. My skin felt slightly dry and taut for the next couple days, but it was completely bearable. I returned to my usual cleansing and gentle exfoliating routine the day after I used the peel, and I have been using my sunscreen like a good girl. As of this writing, I have since used the peel for a second time. Again, a reduction in brown spots (they are almost gone, in my opinion), and an increase in overall brightness and evenness. And while I don’t think there is really any way to permanently reduce pore size, I’m finding my pores are looking less noticeable these days.
To be continued…
It is now later.. much later… almost two months later.
My photography skills are still atrocious, but I love what this product does to my skin! In the below photo I’m wearing nothing on my face (I didn’t even wash my face the morning I took this… so I literally DID wake up like this). No filters, no makeup, no selfie-light. Just perpetually sleep-deprived me, standing in front of a window.
All I can say is, I really enjoy this product! It didn’t give me the “brand new face” that I’d hoped for, but I suppose I would need to see a professional for those types of results.
I do like that this is mild enough to be SAFE for at-home use. It’s effective without me risking burning my face off by accident. Once this bottle runs out I plan on repurchasing and using this once every week or two to amplify my usual exfoliation routine!
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