Had a VI Peel With Dr. Blakely Richardson For Acne
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
I’ve built a lot of trust with my dermatologist, Dr. Blakely Richardson over the years, so when I asked her about possible solutions for the long-term discoloration I was experiencing from years of suffering with acne, as well as the hormonal melasma I had become so frustrated with above my lip, I took heart in her recommendation to try the Vi Peel.
The Vi Peel is a chemical peel that features a mixture of high quality acids, and can be altered in proportion depending on the needs of your skin. It’s not the same as a fruit-based peel, and it isn’t the most aggressive type of peel either. It was a good place to start, I was told.
I was also told that I shouldn’t expect it to, for example, fade my freckles. It would help with sun damage and hyper-pigmentation, but my freckles I’ve had on my face most of my life were going to stay, for the most part, if that helps gauge the strength of the peel.
My doctor said her in-house aesthetician would administer the peel, and that I could expect a brightening, lightening and overall more youthful appearance to my skin. The entire procedure would take 20 minutes, and at the time I planned to get Botox as well. I’m 31, and I'm getting married soon, so I wanted to look my best.
I had my appointment at the end of the day on a Tuesday. The aesthetician, Jessica, was very helpful in understanding my specific needs, including more lighteners for my particularly dark melasma, and taking my fine lines and acne needs into consideration.
I held a small fan in my hand to help with fumes, as the peel does have a very particular odor - not bad, just distinct - and she proceeded to wipe, using a disposable cloth, the mixture onto my face and neck in an upward motion. She paused between applications, and told me my skin responded well, so she was able to do three passes with the peel.
I was given a kit to take home, which Jessica carefully explained to me, from both an instructional and experiential standpoint - she had had this peel several times before. The kit included individually wrapped wipes for the couple of days following the peel, a gentle cleanser, a high SPF sunscreen, and an anti-itch cream with hydrocortisone in it for the apparent itchiness I was about to experience.
I didn’t end up getting the Botox because my skin was so tight and refreshed after the peel. I decided to save my $200 that day.
When I got home, I used the wipes as instructed. My skin didn’t feel or look irritated, just tightened. It didn’t feel alarmingly dry like I needed a moisturizer. But it did feel like something was happening. I was just very conscious of my face, curious what would happen next.
And then the itch came. My goodness! It’s like no other itch I’ve experienced. Jessica did caution me that using the anti-itch cream would result in the peel acting more slowly, and to use my discretion, but this itch! It woke me up in the night that night!
When it did wake me up in the night, I gave in. I used the hydrocortisone cream and within a few minutes I had sweet relief from this busy, crazy itch! But that was it for the itch. After that night, really no more than 16 hours later, it was over.
My skin continued to just look very tight for day 2. I didn’t wear any makeup (which was honestly a relief for my beauty rest), and that night, around 9:30pm, I saw the area around my mouth start to peel. So maybe 30 hours in, I saw the first signs of the peel happening.
Then it was open season. I watched - and tried not to touch! - as my skin peeled around the most troublesome parts of my face first. I thought they would only peel once, but it was more that the trouble areas peeled over and over, while my smoother areas, my cheeks for example, didn’t peel as many times, and they took longer to start peeling at all.
I continued to forgo makeup (it would have looked terrible on top of the peeling skin), and I slathered on the SPF cream whenever I left the house, because the main sensation my face had was just “hot.” I live in Austin, Texas, so I avoided the sun as much as possible, especially the first few days after. My skin just felt proud and warm, and I tried to touch it as little as I could (although it’s hard to not absentmindedly feel for loose ends). Your skin knows when the time is right to peel, so you’re cautioned not to “try” to encourage the peel by picking.
By day 4 things slowed down, but my neck, hairline, jawline and forehead were still peeling a little, and the area around my mouth that had experienced the most aggressive peeling (because it NEEDED IT), was showing some lingering redness that did quickly go away over the next week.
Saturday, day 5, I experienced a different kind of tightness. It wasn’t the tightness of a face about to peel anymore, it was a, “help, I’m thirsty” kind of tightness. For the first time since the peel, I started using regular moisturizer. I used the Dr. Jart Ceramidin cream because it’s so thick and nourishing, and my skin responded well to it.
A few pimples came about as a result of the peel. That is to say, they had been living under the skin for heaven knows how long, and the peel had encouraged them to crawl up from whatever hole they were hiding in. It’s now been about three weeks, and my skin has fully recovered, and those pimples have gone away.
After the peel, I took the opportunity to start using a new skincare regimen, which helped a lot to maintain the results. I can tell that with the removal of all the layers of old skin, my skincare makes a much bigger impact.
Overall, I feel like a Vi Peel is a great first peel. I plan on going for two more between now and my wedding, to continue fading the melasma, and to continue building on these results. The peel made me look younger, and it gave me a new peace of mind in feeling like for once, I’m actually ahead of what my skin is doing. I feel like it gave me the head start I needed to kind of give my skin a “fresh start.”
The peel cost $350 for the first peel, but can be purchased as a set of 3 for $850. I think it was well worth the investment!