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When you really should've asked more questions ...My Chemical Peel Experience

This has nothing to do with music, but it does have to do with me and it has been such an ordeal I felt that I must share it to possibly spare someone else from the trauma and hilarious misery I have endured over the past week. This is more like a mini book/ journal of my week, it is long and thorough, but things I feel you must know so you can decide for yourself if it is right for you .... Thursday: I'm talking to the dermatologist/skin dude and we are discussing some skin issues I have -scars from years of acne, large pores, lots of sun exposure with a family history of skin cancer, and the fine lines that begin to show as a mid 30 something. All normal issues just talking about some preventative/healing stuff I can do to help it. He says have you ever had a chemical peel? I said I think so a really long time ago when I was younger and we were trying to help my acne. He said I really think you would benefit from one, maybe several. It would remove the superficial layers of damaged skin and allow new, fresh healthy, glorious, luminous skin, the kind you haven't had since childhood come through....ok I added the extra stuff ...but he really sold me on it that it was going to be great and what I needed!

One would have thought the words "remove" and "layers" and "chemical" and "peel" would have triggered some common sense that this might not be pleasant but it didn't. All I heard was healthy, glowing, scar and cancer free skin will come thru!! Appointment gets made for the very next day. I was ready. Let's do this! It happened to be a kid free day already so timing couldn't have been better for my "mommy spa time" moment right?! Yeah- no. Rude awakening was coming. Friday: Appt was at 3:00 I was happy all day and ready to do this. Let's get that great skin! I go and they ask me again have you ever had a chemical peel before? I gave the same answer "I think I did a long time ago. I had a lot of acne, I was told it can help so I got it done." Hind sight I was seriously mistaken. I may have went for a chemical peel, but I got an acne treating facial of some sort that did not resemble what I will soon face. That was not clear at the moment. She's thinking I have a little bit of a clue what this will be like and I'm thinking this will be some kinda intense exfoliating facial where I will leave there looking a little pink but fabulous.

CLUELESS. She asks me which one do I want. There is a very intense peel that will turn your face Smurf blue for a week until it peels off or there's another one that's great and not quite as intense, but very effective. I said I got a lot of stuff to do this week so I think I will say no to Smurf. She starts to apply the solution. She said this can get kind of painful the burning is very strong. I'm pretty tolerant to pain and it wasn't bad at all. I was like "shoot, that ain't a burn that's a tingle! I got this." She starts telling me more takes a full 7 days to completely heal from this. You will be red for a while then it will start to peel. Don't pick at it just let it happen. I'm like whoa wait like how red? She said people react differently, but it'll just look like a sunburn and usually like you are peeling from a sunburn. It's not that bad she says. It can get a little intense but we send you home with a soothing cream that helps. I say I have a big party to go to on Sunday will I still look ok? She hesitated and said ummmm you'll probably have started peeling around then but just like around your mouth and stuff so it shouldn't be too noticeable. Just make sure you stay out of the sun and apply the sunscreen provided.

About 20 minutes and she's done. Sent me home with a packet and instructions for the next 7 days. Friday evening: I followed the instructions. Washed it, applied the junk and went to bed. Still looked normal, still happy....well a little disappointed my "fancy facial" called a "chemical peel" was so short and not super relaxing, but hey I'm gonna be luminous right?! Saturday morning: I wake up look in the mirror and my face and neck are red. Bright red. Like a tourist at the beach -lobster red and a little stingy. Followed the instructions. Applied the junk and went about my day realizing I probably should've asked more questions before scheduling this .... Saturday afternoon: I begin burning more. It's Florida in July. It's hot as a furnace outside. I wasn't even out there long just walking to my truck but the heat radiating from the pavement toward my delicate apple red face was like standing too close too long next to a campfire. I had band rehearsal that day and plans with my mom and sister that night. I couldn't let this little skin procedure keep me down. I had to suck it up and move got worse and worse and worse. Saturday evening: Until I saw my mom and sister no one had spoken about my new look I had going. I guess strangers really did think I was a tourist who forgot what sunscreen was for. But leave it to Mama and Sister to say "Oh my gosh what did you do??? Why do you look like that?!" There was no getting around telling the truth that I was an idiot who just wanted glowing scar and cancer free skin! Our evening progressed. My face had now gone from campfire burning to standing in the midst of hell burning. I wanted to cry but I had to laugh because I was so clueless and I had done it to myself. I paid money for this to happen to me - way more money than I even thought it was going to be!! What was I thinking?!?! ...oh yeah great skin. By then I'm still holding out that this will be worth it in the end. No pain. No gain. Saturday night to Sunday morning: I start itching. I HATE itching. There is nothing I can think of at this moment that I hate more than itching. I'm also still on fire. Hell fire. Center of the hottest part of hell fire.....and the peeling has begun. It's Sunday morning. I lead worship at my church. You don't just call and say sorry can't come in today I got this face thing done and I look yucky and feel like death....I guess some people would call in because that's kind of a good reason ...but I don't. I solider on. I'm not a quitter I can do this. I can barely open my mouth cuz it hurts so bad and the more I move the more it cracks and peels and the more noticeable it is. As long as I keep slapping cream on it keeping it kinda wet the dead skin is not hanging too bad so I can at least say "hey!" as I quickly try to get out of close up view of anyone. Figuring maybe behind the mic and on stage it won't be terribly noticeable. No one said anything about it to my face of course. What are they gonna say that won't sound totally rude?! "You look awful today!" My kids were great though. They'd come up and say "ewwweee mama your face. You need to fix it, it's gross again." Thanks babies, thanks for looking out for me. 💗 Sunday Afternoon: I had a big birthday party to go to. Big, special, and I had to sing at it. Lots of people were expecting me and it meant a lot to my uncle so there was no missing that either! Again it's Florida in July and the party is outside. I'm sweating, burning, itching, swelling MISERABLE. My sweet friend who looks fabulous in her 50s and gets one done once a year asked about what was wrong so I told her and she said "Honey don't you know you get those done in the winter when it's cool outside and you can take a few days off where you don't have to be anywhere and you can just let it do what it needs to do?!!?" No. No I didn't know this. Thank you. That makes sense. Now I do. Hold on while I try to find a fan or some A/C to try and survive this moment. I sing, I visit, I go home. Monday: When I woke up the burning had let up quite a bit. I wasn't near as red either. No, this morning my surprise was dead skin. Lots and lots of skin. Nasty, yucky flakes and chunks all over my face. I apply the "soothing" cream. I'm on fire again. Cool shot with the blow dryer and I live to see another day. So in my mind I can stay home today right?! There's no where I HAVE to be so I can finally relax in my disgusting self. Oh noooo not today!! My 3 kiddos remind me today was the day teachers and schedules and lockers start at the school and we hadn't got their supplies yet and there's stuff they need for football practice that they HAVE to have for tonight.

They were so excited. We had planned this last week that this is what we would do on Monday. I tried to say "how bout another day??"...and I could've because I am the mom and I have that power.... but this wasn't their fault I did this to myself and I felt bad. These were our plans and they had to have the football stuff today anyways so really there was no way around going, may as well do it all. So yep had to figure it out how to do my best to make it happen and not be totally gross. They were helpful in the letting me know when I needed to try and take care of the skin -without picking at it because "that can cause pigmentation and other damaging issues"- but enough that it's not hanging on my face in Walmart. All pride is gone by now so I even go to their practice with them that night. Skin dangling and all! Tuesday: Yep, no home today either! I needed to take my precious 91 year old grandmother to the doctor bright and early for my mom. At this point I have given up on having any time at home to just sit there and peel. I accepted the fact this will be a public peeling process and I will be leaving sweet little droppings of expensive, luscious, dead skin all over town. Wednesday: Has the peeling slowed down yet?! Nope. It's so gross. Like when you put the cream on skin comes off in your hands. It almost makes me vomit, so gross. I have a weak stomach for yucky things and this whole thing has been painful, annoying and very gross. Today I look like I have a pigment disorder because of all the discoloration from where it has peeled and the spots that still have to. I would say I am starting to see the fruits of my labor and the progress all this pain is revealing but I would totally be lying. Now I'm over it. Sooooo over it. It may be the best skin soon, it may be no difference, it may be permanently damaged from all the torture it has faced this week. Who knows? At this point I don't care. Just make it stop!!! I am hoping it will be done soon and we will then know for sure whether or not this miracle working procedure is worth it or not. Well actually I can go ahead and say it's NOT worth whatever it will do. At least not in my experience. There is a possibility I was reacting in a different more intense way than normal, but I don't feel the need to take a chance on seeing if it will happen again!! Do you know they recommend you doing this a few times a year?! What?! Who has time for that?! How can you handle that much pain, aggravation and grossness so often?!! I would cry. Real tears. Who knows what I will wake up to tomorrow, but for now I went to bed with the reminders of my ignorance hanging on my face. Now don't you want to go get one?! It's great! It makes you have glowing, luminous skin, that helps heal scars and shrink pores and work all kinds of miracles. Aren't you in?!?!

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