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We Tried It

The Crazy (-Sounding) Beauty Treatment that Gave Me My Best Skin Ever

New face, who this?

By: Lauren Gonzalez

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but winter is THE worst. Aside from there being no happy medium when it comes to temperature—I’m either freezing cold and wearing a blanket at my desk, or sweating profusely on the subway platform—my skin also freaks the F out and turns on me. No matter how much I moisturize or how many masks I do, I always seem to have dry, flaky skin. Frustratingly, breakouts and sunspots also continue to be an issue for me despite leaving my teenage years (and excess sun exposure) wayyy in the past. I was getting used to having a complexion that prompted people to ask, “Are you okay? You look tired…” if I ever left my house without a full face of makeup. And it was not okay.

Tired of a dull complexion and in clear need of a serious skin refresh, I jumped at the opportunity for some one-on-one time with Dr. Michelle Yagoda, one of NYC’s top-rated cosmetic surgeons. And while I wasn’t ready to go under the knife or needle just yet, I did need something a little stronger than my previous at-home skin remedies.

Just like every one of Dr. Yagoda’s new patients, she and I met to discuss my aesthetic goals. She asked me about my diet, nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits, and finally decided that a chemical peel would give me the results I was looking for. I’m not going to lie, I was a little apprehensive since my skin can be unpredictable, but I trusted Dr. Yagoda.

Before even touching my face, she had me try an at-home treatment where I would apply a low pH serum that gently exfoliated my skin chemically. The serum took the place of my moisturizer for two weeks leading up to my first peel. This was to prep my skin so it could receive and respond to the stronger peel she would later apply in her office–ultimately giving me the best results. Aside from a slight tingling sensation every now and then, I didn’t really see a change in my skin at first, but after two weeks, I noticed a brighter and more even complexion, and I had little to no breakouts. It definitely wasn’t anything drastic, but I could already notice the difference.

When the time came for my first peel (Dr. Yagoda suggested I do a series of three peels with a couple weeks in between), I was ready. I knew it was time to level up when it came to skincare, and I felt eager to get started, considering the progress my skin had already made with the at-home treatment. I wasnt sure what to expect or how long the process would take, so I headed to Dr. Yagoda’s Upper East Side digs after canceling my plans for later that evening (just in case). I had my eye on the prize, the prize being a new face.

My first peel lasted all of 5 minutes. Dr. Yagoda used a “non-neutralized glycolic peel with a pH of 1.8.” I could feel my skin bubbling up and tingling and some parts burned a little more than others, but it never hurt. She neutralized the peel when she saw the results she was looking for, washed my face, and applied a cooling gel that felt incredible.

I was worried that my post-procedure face would scream “I JUST GOT MY FACE PEELED OFF,” but aside from a little redness immediately after and a couple of extra dry patches that went away after 2-3 days, I was totally fine.

My homework: wear sunscreen every day, especially after a chemical peel. I used Elta’s broad spectrum SPF 41 over my moisturizer and under my makeup every day in between peels.

About five days after my chemical peel, my skin had a noticeable glow to it—my coworkers even started to compliment me. I couldn’t wait to for my next round.

About a week or so after the third and final peel, my skin looked smoother, felt tighter, and looked younger than it had in a very long time. I felt comfortable going barefaced, and when I did wear makeup, I didn’t need as much.

The biggest takeaway from doing a procedure consistently was finding out that chemical peels arent as intense as they sound, and with consistent use, they can do miracles for the skin. I’m so happy with the results and plan to add chemical peels to my skincare regimen as a way to maintain healthy, glowing skin.

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