1st TCA Facial Peel - Day 1

I decided that because of the downtime I experienced when I applied the TCA peel on my hands, arms, and the patch I did on my face, I just can’t do my entire face at once with 25%.  I did a patch on my face of 12.5%, but that took just as long to peel as the 25%, so I’m not sure I want to go down in percentage since I’ll need to do more peels to get the results I want.   

Instead, I’ve decided to do sections of my face, one small section each week.  I think I can manage a small section getting leathery and brown, then cracking and peeling, but I’m not sure I can deal with doing my entire face at one time. 

First, I’ve been doing Glycolic Acid 35% Gel Peel weekly now for four weeks in preparation.  I read that the TCA or deeper peels work more evenly if the dead skin is unlocked via AHAs for about a month.  I also tested the TCA percentage that I wanted to use on several places, including my hands, arms, and face (an area my hair always covers), which also served as an allergy test. So I think I'm ready...

Today, I prepared by gathering supplies: Neutralizer, Alcohol Swabs, and the 25% TCA Peel, then I cleansed with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Afterward, I wiped with alcohol wipes, and applied the 25% TCA using a cotton swab. 

The area took about one minute to frost (turn white); I wish I would have taken a picture, but I was too concerned with making sure I was ready to neutralize when I needed to, and it stung a lot.  I’ll take a picture of the frosting next week when I do my second section.

After I neutralized, I rinsed with cool tap water for about 20-30 seconds, patted dry, and applied a new moisturizer that I’ve fallen in love with: Reviva Alpha Lipoic Acid Lotion with DMAE and Ester C.  The area is barely pink now.  It was red for about 15 minutes afterward, but nothing outrageous.  I know it will start to turn a little darker by tomorrow, but for now I don’t even need makeup.

You can see this section of my face has several wrinkles and marks from blemishes.  I hope to reduce the appearance of these with several TCA 25% peels this winter.  We'll see... 
This is a repost from last year, and I will repost all my peels from last winter. I am unable to do my peels this year due to a promotion at work (I hate that I am so visible now. Need to figure out how to change that!)


  1. August you began prepping with retin A, correct? And September? There was no followup for peel prepping and I wanted to be certain.
    Now you will be doing the 25% TCA is designated areas, not the whole face? So, prepped with retin a - then peel *in area* with 25%tca?

  2. I am sorry, Gabi - you began the retin prep in August, then the weekly glycolic in September to begin the tca 25% in October?

  3. Hi Barb, this post is from 2011, but yes I use retin-a type product during the last two weeks of August and first two weeks of September (first month of school for me), then I'll do a whole face TCA peel. Here's the link from a couple of weeks ago with more details: http://mychemicalpeel.blogspot.com/2012/09/time-to-peel.html

  4. Trying to make a timeline - - I believe I began to take notes here at this point. I MUST look for those notes lol! Whole face? You think I'd be done with the peelies by Oct 12th? ~~Barb