Confession: As much as I love natural skincare, when it comes to facial treatments, I want hardcore science. Not only that, I’m completely ready to experience some level of pain to achieve my desired complexion.
I blame the sun for the state of my skin. It's pretty good for my age, but I’m certain it would have been better had I diligently sought out shade instead of a tan. In my teen years there was no self-tanner, and when it was eventually released, the finish made Trump’s Cheetos hue look positively subtle.
But back to the pain. Thanks to my years as a beauty editor (aka human guinea pig), I’ve experienced most types of facials. From the tranquil to the fist-clenchingly painful. The first "uncomfortable" treatment I had was in a DMK clinic. DMK (short for Danné Montague-King, the scientist and dermatologist behind the brand) is a paramedical line from the US, originally developed to prep plastic surgery patients so their skin would work at its optimal level before being operated on, according to the brand. It’s a results-driven collection but it’s the in-salon treatments that really stand out. The DMK technicians I trusted for my first peel eight years ago, were the same ones I trusted for my first lunchtime peel.
Keep reading for the intel on my first lunchtime peel.
First off, are peels really worth it?
Peels are like face masks on steroids. Depending upon the chemicals used, skin looks brighter (due to eliminating pigmentation), firmness and bounce is restored, and skin basically reverts to its former youthful vibrancy. So, yes.
What actually happens?
This particular peel is botanicals-based and uses a pharmaceutical grade combination of AHAs and BHAs for a controlled micro-removal of the epidermis. Post-BHA and AHA treatment, skin looks radiant and luminous, and fine lines and wrinkles are reduced.
How painful is it?
The pain is akin to bull ant bites...on your face. Fortunately the sensation doesn’t last long and a calming mask is applied immediately afterwards to soothe.
What are the key ingredients?
Glycolic acid: Removes dead skin cells on the surface.
Lactic acid: Less irritating than other acids, it refreshes and retexturizes the skin whilst stimulating cell renewal.
Salicylic acid: Has a keratolytic, acne-fighting action, keeping the skin clean and clear.
What should I expect during the peel?
You'll begin with a thorough skin consultation and assessment followed by a deep cleanse. A detoxifying solution called "dermatox" is then applied, followed by the peel solution (the painful part). After this your face will be wrapped in cling wrap to infuse the peel. This is followed by a soothing, hydrating mask meant to plump and firm. Finally, the treatment finishes with a transdermal infusion of multivitamin, mineral, essential fatty acid and amino acids meant to replenish and rebuild skin. This promises to help restore it to an optimal environment in which new skin cells will thrive.
So, what about the results?
I honestly think it made me look three to five years younger! There is a two week period after the peel in which dead skin cells full of melanin (cute) peel away. In my experience, this reveals fresh new skin with minimized pigmentation, softened lines and a nice bounce and glow.
What will it cost me?
The peel will set you back $150, not including post-treatment products.
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Arif T. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:455-461. doi:10.2147/CCID.S84765