After spending a lot of money at local aesthetic clinics, I can’t tell you how excited I was when my overseas shipment of 40% Lactic Acid Peel from Makeup Artist’s Choice (MUAC) arrived.
I was so eager to use it that I even skipped the patch test. Please refrain from doing what I did. All chemical peels involve a certain degree of risks, no matter how superficial the peel is.
I was willing to take the risk because I knew my skin could generally handle chemical peels quite well. After all, I’ve been through three rounds of VI Peel and one session of VI Precision Peel, which are considered medium-depth peels. Lactic Acid, being one of the mildest form of peels within the “Superficial Peel” family was something I thought my skin would be able to take to quite easily.
Here’s the hierarchy of peel in terms of acid strength:
- Superficial Peel (e.g. Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid)
- Medium Peel (e.g. TCA, VI peel)
- Deep Peel (e.g. Phenol)
Why Chemical Peel?
There are different reasons why people do a chemical peel – be it to lighten pigmentation, reduce fine lines, minimize pores or to improve skin texture and wrinkles.
For me, the motivation is to :
- Rejuvenate (boost collagen)
- Minimize pores
Makeup Artist’s Choice 40% Lactic Acid Peel
I ordered the 0.5 oz kit, which contains a 0.5 oz 40% Lactic Acid, and a 0.5 oz pH Prep Solution. It costs USD18.75.
I have not tried lactic acid at the clinics, but have spent $1200 for a package of three VI peels, and $1500 for a package of three VI Precision peels. So you can imagine how my jaw dropped when I saw how cheap this thing costs. And one 0.5 oz bottle can definitely give me at least 6 peels, I reckon.
How to Apply 40% Lactic Acid Peel?
If you purchase the 40% Lactic Acid peel from Makeup Artist’s Choice, you’ll receive an instruction card that tells you exactly what to do. Let me briefly summarise the instructions:
- Do a patch test on a quarter-size area such as wrist or neck. Wait for 24 hours.
- Clean your skin. Allow to dry.
- Apply pH prep solution with a cotton ball. Allow to dry.
- Apply lactic acid serum with finger tips.
- Leave on for 3 to 7 mins.
- Rinse with soap and water.
- Rebalance with pH prep solution
Here’s how I did it.
There was a very slight tingling sensation upon the first touch of serum on the skin. But it was fine. No pain, no discomfort. I had it on for 7 minutes.
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My face didn’t turn red, just slightly flushed. This is a far cry from my lobster experience with VI peel.
Any downtime with 40% Lactic Acid Peel?
Not for me. Other than slight flaking on my nose and lips from Day 4 onwards, there was no visible peeling on the other areas.
By the way, no peel doesn’t mean no good. Since this is a superficial peel, the ‘peel’ could be microscopic. If you want the real ‘peel’ that makes you look like a shedding snake, go try VI or TCA peel. The effect would be more pronounced, but includes a one-week downtime.
Of course, my palm (where I placed the serum during application), also enjoyed a convenient peel.
The Results: 40% Lactic Acid Peel
My face looks more radiant and refreshed. Though I wouldn’t say the difference was very pronounced. The pore size looks the same. Any pigments there are still there.
But I wasn’t dissapointed because superficial peel, being a no-downtime peel, is a ‘slow and steady’ option. It requires a series of weekly or fortnighly peels to be done to achieve the same result of a medium peel.
Furthermore, I’m using superficial peel as a maintenance peel, to be done in-between my medium-depth peels (which are more likely to produce instant results). Rating: 4/5
Should Chemical Peel be left to the Professionals?
Many would advocate letting the professionals do the peels and not DIY. I am not here to advocate anything, as results (and implications) do differ from individual to individual. But my own comfort level is to start off with superficial peels.
To help you decide, try answering these questions:
- Are you diligent enough to do extensive research and reading?
- Do you have a fair or medium skin tone?
- Have you had at least a peel done by the professional?
- Are you careful and meticulous by nature?
My answer to all the above is a resounding ‘YES’. If you answer ‘No’ to any of the questions above, visiting the doctor may be a better option for you.