VI Peel Dos and Donts
Last week I had the opportunity to receive a VI Peel complimentary. There were no strings attached, and I didn't have to post about the service but since I got such a large response via Instagram messages, I figured it might be helpful to bookmark this for anyone trying to find this information down the road. Chemical peels sound ominous because you have chemical (which sounds intense or harmful) and then the peel part of the phrase which just doesn't sound fun. Overall the process of the peeling is not great, so why do we do it? Let's dive into the benefits and specifics of the VI Peel benefits.
What is a chemical peel?
"A chemical peel is a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layers. The skin that grows back is smoother. With a light or medium peel, you may need to undergo the procedure more than once to get the desired results.
Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, discolored skin and scars — usually on the face. They can be done alone or combined with other cosmetic procedures. And they can be done at different depths, from light to deep. Deeper chemical peels offer more-dramatic results but also take longer to recover from." Mayo Clinic
Now that you understand is a chemical solution applied to the skin to remove that top layer of skin, to reveal beautiful skin underneath now we dive into the do's and don't and how to share for the skin before and after the peel.
Benefits of the VI Peel
Creates more even skin tone
Improves tone, texture & clarity
Smooths rough skin
Reduces fine lines/wrinkles
*Safe and effective for all ages, skin types and skin tones
How does the peel work?
During the appointment, the aesthetician is going to cleanse the skin while asking about your specific skin concerns. Whether it's acne, fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, etc. Once they understand what you're trying to target, they will make a custom peel specific for your skin. It's not a one size fits all when it comes to the VI Peel, but rather it is customized to your needs. The peel will then be applied in layers and it will usually take 3-4 passes. There will be a little spiciness for up to 30 seconds but the peel formulation has some numbing features to it so the pain or string will dissipate quickly. Once you leave the office, you're going to keep the peel on for a total of 4 hours. At the end of the 4 hours you're going to wash everything off and follow the instructions giving to you in the pamphlet.
The peel is basically going to remove the top layer of skin, oftentimes referred to as your epidermis. The removal of that top layer of skin will then reveal that bright clear layer of skin underneath.
How do you prepare for your peel?
In terms of the guidelines, you want to avoid retinol and glycolic acids a week before the peel. Also avoid exfoliation or use of peel pads or at home chemical peels. This will help the VI Peel be less spicy for the week after you get the peel. You don't want to do a chemical peel on already raw over exfoliated skin.
What's the pain level?
In terms of pain, the peel itself isn't bad during the application. There's a little spiciness when it's first being applied but there is some numbing properties within the formulation of the peel itself, so that dissipates quickly. All the way up to day 3, the pain is tolerable and nothing intense. Once the skin starts peeling, it is not pleasant. As someone who slathers their face with oil every morning and night (because I hate feeling tight and dry) I do not enjoy the tightness and the dry itchiness of a peel. This reminded me of my vampire facial from a few years ago because of the peeling, tightness and general discomfort for a few days. Every time I have done something like this that dries me out, it is pretty uncomfortable for me but it's because I tend to stay away from any dryness of my skin by slathering all the creams and oils.
How do I take care of my skin post peel?
Using the repair cream that's given to you during your appointment is going to be your best bet, along with SPF during the day time. You'll want to stay out of the sun as much as possible, even when you have SPF on the skin. Because the top layer of the skin is peeling off, your skin is going to be more sensitive and you don't want to reveal your brighter fresh skin underneath and immediately give it too much sun exposure. It also may burn a lot quicker or feel warm really quickly because your skin is raw. You're also going to want to avoid all your usual skincare products for the week after and just stick with the repair cream, SPF and my personal big tip is to snag yourself some Egyptian Magic Cream. It completely saved my life during this peel situation because it gives you insane hydration without clogging the pores like Aquaphor, Vaseline and some of those thicker formulations will. Here's a more detailed breakdown of how to take care of your skin:
4 hours after peel application: wash off the skin and use the towelette provided
That evening: cleanse the skin with the VI Derm Cleanser and then use another towelette to ensure all the peel is off the skin
For the next 2-7 days, you will cleanse in the AM and then apply the repair cream (as needed but trust me you'll need it) and then you'll apply SPF. For evenings, you'll cleanse and then apply repair cream along with the Egyptian Magic Cream.
Would I recommend the peel?
A few messages asked me if the discomfort is worth the result. As I type this, I'm on day 6 and I woke up without excessive peeling for the first time in a few days. My skin is bright and clear, and the sun spots and acne scars are much less noticeable because that top layer of skin has fallen off. In any of the procedures that come with a bit of peeling (or subsequently the idea of healing the skin) you will have dryness, tightness and a bit of discomfort. A peel is the least painful method in comparison to Halo, IPL, the "vampire facial" and so forth. There's little to no pain and you get that beautiful result of clear skin, so if we're comparing the pain levels and you're a wimp like me peel is the way to go. The benefits of some of the other procedures would outweigh the peel, since there's no radio frequency, heat or needles being applied to the skin to cause any change, but the top layer of skin will give that beautiful skin underneath.