What is a chemical peel exactly?

What is all the fuss about?

I decided to embark on a mission and find out for myself.  I headed over to SKYN Lounge and consulted with owner Erica McDowell about what would be best for my skin.

SKYN Lounge on Chenoweth Lane.

I wanted the tone and surface of my skin to look healthier. After the summer, I always feel like my skin is completely damaged. I was looking for renewal, so I chose the Obagi Blue Peel Radiance. The Obagi Blue Peel Radiance is considered “lighter” with no downtime. You are not bright red, peeling or otherwise unpresentable afterwards. (There are many of these lighter chemical peels on the market such as the Obagi.) According to Obagi, “A chemical peel can improve skin problems, ranging from sun spots to acne scars, as well as improve skin texture and tone.”

Let me tell you a little bit about what she was dealing with:

  • Large Pores
  • Acne
  • Oily skin
  • Sun damage
  • Wrinkles

Before shot.

Peels are for every type of skin and can benefit everyone.

Erica recommends a three to five peel package, doing one peel a month. Her skin is absolutely perfect, so I’m trusting her to plan my regimen. At our first consult, I said “I just want my skin to look like your skin.” Word of advice: never get skin care treatments or advice from someone who does not have good skin. Hate to judge a book by its cover, but that is their job.

Erica McDowell at SKYN Lounge.

This is not like getting a facial. It is a thirty minute treatment. You are in and out, but it is still relaxing. It’s my perfect kind of treatment actually: quick and to the point.

First, you lay down on a bed with an warm electric blanket on. At this point, I’m 75% asleep the minute I get horizontal. Makeup is removed and your face is thoroughly washed. She then puts a fan aimed at your face and the first application of the “peel” is applied, similar to toner. It stings and the fan lessens the sting. Then a second and a third application are applied. With each application, it stings less. You then wait about 7-10 minutes until it dries thoroughly.

Peel applied and waiting 7-10 minutes for it to dry.

When it dries, it dries clear. The peel will soak into your skin for the rest of the day, so you are not allowed to wash your face until the next morning.

Peel is dried.  And I’m possibly asleep.

After the peel, SKYN Lounge offers a complimentary makeup application. Take them up on this, for Erica is a makeup artist as well.

Erica’s own makeup line, Zen SKYN, is used for your apres-peel makeup application.

After the peeling begins, moisturizer should be used not at all or on a very limited basis. Your skin is repairing itself. Flake away!

Peel One:

For the first few days, my skin seemed exactly the same, except that my blemishes dried up immediately.  It wasn’t until day 6 that I started to peel. Not something extreme, just about a day of flaking and general peeling. For two weeks after that my skin was radiant, pink and glowing.

Peel Two:

My skin started to peel on Day 2 this time and did not stop peeling until about Day 10. Nothing excessive, just flakes that I scrubbed off with a washcloth at night and in the morning.

Not much peeling, but dryness.

I really noticed after this peel how minimized my pores were.

These are my new minimized pores. The before closeup shot of my pores is going to the grave with me. Yes, they are that big.

Truly, they shrunk and my skin tone looked good with no makeup.

Shot before the third peel. Skin tone is noticeably improved – I have on no face makeup here.

Peel Three:

My skin started to peel on Day 2 again and it was flaky flaky. What I really noticed with this peel is how much it is helping my Moh’s surgery scar that runs down the length of my nose.  It is almost invisible now, six months later.


Really peeling on Day 3

Three peels in, and I would love to continue this. I could see going once a month to every six weeks to do this until summer time. It is not recommended that you do this when you are exposed to the sun.


SKYN Lounge specializes in peels, facials and exfoliation. There are no nail or hair services here, just skin. They are located at 220 Chenoweth Lane and a menu of all of their services (and peels) is here.