Thursday, December 9, 2010

In Which I Review An At-Home Jessner Solution Peel



While purposefully striding through the sorely missed, now defunct, Bullocks Wilshire to pay for the only pair of Charles Jourdan raspberry heels maybe in the world, I was intercepted by a silver haired lady. Planting herself directly in front of me in an aisle between counters of perfume and Estee Lauder products, I stopped. She peered at my skin and said "let me show you something." I didn't forget about the urgency of my errand but she was lovely and her skin was almost translucent, just lovely laugh lines (really, who came up with "crows feet") at the corners of her eyes and maybe because I was just twenty, I really wanted her to guide me though all these products. She handed me an Estee Lauder blue jar and leaned forward again to almost whisper that I wasn't to worry when it rinsed blackheads down the drain. I was horrified (I might have blackheads? Where?) and so used to playing sophisticated grownup, having added five years to my age to get a job when I was seventeen, that I nodded as if I understood. I paid for it and she told me to come back after using it for two weeks. My skin would wake up, she said. Really, this was my entry into the world of Grown Up Beauty. My own mother had used Ponds Cold Cream to take her makeup off and that was it. Skin care beyond Clearasil was unheard of.


A few weeks ago I agreed to review the Jessner's Solution from SkinPeel.com. Maybe because of that lovely lady at Bullocks with such translucent skin, I'd always been rigorous about good skin care and products; even when I'd baked in the sun with a bit of baby oil to really get dark. My dermatologist had begun doing pretty things, astounded by the stampede for Retin A when it was released. I hated it: my face turned red, peeled, failure.  He was still doing deep chemical peels that really were scary: ladies hiding away under veils and big hats, like the damaged ladies in B-Movies where there's a crazy scientist who throws acid at beauties and then collects them (all because his true love had killed herself or a similar dark scenario) and emerging a long time later with skin like white velvet. Really matte and different than real skin: almost alien. Nothing was gentle then. Scary. Not for me, no.


Eventually papaya peels and almond/honey scrubs, avocado mashed with egg yolk, egg whites, etc were not enough... and so I graduated to dermatologist-given light glycolic peels, something new. Delicious but the cost was at least double a very good facial: but it also killed cystic acne and all traces of my rosacea disappeared. My doctor stayed with me along with his nurse who gave me a purple plastic fan to cool my face. Even the beginner version of 30% felt very hot within a few seconds and "frosted." After two minutes I was rushed to the sink to splash icy cold water leaving my skin looking very healthy and feeling tight although a bit red (that wore off in an hour or so). A series of six with increasing strength and application time was recommended: every six weeks or so. It was nice: more radiant, little discolorations fading away and that delicious tightness. The mild irritation was thought to stimulate collagen: all good. 


I was very pleased, albeit a couple of tummy butterflies, to review the Jessner Peel. And if you decide to try this before December 31, the company is offering a 20% discount with the code "SHEBLOGS".


Their product arrived in a clear plastic cosmetic case containing one bottle of the Jessner Peel, a neutralizer spray, a box of gauze squares for the application and instructions. Skin-Peel.com reminded me of the FTC requirement that bloggers acknowledge gifts: acknowledged.


I washed my face and patted it dry. Having read the instructions about twelve times, I was ready to  gently dab the Jessner solution on my face NOT my neck or around my eyes. Gently dab, not douse. The alcohol smell faded immediately and it was not unpleasant for the sixty seconds (30 - 60 depending on your comfort) I paced before rushing to spray the neutralizer (refreshing) and then splashing cold water. You can do two to six passes; you will become increasingly sensitive to the point (five passes for me) that you cannot bear the thought of one more. Oh and increasingly red, not burnt. If one is burnt you stop. Period. No more.  Red like a fresh light sunburn and that old tight feeling, I layered gobs of moisturizer on. The red diminished as expected and by the next morning my face just felt tight. Three days later a gentle peeling began. Very gentle ... lasting five or six days. Nothing that anyone would comment on. Your skin feels so soft and fresh, more radiant (well, yes: you've just taken a layer of dull old skin off). The truth is that I loved it and will do it again in a couple of months.


But.


If you've had this done by your dermatologist several times, you'll know what to expect and when to stop. Skin-Peel.com carries other products such as lactic acid, glycolic acid that are safer and yet dermatologist strength. 


"The Jessner's Solution should be applied by experienced professionals only ... t


Chemical peels have been used for hundreds of years and have a proven safety record (when applied by experienced users). Chemical peels, however, are not for everyone. Active infections and certain medications (ie Accutane) may preclude the use of certain types of chemical peels (especially medium and deep.)"


The very best thing would be to ask your doctor about this, perhaps even apply it for you. Things like the thickness of your skin, its color, what medications you're taking, your sensitivity and discomfort level matter. Antibiotics, cortisone, other medications make your skin more sensitive. 


Honestly, I love it. More than mashed avocadoes and egg yolks.



16 comments:

  1. This was helpful Madeleine! I'm 41 and dabble with 'potions' of increasing strength (I'm off drug store grade and onto prescription grade - as with age there are increasing 'concerns'). The image of Samantha on SITC with her blurnt face forever scared me off peels, but I would enterain this after reading your post. I just started using prescription Retinol (I may have fibbed and told my doctor I wanted it for acne, which I don't have even a pimple...but that got me the strongest retinol for a bargain basement price - I'm bad ass & my doctor doesn't give a shit).
    I've tried drug store peels that I felt did nothing at all, but this sounds like it's got more kick. Now you've got me thinking...
    Cupcake
    (You're like a wise older sister, thanks! xo)

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  2. I failed Retinol. If you ever decide to do this, go to your doctor. These are great quality serious peels and this is the only time you would want to do less is more. Master that and this is just the best ...I once had an Obagi blue peel - blue for a day - hated it. Smurf-faced pumpkin head blue for a week; freaky adventures straight out of Dick and Jane.

    This is the only thing I'm conservative about.

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  3. I gotta know, what happened with the retinol?
    Cupcake
    Xo

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  4. It was pure retinol then, not the creamy version of now. I turned red and peeled and wasn't sure why I was using it. I don't burn and loved to read a book in the sun ... it was a pure failure for my lifestyle. Just too harsh. Which is why if it's suitable, a series of light peels (honestly, one has to bring your dermatologist in on this) is far more gentle. My dermatologist is very conservative but there are so many more solutions now than back in the acid wash days - that was so scary to look at. I really like that there's a backlash on the overdone faces - even twenty year olds were beginning to worry about, gasp, eye crinkles when they laughed. Itsy steps are very good.

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  5. I'm very lucky as i'm blessed with good skin. Im almost 30 bt look about 20 i'm always gettin asked 4 id on nights out lol!

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  6. How do you take care of your skin? Congratulations. Thirty ... I remember thirty!!

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  7. ooh, i'm fascinated with peels, i've seen what it does for some women and it's amazing... maybe i'll have to start doing them! but i'm not ready to do it myself... though it's good to know one can do them!

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  8. Jennine, yes you can do it at home but really the better idea is to discuss this with your dermatologist to know what to expect, if it's safe/appropriate for you and when to stop.

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  9. I want to try . My skin is begging me for a peel. Was looking for a at home product . Thankyou xo

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  10. I've never tried chemical peels. My skin wasn't that great as a teenager (regular acne), then I went on the pill and basically that solved all my skin problems. I came off it as some point and I found that a certain combination of vitamins/natural supplements would keep the skin looking clean and fresh. I do take good care of my skin though (cleanse, tone, moisturize) and use a fine scrub which I apply 3 times a week, along with a bi-weekly facial mask. The peel you described sounds intrigueing, but I think I'd be too terrified!

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  11. I've never even had a proper facial, so I think I'll wait on this product. Your sooooooo much braver than I.

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  12. sounds interesting, although I've got such very very sensitive skin! xoxo

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  13. Oh dear, this is where I should admit I have never done a peel, or anything like that. Not even a real facial that I can recall other than the at-home version. It does sound like a nifty product though, although I was really intrigued by the Jourdan raspberry heels!

    Sending wishes your New Year is more than fabulous,
    tp

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  14. p.s. check out Fashion Tarts, I've nominated you for a Stylish Blogger Award!!

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  15. Cupcake, thank you so much. My hiatus has been fabulous, cat naps and all but time to come back to right here right now. Happy New Year ...

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