FGW: Resurfacing- It’s not just for roads….

September 17, 2008 at 1:24 am 4 comments

Every now and then you look in the mirror and feel like starting fresh. At times like these there’s only one thing you can turn to: Chemical peels. What, you expected me to say therapy and self discovery?

A typical Glycolic Acid facial in a spa can be a relaxing and refreshing experience, but there are a few drawbacks. The first is time. At 45 minutes to an hour plus transit time, you’re looking at a decent chunk of time every 2-6 months, depending on your skin and the exact results you wish to achieve. Second is the cost. At roughly $80 a piece, generally as a series of about 6 treatments, that’s a lot of fun money, at least for someone like me. If you choose to get a stronger peel from a doctor than you can expect to spend $150-$300 a session, though the length of time between sessions can be much longer, depending on your needs and results. The recovery from one of these procedures is also much more intense, often with flaking, redness, and oozing skin. Makes me want to run right out and get one, how about you?

Thankfully, there’s a third option, an home peel. Alpha Hydroxy Acid products sold to consumers must be a concentration less than 10%, so the chances of doing your skin serious damage are greatly reduced when choosing these. These products can give your skin the little extra boost you’re looking for, brightening and smoothing rough, sun-damaged skin.

I’ve been trying Murad’s Intensive Resurfacing Peel for just that purpose.

Sold as a set of 12 ampoules, Intensive Resurface Peel covers the needs of many skin types with both Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids(BHA). AHAs work mainly as an exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells and making room for regrowth of new skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are reported to improve wrinkling, roughness, and uneven skin tone of sun-damaged skin and may even stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. BHA (salicylic acid) is able to penetrate into pores which contain sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. BHA is better used on oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads, while AHAs are better used on thickened, sun-damaged skin. Containing both glycolic acid and salicylic acid, Intensive Resurfacing Peel covers all the bases.

A few moments after applying you start to feel a tingle. Some people with more sensitive skin might even call it a slight sting. Any broken skin or irritated blemishes will definitely sting if you apply this over them. First you cleanse and tone, then apply the peel all over your face/neck. After 10 minutes, or less if you find it too irritating, you simply rinse your face with warm water and continue your typical regimen. I first got a hold of this product as a deluxe sample from Sephora, but after that one use I just HAD to try the full cycle. The 12 ampoules are meant to be used 3 times a week, giving you a month’s worth in one package, though it is entirely possible to squeeze extra uses from each ampoule without altering the effectiveness. My skin felt so smooth and supple after using this, I just about fell over from the sheer joy of it. Over the month I used this I saw improvement in some old scarring from chicken pox, though it wasn’t quite as drastic as I’d hoped. My serums and moisturizer certainly felt as though they absorbed faster and better after use.

The bamboo beads included in the formula are sparse and are more puzzling than effective. Something else that I found incredibly annoying was the poor design of the packaging. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing, not being privy to research and all, but it is impossible to extract all of the product from this bottle without prying off the top and using a cotton swab. With a product that costs as much as this ($165 a set) I would expect to be able to get my money’s worth without playing MacGuyver to scoop it out. The price is a deterrent as well, since your instinct is to use as little as possible due to the cost, which could reduce the effectiveness. Also, you MUST remember to use a sunscreen when you’re using AHA or BHA products, since they make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. Ironic, isn’t it, that the product which can repair your skin’s sun damage also makes it more susceptible to sun damage?

Overall I loved this, but I’m just not sure I’m quite ready for something so intense yet. My skin is still fairly young and in pretty good shape, and the proper use of cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen is really all I need for the moment. If you feel like you need a little more for your skin, you know where to find a fast, easy, effective home peel, Murad’s Intensive Resurface Peel.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marilyn  |  September 17, 2008 at 8:32 am

    You crack me up! Yes, in my case, I DID think you were going to recommend therapy. And I can’t imagine that your skin needs much “road work” – it is beautiful!

  • 2. Jami  |  September 17, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Sounds like a good product, but yes, the price tag is a drawback. And like you said, that darn packaging! I also don’t understand the need for the “extra” ampule style these days. I know it’s probably to show proper dosage size, but it’s just extra for our landfills.

    It sounds like I need to look for something with BHAs. I’ve got some clogged pores (always have) on my nose and to each side. Any recommendations MBB?

  • 3. Jen Hill  |  September 17, 2008 at 10:14 am

    My favorite form of BHA is from white willow salicins which is a natural salicylic acid that treats acne, pain, and inflammation. I have had wonderful results while using the Sukipure skincare line. Suki’s Transformative Cleansing Clay, Balancing Day Lotion and Concentrated Balancing Toner are excellent products for sensitive, blemish prone skin.

    I have also heard good things about using an aspirin facial mask, and have tried this a few times, but have heard to use with caution if you have aspirin sensitivities or have highly reactive skin. Looks like I need to type up a post on this one!

    Marilyn, isn’t Mo amazing?! You don’t need therapy, just an evening away from Gary once in a while. 😉

  • 4. Jen Hill  |  September 17, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Here’s the link to the aspirin mask, “Hot Mama Challenge: Simple yet effective skincare.”


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