Why not peel away a layer of your skin to reverse winter's harmful effects on your skin?

Here's to brighter, smoother skin
Here's to brighter, smoother skin

As someone who very openly hates the winter season, I'm always open to any mood uplifting activities that will add a dollop of summer to my life. 

Not only do I have an intense aversion to what winter does to my sinuses, but I also dread winter skin with all the dehydration and dullness that comes with it.

READ MORE: Your ultimate winter beauty guide for all skin types, every shade, and all budget sizes 

As more young women start to invest in extensive skincare routines, an interest in outpatient aesthetic procedures has become more evident in South Africa. I'm one such woman, and as a result, I've been meaning to go for a chemical peel for the longest time. I finally decided that my first winter in Johannesburg should be the time to do so, especially since I'm a fan of what beauty aficionados call "lunch time treatments" because of how quick they are.

The chemical peel prescribed to me by a Dermalogica beauty therapist was one of their three Pro Power peels - the Power Clear peel (the other other two are the Advanced Renewal and Ultra Bright peels). This particular peel has salicylic acid as an ingredient and would therefore assist with decongesting my skin. 

The Power Clear prescription was made after my therapist took me through a series of questions related to my skin concerns and my overall health, ensuring that I'm not on any kind of chronic medication, pregnant or had recently had any injectable treatments on my skin. This is where I indicated that the skin congestion on my chin would soon rival my sinus congestion if I didn't find the best treatment for it fast. 

Basically, there is no cookie cutter prescription for everyone, the peels can be customised and combined to target your exact concern. 

READ MORE: "I tried this popular treatment for hyperpigmentation - and my skin already looks brighter"  

Before I get into how my treatment went, let's revisit exactly what the purpose of a chemical peel is and how it works. In a previous W24 article, Cape Town-based dermatologist Dr. Nomphelo Gantsho, explained it as follows;

"A chemical peel removes the top layer of skin to reveal smoother, healthier skin below. This is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck and hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off." 

She added that the results achieved from a chemical peel can include "[anything] from a reduction in wrinkles to a more even skin colour, brighter complexion and smoother skin." 

Are those the results I'm hoping for? Absolutely.

And now that we know the goal, let me take you through the process:

I arrived to my appointment in my usual minimal makeup look, so 'step zero' before my Power Clear peel entailed precleansing my skin with an oil balm to remove the makeup and open up my pores. 

It felt magical. Micellar water could never. 

And then came a second cleanse with just pure steam and a cleanser. Again, very pleasant. 

Step 1: Alcohol and witch hazel were applied in order to prepare my skin. This only tingled slightly.  

Step 2: The first layer of Power Clear was applied, which for a second, felt like my only layer of skin was being removed. But only for a second - it's just a tingling sensation and a watery eye (or both) from then on. And then a second layer was applied.

Step 3: Neutralisation - this step is to simply neautralise the skin until you no longer feel the tingling sensation. 

Step 4: Serum - here, an ion active serum is then applied. This was for my specific skin concern; preventing breakouts and decongesting my nose (whiteheads) and chin. 

Step 5: Finally, my pores welcomed a spritz of toner, and I had to navigate the mall with my most bare, yet best-feeling face ever. 

READ MORE: Great things that happen when you don’t wear makeup 

I'm currently under strict instructions from my beauty therapist to use the Dermalogica ultra-calming mist, cleansing booster, calm water gel, and their super sensitive shield (SPF 30) for the next three days, and to drink plenty more water in order to hydrate my skin. Oh, and to not get any exposure to the sun during this healing time as well. 

This means I haven't gone for my afternoon walks for two days now. I had to UberEats a smoothie to my desk instead of simply walking a block away from the office. 

My explanation to one of my colleagues;

Essentially, my face feels the most elastic and soft it's been in a while, and I've been prouder to show it off than a Tinder guy is to show off his BMW, which is why I have no qualms with having to go without makeup while I'm on the post-care skin regimen.

Also worth noting for anyone who goes for beauty treatments regularly; it's advisable that you avoid injectables for six weeks. 

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