Thursday, 31 October 2013

My experience with Bravura Glycolic Peel (30%)

After hearing great things about Bravura and its home acid peel system I decided it was time to try it for myself.

As you know I have tried microdermabrasion before in an attempt to deal with acne and scarring. Peels are also meant to be great for acne, scarring and anti-ageing and in my experience salons typically suggest peels as an alternative to microdermabrasion for anyone whose skin is not suitable. 

Bravura is a British brand and that sell lactic and glycolic acid peels and other skincare products such as cleansers, masks and moisturisers. The peels work out significantly cheaper than salon treatments, which was the major appeal for me. 
I purchased the glycolic acid peel set and the recommended brush for application for a grand total of £20.28 and purchased the neutraliser, sodium bicarbonate, from the supermarket since it is cheaper and I would be certain to have enough spare.

All the peels come with detailed instructions and suggest that you perform a patch test first, 48 hours before, and have a good sun protection on hand to protect your skin while going through the treatments.

The peel can only be used once a week, half an hour after cleansing. Initially it is applied for two minutes but this can be increased by a minute each week depending on your skin’s reaction, up to a maximum of seven minutes.

In six weeks of using this, every week I was just as paranoid as the last. My previous experience of using acids was in the lab and then I was covered up with a lab coat, goggles and gloves and handling it in a fume cupboard, so performing this treatment in my PJs in the bathroom was bizarre to say the least.

I pipetted a small amount of the acid into a spare lid and soaked the brush in the liquid. Immediately after I applied to one part of my face I started the timer and then continued to apply all over my face and part of my neck, obviously avoiding the eye area and my lips.
My skin condition on week two (right) and week six (left) 
Once I applied the peel, I experienced a mild itching feeling. After two minutes I applied the neutraliser using my fingers, which stops the acid from working, rinsed and repeated.

I warn you that the first time you do this the result is quite shocking! The neutraliser makes the acid fizz and hearing that sound on your skin is very disconcerting! This stage is actually much more painful than the acid step, the itching sensation is more like a sting and my face felt hot but this feeling passed quickly.
My skin condition on week two (right) and week six (left)
Considering the treatment is quite harsh I expected my skin to feel dry but it felt very soft and smooth immediately after the treatment. I always performed my peels at night and never applied anything immediately after.

The day after my skin still felt smooth and I didn’t experience any “peeling” as you might traditionally expect, although the days after I had some drier patches. Generally I found that four days after the peel my skin looked in the best condition.

By week six I did experience more peeling and dryness days after the treatment, possibly because by this time I was leaving the acid on for longest. Week two for me was the worst experience, after a few days I broke out quite badly, which was particularly annoying since I had a wedding a few days later. I’m not sure if this was just a case of bad luck or the normal course of the treatment.

As I purchased the glycolic set, I still have a six week course of 50% glycolic to use. At this stage I feel that my skin is fine but I haven’t achieved the dramatic results I had hoped for. The before and after pictures I have included show that while some areas look better, the spots I had showing up in between cancelled out the marks I managed to get rid of and ultimately I would like to clear all my scarring and reduce pitted scars if I can and I am hoping my next set of treatments will do the trick.

Have you ever considered having a chemical peel? And how would you feel about doing it yourself?
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