Adventures in Beautyland: My Chemical Peel Experience - The Results!

It has now been a little over two weeks since I went for a Rejuvenize peel from La Papillon Spa. The Rejuvenize peel is a medical grade chemical peel from SkinMedica and is only performed in doctor's offices or by trained professionals at medi-spas. This type of chemical peel requires several days of downtime, where you won't want people who don't live in your house to see you. I got my peel right before the largest snow storm in Maryland history hit, but had I not been snowbound, I would have been homebound for three or four full days. This peel is normally prescribed in a series of three. My results show what happened to my skin after one peel.

To recap, this peel doesn't hurt, but does tingle when it is applied. It also can feel like you have a sunburn from time to time. Essentially, you are putting a controlled chemical on your skin to remove several surface layers of skin, so you should expect a small amount of discomfort. However, it the amount of "uncomfortable-ness" isn't anything that would make me hesitant to do this again. You can read everything that happened during my peel here, or keep reading for the results.

(Me last August.)

Here is where I started, at the beginning of my quest for perfect skin, or at least, as perfect as my skin can be. I have obvious melasma on my forehead and cheeks. My skin has an overall darker yellow-ish tone to it in some areas. I had seen some improvement with topical creams and basic spa peels, but still had a lot of melasma to contend with, especially on my forehead, cheeks and chin.

Under a Woods Lamp, which highlights sun damage, here is what I looked like pre-peel:

I was able to go to work for the first twenty-four hours. I started peeling dramatically around hour thirty-six.

Seventy-two hours into the peel, my face looked like this (above.)

While you are in the peeling process, you can't use any of your regular skin care. No eye creams, no serums, no moisturizers. Once I was cleared for returning to my usual routine (around day 8), I needed a little help. Without the use of my normal products, my skin needed a little boost to get back into the swing of things. To get my skin into its most glowing condition possible post-peel, I used SkinCeuticals Rextexturizing Serum. This product claims to surpass the results of using a 20% glycolic acid daily. It also helps boost hydration and helped my skin continue to look even more radiant and luminous post peel.

When my skin seemed to be dehydrated in the week following the peel, Madeleine suggested I switch from my Kate Somerville Quench to something a little stronger. She suggested I use SkinCeuticals B-5 Gel, which is like a tall drink of water for your skin. Once I used the B-5 a few times, I noticed a distinct improvement in my skin's hydration levels.

On day eight, when I had a little bit of peeling left around the hairline, I also opted to use an accelerator product by Jan Marini. Clean Zyme and Skin Zyme are two products that work together to remove dead skin cells. These two products use proteolytic enzymes that have the ability to digest dead skin cells without harming sensitive or irritated tissues. Using Clean Zyme and Skin Zyme got rid of the last trace of skin that had been peeling. It almost worked like a gentle eraser to get rid of the skin that was sticking around beyond its welcome.

And here is what I look like two weeks after having the Rejuvenize Peel:

Before & After

While the angles aren't quite perfect (it's hard taking photos of your own head in the dark with your eyes closed), you can see where my melasma has been slightly diminished. The area between my brows looks much more clear. My nasolabial folds, where I experienced quite a bit of peeling, looks much more clear and is probably the area where I am seeing the most results. The center of my forehead also looks much lighter and while not perfect, is well on its way!

The biggest improvement, I think, is in the overall texture of my skin. My skin had a slightly rough texture that normal exfoliation wasn't fixing. Now, the texture of my skin is much more smooth and my skin looks luminous and healthier.

So what does this look like without any makeup and with a light, sheer foundation in natural light?

(Me the night before the peel and two weeks after the peel. I am not wearing any makeup, except clear lip balm. Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

(Here is another shot of my skin in different lighting that really shows the improved texture of my skin.)

(Minimal foundation and concealer only under my eyes.)

Want a Rejuvenize peel for yourself? Visit the SkinMedica website to find licensed professionals. In Maryland? Call La Papillon at 410.252.1400 or visit them at

This peel was provided for the purposes of review. Products were also partially furnished by Jan Marini and SkinCeuticals for the purposes of review.

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  1. I wish photos could show how great your skin looks in person, it was so worth it!

  2. PS- all those fabulous at home products can be picked up at La Papillon, too!

  3. Do you have to have a peel in order to use the hydration products?

  4. Your skin looks amazing! I thought your nose looked the most damaged (mine is too!)when you started and I can see it is improved a little. I guess that kind of damage is why you may need more than one peel. Would you do it again?

  5. Hi!
    @Kris - You can use the hydration products whenever your skin is seeming a little dehydrated. I am loving the B-5. In fact, I need to purchase more because I am almost out! Kris- if you live in Baltimore, stop by La Papillon and check it out. Or you can get it online from

    @Michelle - I am hoping to do another round of peeling in a bit. My skin needs to recoup completely from the first time. Non-professional pics are so tough! My skin texture is really pretty amazing at this point. If you were nervous about getting a peel that strong, they do make one (SkinMedica) that is a step down. I think it is called the Vitalize. Your skincare pro can fill in the details and tell you what is right for you!

  6. I love how your skin looks brighter! Is this expensive?

  7. @Andrea - The peels are $220 each, unless you buy a series of 3, then they are discounted to $187 each - At La Papillon, anyway. These peels are available from spas and doctor's office who work with SkinMedica products, but the prices may vary.

  8. Thanks for your post. I started doing chemical peels some years ago, and I recently got brave enough to do them at home save money, of course. I've been keeping a diary at - Thanks, Kim

  9. Wow, your face looks younger and fairer than before. You only have few discolorations now, especially on your forehead and cheeks. How many sessions did you take in order to achieve that?

  10. I had two sessions of the peel. It definitely made my skin much brighter. What I have learned since then is that my skin has very, very deep sun damage from several burns as a child. It's taken 2 peels, 2 IPL sessions, a few prescription strength creams and now Mario Badescu Vitamin C to get my skin really clear. I'm pretty pleased as of now.


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