20% TCA Peel Process at Home & Finally Frosted

TCA Peel at Home

I finally bought some peels from Platinum Skincare (Use Holly10 for 10% off) and my skin frosted for the first time ever, from their 20% TCA Peel! I am excited to share the experience with you guys on here!

Peel Progress

I am currently on day four of the healing process (as of this original post) and my skin is peeling like crazy. I’m going to update this post throughout the process & I will also have a youtube video up on my Life & DIY youtube channel once the week is over. The full video is now at the bottom of this post!

My Motivation

My purpose for doing this peel and the last TCA peel is to see if doing TCA peels can really have a profound change in the skin. It’s painful and requires a little down time and I want to know if the results are worth it. I want to be able to share my thoughts and opinions with you on here.

20% TCA Peel

Four days ago I did their 20% TCA Peel at home. As mentioned, the peel I purchased was from Platinum Skincare. For those who are new to doing peels, I don’t recommend starting out with TCA peels as they are extremely strong and it’s always best to start using other peels first and to get extremely comfortable before moving up. Though I say that, it is totally up to you. When doing a variety of peels at home or in an office, you will get an understanding for how your skin reacts to different peels. It’s so important to understand this before moving up to anything as strong as TCA.

Warnings & Safety

Start with Lowest Strength Possible

If you are going to do a TCA peel, start with the lowest strength possible (Platinum Skincare does have a lower strength peel & I think it is 7% TCA) & realize the risks and possible benefits – full safety disclaimer below. This is a risky at-home procedure and if you aren’t comfortable, please seek the help of a professional to get it done in a professional office setting.

Research the Risks

I highly recommend that you do thorough research before trying this. I am only here to share my experiences with you. My main concern is in protecting my eyes when applying the product. My other concern is the potential to have long-lasting pigmentation issues (which I have never had before) but it is a potential risk. If you have darker skin tones, you are at risk for pigmentation issues, so please research this further.

Beginner Peel Recommendations

If you are completely new to doing chemical peels and want to know of some good beginner at-home peel recommendations, I made a video here & an updated At Home Beginner Peel video here, for 2020 recommendations. I think I will do a post in the near future explaining different types of peels more clearly and why TCA is very different from the ones I typically use.

Background with Peels

Three Past TCA Peels & Others

For a little background information, I have done about three TCA peels between 2014 and 2019. I have been doing other face peels (glycolic, mandelic, salicylic, etc.) for the duration of 2014 until now, on and off throughout the years and I’ve had incredible changes in my skin from doing them. Here’s a post with before & after 5 years of peels pictures of my skin showing how much of a change peels have made & I’m sure then you will understand why I love them!

My Fourth TCA Peel

So, about a month ago I did what I believe to be my 4th TCA peel (one by MakeupArtistsChoice – video of my TCA Demo here). I want to explain one thing before continuing. I was solely purchasing my peels from MakeupArtistsChoice from 2014 until around 2019. I did a few of their TCA peels like I mentioned, but I never had good results from their TCA peels specifically. I did have amazing results from their other peels. So, I haven’t been a huge fan of doing TCA peels because of the lack of results from my past experiences. And, though there was a lack of results, there was no lack of pain. So, I am extremely grateful for some youtube subscribers who told me about Platinum Skincare’s products. I’ve come to realize that the TCA from MakeupArtistsChoice was not as strong or effective as it suggested – didn’t work for me, anyway. So, MakeupArtistsChoice 24% TCA which I did a month ago, might be equivalent to only 7-10% TCA with another brand. I’m not sure why, but it just didn’t work for me.

TCA Peel Product and Kit

First, the product I purchased came with a kit of sorts, which was unexpected – as it included gauze, a small cup, protection for the fingers so you don’t end up getting the peel on them, a dropper and the TCA itself. When purchasing, it also let me choose a free item in a semi-large size and I chose their fade serum. The fade serum is recommended to be used before and after the peel as a prep so that you lessen your chance of having hyperpigmentation issues. I also received a military discount when I made my purchase – and I appreciate that immensely! For anyone who wants to know what I paid here is a screenshot of my purchase receipt. I bought a trial size (which I can use 2-3x) of their 20% TCA as well as a trial size of their 30% TCA for use on the body.

Platinum Skincare Review

Platinum Skincare Purchase Receipt

What to Expect

Instructions for TCA Peel

The application was straight-forward. They provide an instruction manual with the kit and it was very detailed and helpful.

Platinum Skincare Purchase Receipt

I watched a lot of their videos, which are super helpful and detailed, and the only thing I think they were missing with the videos that I watched – was a warning that the peel will be painful. I watched a few of their application videos, but they did make it look painless!

TCA Peels are Extremely Painful

It is important to know what to expect and pain is part of it with TCA peels. By the way, I have a very high pain tolerance but the type of pain with a TCA peel is just unbelievable.

Skincare Preparation Prior to the Peel

Cleaning the Face & Alcohol Prep

Before doing the peel, I washed my face and then thoroughly cleaned it with alcohol.

Length of Time on the Face

After the peel was on my skin for a few minutes, I could tell it was self-neutralizing, as the pain subsided then. I used gauze for the application and it works really well to soak up just enough product and allow for a good application. I used to use cotton pads in the past but I wasted a lot of product that way as it soaks up too much of it. The gauze needs to be saturated but not dripping at all.

My Experience with the Application & Frosting

I applied it to my forehead and then quickly applied it to the rest of my face. My forehead immediately frosted! That has never happened before in my life. The level of frosting that I had was not severe, but it was just what I wanted for this particular peel. I say that because I have plans 6-7 days from the start of the peel so I had a very specific depth of peel I wanted to have – and I did not want a deeper peel or it might take longer to heal and I’d have issues going out in public in a week.

You will see in the video below, that the depth and strength of the peel was just what I was going for – I got really lucky with it. I realized after applying to my forehead that the gauze had more product on it and by the time it reached the rest of my face it didn’t have enough. So, I waited a few minutes to let the product work and then I applied it to the rest of my face. I did not reapply to my forehead though the frosting started to dissipate. I did not want to double layer it there this time. In the end, I did miss a few areas and I went over them again with more TCA. Though the pain was intense at first, it really subsided and self-neutralized after a few minutes and that was an awesome relief.

Skin Frosting from TCA

These  photos (other than the middle one) were taken after the peel was completed. The actual frosting isn’t super obvious and has really settled down by the time I took these photos. It was much more prominent when it initially frosted. This you will see in the video below. Right after applying the acid to my face it looked like some of my pores were blurred away and fine lines kind of less visible. It’s interesting as it’s tightening and working its magic – a lot of things look different than normal. People often love how their skin looks the day after the application because it’s so tight and looking good – at least for that one day! :)

After my peel, my skin felt very hot and remained that way almost the whole night until I went to bed. I’ve only had that happen once in the past – where it wasn’t just red, but also very overheated feeling. A couple of hours after doing the TCA peel on the first night, I applied a high strength Retinol cream to my face. This is not necessary to do but I wanted to increase the peeling process so it would start a little sooner. When my skin was feeling overly hot to the touch, I would use my bottle with water and spray it on my face at times to cool things off.

Daily Updates

Day 2 After TCA Peel

On day 2 my skin was just insanely tight and it didn’t look too bad though it had an orange-ish, salmon-like color to it. It still has that color to it today. I’ve seen people who have done a deeper TCA peel and their skin turns brownish before flaking off but my whole face turned orange-ish. Overall, my skin looked ok if I had needed to go out in public, just started to get weird looking that evening. Also, the morning of day 2, I put Retinol cream on my face again and left it on for a couple of hours before washing it off and then applying serums. It isn’t necessary to wash it off after a couple of hours as it would have been fine to leave on until that evening when I washed my face. (The first two photos are from day 2, last two are from days 3-4.)

Days 3-4

Some of the photos here are not really showing how dark and orange-ish my skin is looking. My face began cracking open on the morning of day 3 – meaning the area around my mouth started to crack, showing the extreme dry skin. My face felt like I had duct tape across the whole thing – super tight and weird feeling. It also looked wrinkly, crinkly, shiny and terrible. Basically it looks like I aged 15+ years. I began applying a mixture of hyaluronic acid serum and avocado oil which is very healing.

Day 5

Today my skin is looking really terrible. A lot of the majorly thick peeling has happened, other than areas on the outer edge of my face – near my eyes and forehead. Besides that, a new process of peeling has begun. I tried my best to get a decent photo of it and you can see here how the skin is very scaly on the cheek. I am wearing avocado oil, hyaluronic acid and also some thick balm on certain sore areas. Today it is looking pretty bad. I am trying to be very gentle. No itching is happening. I think tomorrow will be better and I’ll take a good shower again and much of the larger pieces should come off.

This is a lot more peeling than I’ve ever had with any peel before. Large areas on my forehead peeled and it seems like this peeling in the photo might be a second round of peeling, which isn’t abnormal. I feel like the same thing is happening on the cheeks too.

Day 5 TCA Forehead Peeling

Day 5 TCA Forehead Peeling

Day 6

Excessive Peeling

My skin looks much better today. It is still peeling today and is not so obvious until I put sunscreen on and all I see are scaly flaky looking things. It basically looks unnoticeable to me until I put on sunscreen.

I think I have a lot, a lot more peeling to do. I have been washing my face at night and in the morning with water and a soothing, non-irritating face soap (Kirk’s Castile Soap, which I love) and very, very gently using a non-textured washcloth to clean it off. It takes off excess shedding skin as well. I have two tiny pieces of excess unshed skin on my face – on my upper cheek area of both sides. I am sure it will come off tonight or tomorrow at the latest. It’s just hanging in there.

Change in Lines Around My Eyes

Normally, I don’t expect huge results from one treatment of any kind. You are supposed to do multiple treatments or a series of peels to get the results you may want. But, as of today the normally static fine lines I have around my eyes aren’t really visible. And, I am pretty amazed by that. My whole under eye area looks quite a lot better than it normally does – much smoother, less texture and less bumps and stuff like that and less lines around my eyes – the ones I just mentioned aren’t visible – though they probably are if I smile.

They are normally visible (but not deeply etched lines) when I am not moving my face. I will do before and after photos to see if those changes are still there in a week from now once my skin has really stopped peeling.

Day 7

My skin feels like it’s getting more back to normal as far as the healing goes. So, I decided to use my MakeupArtistsChoice Pumpkin Enzyme mask on my face. I decided to use it very briefly – just leaving it on my face for about 30 seconds. After doing this, the excess dead peelies came right off, leaving me with insanely soft, smooth skin. Thankfully I did not cause any irritation at all by doing this really quick enzyme peel or mask. Since doing that, my skin has been looking and feeling very smooth.

A few days ago I thought maybe I’d have a third round of smaller peeling but it doesn’t really look that way. My skin is still adjusting and there are still dry areas, but for the most part it feels incredibly improved – so smooth, soft and silky. My forehead has never felt this smooth ever. Thankfully the skin is holding up well and I have not seen any signs of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I have been applying the fade serum as well as a serum by The Ordinary which has Alpha Arbutin (to help prevent hyperpigmentation issues) and also applying large amounts of sunblock with an SPF of 50.

Video of the Entire Process and Results

Ordering Grass Fed Meat Online: Butcherbox vs. Thrive
Best Products from THE ORDINARY: My Top 5
5 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thank you for a detailed story of your experience with TCA of this brand. I am about to try it!


Hi, thank you so much for explaining things in such detail and showing pictures of your progress, it really does help as I am scared of doing it, but it helped ease off my fear. You look great!! I have one question for you, if you don’t mind me asking: did you use any lidocaine/ numbing cream before applying it? I read the platinum skincare guide and they were advising to apply a numbing cream 20 min- 1 hr before peeling and taking some nsaids.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x