I finally bought some peels from Platinum Skincare 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! 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 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.
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.
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. 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
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!
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.
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.
Application & Experience
The application was straight-forward. They provide an instruction manual with the kit (which I lost somehow & then found) but it would have been very useful. I ended up looking over things online as they have lots of resources and videos and documentation online as well. 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! 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. One thing I noticed with this peel is that although it was painful – and I mean really painful – it was still less painful than the TCA peels I did with MakeupArtistsChoice. I believe I heard someone mention that this company puts a little bit of menthol in with their TCA to create a more cooling sensation. If so, it does help a bit because it seemed like the pain was short-lived compared to my old peels.
Before doing the peel, I prepped and cleaned my skin thoroughly with alcohol and began the application of the peel. After the peel was on my skin for a few minutes, I could tell it was self-neutralizing (which was awesome as the pain subsides then). When applying, it’s important to use gauze and in the past I did not. Gauze soaks up just enough product without soaking up too much – so you do not waste it. It’s hard to describe but it works perfectly for TCA peels and I wish I had used it in the past. I wasted a lot of product by using cotton pads for my face. Anyway, the gauze needs to be saturated but not dripping at all. 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 massive, 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 massively deep 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.
Afterwards & The First Evening
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. Also, 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. Platinum Skincare sells a booster with their TCA peels if you choose to buy that add-on and it contains Retinol and is to be used like I used my Retinol cream. I also applied the fade serum as recommended by the company. 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.
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.
Days 3 & 4
Some of the photos here are not really showing how dark and orange-ish my skin is looking. Sometimes my camera is trying to compensate when things are looking badly I guess and it seems to have made my skin look lighter in some of the photos. I just wanted to share that. In the video it will look much more true to life. 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.
The company was recommending something like emu oil – which is great but I don’t own any of it. I used to buy that stuff from a local farm that had emus. So, avocado oil worked really well. I took a shower in the evening and it really got my skin cracking and peeling.
Please be careful if you do a peel like this and you have a tendency to pick. You absolutely cannot do that. I keep finding myself accidentally almost picking and I have to stop myself. If you have accidentally picked any of it or any has come off too soon on its own, you really need a healing ointment to cover up the area so it can both heal and keep it moisturized. You can cause long-lasting scarring if you pick any skin off. I am so lucky I have never had any lasting scars but I have had sore areas that are extra pinkish and raw feeling – with this TCA peel and with my last one. Sometimes an area comes off too soon – even if it wasn’t from you picking it. Many people have gotten scarring or long-lasting redness from that. And, I am very, very lucky I have not. I have always treated the areas with ointment when the areas are raw or sore. For me, the soreness then goes away hours later and the redness or pinkness does as well.
Before doing a TCA peel, to be safe, I would buy an organic-type of non-petroleum vaseline of sorts. The product I am using is a lip balm & ointment base (I have a 3 ounce little tub of it from LotionCrafter) and it’s made with castor oil, sweet almond, hemp, vitamin E and some other things that are very soothing to the skin. I believe Jessica Alba has a brand that sells a non-petroleum jelly (this one, called un-petroleum)product that is really good as I used to own it but ran out and need to repurchase. For me, my skin is going through a lot of changes now and any areas where I either feel I want to pick or any areas that are sore or itchy, I apply this heavy ointment to after applying the avocado oil and hyaluronic acid serum. I believe the company does not recommend slathering this thick stuff all over your face for the duration of the peel as it doesn’t allow for much air flow and healing. But, if you are dealing with localized areas that are red or sore, it is wise to put a healing ointment (with non-active and non-irritating ingredients) on those key areas. I did this during my last TCA peel and it prevented any issues later on – because I had a few areas I accidentally flaked the skin off too early. I could have had a scar or redness but the ointment calmed it so much that it all healed fine and normal.
For day 4, I woke up with cracking and peeling everywhere. I’m surprised at how soon my forehead began peeling – because it started on day 3. It usually takes longer but I am glad it’s going fast. I’ve come to realize that when doing TCA peels, just know that 2-3 days of the process will be tough to deal with due to wanting to pick and the excessive peeling and sometimes itching. Just keep busy and stay out of the sun! Where I live right now we are experiencing a lot of snow and I plan to go out there when it’s dark to shovel. The cold air helps ease inflammation, heat and redness with my skin.
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.
Then the following day, on day 6, I have some appointments. I hate to go out at all and hope the sun isn’t out. But, we will see how it goes. When I put sunscreen on like I did today, all I could see on my face were scales. It’s interesting! 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. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a third smaller round of peeling too. It’s all good in the end. I just want it to clear up more and make sure the big chunks that are still holding on will come off tomorrow hopefully. Besides the serums and ointments, I am also applying their Fade Serum as well as some fresh aloe from my plant. This was extremely soothing. I ended up using it a lot during the process.
Day 6 & Some Visible Changes
I wanted to share my current thoughts on this peel as of right now. My thoughts may change as my skin is still undergoing changes. Before getting into that, 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.
The skin above my lip and under my lips are peeling for their second time but much smaller flakes than before. It’s hard to describe as it’s hard to even see it but it feels dry and my lips feel dry too as I did apply the peel to the outer area of my lips. Other than that, I have been applying their fade serum and letting it soak in. I then apply fresh aloe (my skin is loving this and it’s helping with the dryness so much), then also applying hyalruonic acid serum mixed with avocado oil. Then, if I still happen to have any tiny areas of irritated red skin (where the skin flaked off too soon for some reason) I will apply my healing ointment to it.
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. Like I said somewhere in this long post – I want to do these self experiments so I can share with those reading or watching, if this is worth it and if it really works! So, we will see! I am feeling extremely optimistic. One other thing to mention is that I am not personally super obsessive with all these imperfections and fine lines. If I can get rid of them, sure that would be great. I want to share that for self-experimentation purposes, it’s important to share with you guys what I’m seeing and experiencing and if this may really work as an at-home treatment option. So, I will keep you posted!
Evening of Day 6 Update
I think I am giving too many updates! But, maybe this would be helpful for someone who is thinking of doing a TCA peel. If you have an upcoming event that you want to look great for and you want to do a TCA peel – then do the peel at least two weeks before, if not even earlier than that. For me, I have an appointment tomorrow and I’m going to be looking rough. But, I am more concerned about sun exposure. I hope it is super cloudy tomorrow. Anyway, my skin, which appeared to look a lot better this morning is still having a lot of peeling. The peeling looks similar to the photos I posted above on day 5. It looks like the forehead pic, but the peelies are smaller and everywhere on the face. I’m definitely getting a good peel. But, many people might assume that after the major large flaky pieces come off, that is it. Not so this time! So, a lot of my skin feels fairly ok and fairly smooth even with the peeling, but parts on my right cheek feel like sand-papery and rough and extra dry. But, eventually it will all finish the process and peel off and be super nice hopefully.
On the morning of my appointment, 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.
Preparations & If You are Going to do a TCA Peel
Please watch Platinum Skincare’s videos on how to prep your skin before doing this type of peel. If you have dark or really light-skin, there are extra steps to be taken. There are so many things to keep in mind in order to be prepared and to get the best results. I haven’t explained all of those steps in this post as the post is already really long. But, I can do a separate post and video on it in the near future. It’s really, really important to prepare the skin before doing this peel and to continue treating the skin after this type of peel – or else the results could be short-lived, reversed or skin could worsen.
About the Photos
It seems like the photos are not doing justice in showing how much peeling is happening. The video footage will do a better job at showing things in detail.
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