At the Dermatologists office: Sara's Story
After experiencing an uncharacteristic week-long breakout on my face, I decided it was time to seek professional help. After my dermatologist examined my face, sans cover-up, she told me that a mild glycolic peel could really help clean out my pores and help reduce and clear up my breakout. The aesthetician explained that I would feel some stinging and burning as she applied the acid, but she gave me an electric fan to use, which would alleviate the discomfort. First she cleansed my face and prepped my skin with an alcohol toner. Then, with a small paintbrush, she slowly began painting on the glycolic acid. I felt it immediately--a mild burning/stinging feeling, and then a slight itch--but it was nothing I couldn't handle. When she had completely painted my face, she placed wet cotton over my eyes and then after a few minutes drenched my face with a neutralizing spray that stopped the sensation immediately. Looking in the mirror, I saw a definite difference. My face looked so smooth, and my skin tone was really even. I was glowing! Over the next few days my remaining pimples dried out and for the first time in years, my chin area wasn't covered with small bumps. My makeup went on smoothly and my skin wasn't the slightest bit ashy. I'm hooked!
Concentration: 30 to 70 percent, depending on your skin's tolerance. Your dermatologist may increase the concentration over your series of peels.
Treatments: A series of three to six is recommended, spaced no more than two to three weeks apart.
Price: About $150 per treatment.
Provider: Dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
At-home: Kelly's Story
Since I don't have time to make regular appointments with my dermatologist--save for an annual checkup--and I am trying to take better care of my skin, I figured I'd give the Lancome Resurfacing Peel a try. Everything I needed was there (even a headband!), and each step was clearly marked so I knew I wouldn't have to worry about making any mistakes. I washed my face and then wiped it with the prep towelette. Then, following the diagram, I brushed on the peel with the fan brush that came in the kit. I felt the faintest tingle and washed my face after five minutes with a few of the enclosed wipes and applied the soothing cream from the package. I didn't think it was doing anything since I didn't really feel anything, but I was wrong. My skin was a little pink, but definitely looked fresher and dewier and felt smoother and softer. I think I'll try it on a Monday morning next time so I look refreshed from the weekend!
Concentration: 8-percent glycolic acid plus 5-percent Physio-Peel Enhancer yields the effect of a 10-percent peel.
Treatments: The kit comes with enough product for eight treatments, not to be performed more than twice a week. After completing eight treatments, wait 28 days before using the kit again.
Price: $145 for package of eight treatments
Often the first and best courses of treatment for many common skin issues are prescription topical creams. Many are used in conjunction with in-office treatments for the best results. Listed below are the some of the most often prescribed products.
Renova, Avage, Retin-A, Tazorac: These vitamin A-based retinoids increase skin-cell turnover and are used to address fine lines and can help clear up acne.
Tri-Luma: This cream targets melasma with hydroquinone and tretinoin (a retinoid) to fade hyperpigmentation and bring fresh, healthy skin to the surface.
Elidel: Eczema affects nearly 35 million people each year, and this steroid-free, odor-free, nongreasy cream is the latest weapon used to combat the red, scaly, itchy rash.