Pores, Peels, Pigmentation and Procrastination

Pores, Peels, Pigmentation and Procrastination
Before the peel

By: Genevieve Miller

As I approach my 40th birthday, I’m starting to notice changes in my skin that are impacting everything: how I apply makeup, which products I now can/can’t use, recognizing that I should’ve adopted a better skincare regimen ages ago, beating myself up for knowing this but opting to do absolutely nothing about it, etc. etc.

Bottom line? My skin is starting to show my age. I think it’s high-time that I get my feet wet in the world of peels, as a first step to see what can be done to combat a variety of pesky and persistent little issues I’m facing, including:

  • Crepiness around my eye area
  • Fine lines that are not so fine anymore, including one line between my brows that truly looks angry
  • Pigmentation issues from acne and freckles that have chosen to expand
  • Larger pores

It’s the combination of these issues that literally has me avoiding magnifying mirrors and spending way more money on a quest to find the perfect concealer that doesn’t settle into lines, a better moisturizer that makes my skin look more supple, a primer that keeps my makeup in place for more than 5 hours, and numerous other products that I’m hoping will make even a small dent in the issues plaguing my rapidly aging face. I’m also thinking – there’s got to be a better way!

I consulted with Dr. Tracy Pfeifer, an ASAPS plastic surgeon, who introduced me to ZO Skincare as a first step towards achieving better skin overall – and recommended a retinol-based peel as a second. Specifically, the “Vanish the Pigment Peel” which contains retinoic acid AKA retinoids, a form of Vitamin A, and Arbutase, a medical grade form of arbutin, a compound used for brightening discoloration. This peel will help with many of my concerns— pores, texture and hyper-pigmentation. The crepiness under my eyes might require a second go-round with a stronger peel, but I figured, baby steps here.

I’m about to embark on the second step. This is intriguing for a wide variety of reasons. First, I’m curious to see which of the above issues it will help fix, (if any). Second, I don’t even get facials, so I’m almost afraid of how the aesthetician in Dr. Pfeiffer’s office is going to respond when she sees the condition of my skin as it currently stands. It’s sort of like going to get that first pedicure in the spring when you’ve been neglecting your toenails all winter by hiding them away in boots. (It's embarrassing folks).

Anyway, I’ve been instructed to stop using retinols two weeks prior to the peel, (which is easy since I haven’t been using any anyway), and I’ve been told to expect some redness immediately after and some peeling, which will likely start 3 – 5 days after the procedure is complete. Depending on how terrible this is, I might opt to work at home for a few days.

The photos above are my naked face now, I’ll be posting an after blog with photos of the entire experience, so stay tuned!