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Take It All Off, Baby! Chemical Peel

Oct. 24 2009, Published 4:45 a.m. ET

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Seven days ago I had a chemical peel. Sound scary? I admit I had some trepidation when they told me it was a TCA chemical peel and, based on my skin, they recommended a 20% solution. Peeling the first layer of my epidermis with chemicals? But the good doctor (Dr Stuart Kaplan) explained that it would freshen up my skin, get rid of any discolorations, and encourage the production of the all-valuable collagen.

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So I went to the new "satellite" office of the Beverly Hills branch, in Fred Segal in Santa Monica. (Warning: just keep your wallet safely in your purse for the walk through Segals'.)  It's one room, in the Beauty-Mix section, which right now is hard to find (no sign) but they promise they're working on that.

The lovely Sudi explained that it would sting for just a few minutes, which it did, but she quickly applied water to deaden the sensation.  I was in and out in 10 minutes.

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I didn't love it the next day when my skin was tight and shiny red, just like a bad sunburn, but Sudi had told me exactly to expect. On the third day, my skin began to peel off in big swatches, but I had been warned not to pull it off since the skin might not be ready to exposure to the elements.  For the next 4 days I continued to peel, which was not a pretty sight and you can only use OIL-free products, so  I used my Neutrogena base and was just fine.

By the 6 day I was beginning to love my face again and exactly a week after the peel, my skin is healthy and beautiful. In fact, it looks so good that I'm not even wearing base to work. Co-workers tell me I look younger.

Would I do it again? In a minute. Well, I might wait 6 months actually and do it again. For $135 it sure beats any facial but make sure you go to a professional.



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