This summer, I took the plunge and had a Vitalize Peel at Artisan Skin and Laser Center. Being in the chair myself (instead of observing or photographing the experience) gave me fresh perspective on several notions I had about aesthetics and why they were not true.
The appointment was quick and so simple. An Artisan applied two applications of three different chemicals over my face. When my skin began to tingle and I experienced a burning sensation, there was a cooling fan to help manage comfort. I left and returned to work right after with the last chemical still applied. It gave my skin a slight yellow tint, and I was instructed to wash it off at the end of the day. While my skin felt itchy immediately after, the sensation went away abruptly and I was ready for some action.
The full effect of the peel took about a week (7 days) to manifest. I found it fascinating to watch my skin be carefully agitated into healing itself. I was wrong about some things though:
- 25 is too young to need skin treatments. Who is the audience for most aesthetics centers? I naively assumed I had at least another 20 years before becoming the target market. But by that age, aesthetics clients want restorative treatments to undo years of damage. At this stage, I can push off wrinkles, spots and poor texture. Skin care is a workout now to avoid poor skin health later.
- All my skin problems will disappear after one treatment. I’m going to paraphrase Dr. Tendler’s intro to aesthetics presentation for this one: skin care is maintenance and there are no one-time fixes. That means someone who wants to lose their double chin may need several treatments of Kybella to get their perfect “after” face. Of course I wanted perfectly smooth, blemish-free skin after one chemical peel. What I got instead was progress.
- A peel is fine any time. Scheduling my Vitalize peel took more thought than I imagined. 48 hours after a chemical peel, the top layer of skin often begins to slough off and looks like a bad sunburn for 2-5 days. This meant I wanted to avoid having it done within a week of any major life events, like getting married in July. I was already worried how losing a layer of skin would look sitting at my desk or out grocery shopping. Parmesan cheese jokes with my husband aside, no one even mentioned it! After a peel, I also needed to avoid pools and lakes, too much sun exposure and vigorous exercise.* I planned the peel right after our honeymoon when I was not expecting any outdoor adventures.
- Skin health is about how I look. This was the biggest revelation I experienced. Externally, my skin didn’t look all that different after my peel was complete. But the way my new skin felt was incredible! It was like a tiny burden being lifted from my cheeks, or hitting a reset button on my skin. I know I’ll be back.
*No, they weren’t kidding about the exercise one! I hit the gym before completely healed and felt the burn in more than just my muscles - oops.