Can You Peel Away Acne Scars At Home?

If you asked me a month ago whether I consider having a face peel, I would have shaken my head and run away. Face peel or chemical peel has a bad rep from that faithful episode of "Sex and the City" when Samantha had a peel that went wrong. Also, in "Legally Blonde 2", Elle Woods found out her boss lied to her as she said she went to get a face peel while in fact plotted some devilish schemes against Elle. So of course I had my apprehension towards peel but when my skin broke out badly at my age, I had to do something. During the one and only time I got a facial, the student aesthetician looked at my face and muttered these words: "You need a chemical peel for those scars!" Zoink, burn!

The truth is I have a mild but persistent case of acne. The frequently erupted zone is around the jaw line and usually one zit down, another zit came up. The week before and during Aunt Flo came to pay her visit, the whole face became a mess. The Wexler anti acne treatment works to a certain extend but with my scars, my face is anything but clear and smooth. During one of my trips to Big Lots, my favorite frugal hunting ground shopping place, I got a kit of adult acne peel from L'Oreal for really cheap. Desperate situation brings desperate measure and all I knew after that was the kit came home with me.

Introducing L'Oreal Acne Response Intensive Adult Acne Peel

It's a 3-step system including a pre-peel prep treatment, an intensive peel, and a post-peel neutralizing moisturizer

So does the kit work? Do you want to see my before and after pictures? Click "Read More" for more :)

This L'Oreal Acne Response Intensive Adult Acne Peel kit is easy to use and designed to rapidly clear acne breakouts and fight signs of aging using 2% salicylic acid. As it is an at-home peel kit, the concentration of BHA (salicylic acid) is small and safe to use. The whole process takes me about 10 minutes and I use it 3 times a week. The kit contains enough products for six weeks although it seems like it can go a bit beyond to me.

Step 1: Pre-Peel Prep Treatment

The prep treatment basically is a face wash that has 0.55% salicylic acid. It is designed to clean and removes excess oil to prepare the skin for optimal peel result. My face feels squeeky clean after washing with the prep treatment. The thing I love about this product is it's scent free; however, it is quite drying if used everyday so I just stick with my Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser on my non-peel days.

Step 2: Intensive Peel

This is the core of the kit containing 2% salicylic acid and glycolic acid. It is an alcohol-base gel-like product and the smell of alcohol is quite cloying. The concentration of glycolic acid is not disclosed but I doubt it's higher than 10% (safe for over-the-counter products.) The instruction stated to squeeze the solution to a cotton pad that's included in the kit and apply all over the face, avoiding areas undearneath the nose. A warming or tingling sensation is common and it should not be left on longer than 5 minutes. If any uncomfortable feelings occur, a post-peel neutralizer should be applied immediately.

Step 3: Post-Peel Neutralizing Moisturizer

This is a non-scented moisturizer with 0.6% salicylic acid that's applied to stop the peeling solution from going further. Beside having salicylic acid, it is a regular non-scented moisturizer.

Now it's time for some show and tell:

Picture taken on 9/04/08
One of those rare days that I did not have a zit!

Not seen in the picture: scars in the jaw line and on the sides of the cheeks. Plus the texture of my skin was bumpy and I had a lot of open comedones. The pores were huge as well. Notice the color of my skin in this picture.

After one week of using the peel, the bumps decreased dramatically. I notice the area underneath my lips became smoother. However, my face was oilier and I got more breakouts. I guess my face had to go through a period of purging before it got better.

Picture taken on 10/14/08, a month after using the kit

Although it does not look like there was a lot of changes, the picture was actually taken after my monthly visitation and my skin usually is at its worst state during the month. This is something that I call success because I had about 3 small zits during the week before. The texture of the skin is indeed smoother (like a baby's bottom) and the scars in the jawline are lightened up a lot. Also, the area of frequent breakouts is unclogged and my skin is healing well. Pores are smaller and my makeup glides on much better. Also, it looks like my skin is a bit lightened than before.

Currently, this kit is no longer sold in store. However and other places still sell it online for a lot cheaper than before ($8 USD vs. $21 USD). I would suggest it to adults who want to treat acne and acne scars at home as it is a very effective kit. And no, my face does not peel like Samantha's as all! The only places that peel are my fingers but since I wear gloves when applying the peel, the problem is solved. However, I do not recommend this for people who have respiratory problem as the alcohol fume is strong. If you decide to use it anyways, make sure you are in a well-ventilated room.

If you can't find this kit anywhere and have more change in your pocket, I think Murad Intensive Resurfacing Peel ($165 USD!) is a good product. For me, I wish L'Oreal is making something better for adult acne suferers as they currently do not sell any anti-acne products anymore.

How about you? Do you consider a peel or have you had a peel before? Just give me some comments, ok? I'd love to hear from you.

Take care,
Your Makeup Blogger

P.S: If you like my blog, please subscribe to my feed. Thanks a lot!