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DIY TCA Chemical Facial Peel

Updated on October 7, 2012

Home Solutions for Exfoliating

How to do a Safe TCA Chemical Peel at Home

If you’ve never heard of TCA or TriChloroAcetic Acid, then you’ll be amazed at what you are about to find out. This severe-sounding chemical is actually one of the best exfoliating agents around, and is milder than most others in its category, making it perfect for a do-it-at-home session. The acid works by dissolving dead surface cells, unmasking the healthy skin underneath. It’s perfect for hyper-pigmentation, acne, and other skin blemishes. A TCA chemical peel also has a shorter recovery time than most other medium-depth chemical peels – about 3 to 7 days. If you can afford to be out of sight for that long, then this type of peel comes highly recommended.


A TCA peel has several advantages that make it the perfect home chemical peel. It is medium strength so you can be up and about your work in less than a week; it effectively removes uneven skin coloration, surface wrinkles and acne; it’s perfect for use on the neck and other areas as well; and best of all, the strength can be set to suit your specific skin type.


Dermatologists often recommend the use of Retin-A, or Tretinoin, for about 2 weeks on a daily basis prior to using the TCA chemical peel. This will optimize the effect of the peel, as well as clear up any blemishes that are easy to remove. Retin-A’s benefits have been known since the early 80s at least, being highly recommended for the treatment of acne.


Now for the method:


1. Buy a weak solution of TCA – about 10 to 20 percent by volume – from a local pharmacy. DO NOT buy anything over 25 percent if you don’t want to burn off your epidermis; this is veryimportant.


2. Roll up your sleeve to a point on the upper arm that is usually unexposed, and apply the TCA solution as is to a small patch of skin that’s visible to you – about an inch or two in diameter should let you observe the results easily.


3. Look at the area periodically for about 24 hours; if there is no reddening of the skin or tenderness in the area, you should be able to safely put it on your face.


4. Wash your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser – do notuse a scrub or an exfoliating agent at this point – and pat dry.


5. Apply the solution to your brush applicator and dab evenly onto the skin of the face and neck, steering clear of the areas around the eyes and mouth. The evenness will ensure an even exfoliation. Keep a neutralizer to hand just in case.


6. Leave in the solution for about 5 to 6 minutes. A light tingly feeling is normal, but a burning sensation is not. If you feel any burning, spray on the neutralizer immediately and wash off the solution. If not, wash off after the suggested time has elapsed.

TCA chemical home peels are a great way to save literally hundreds of dollars in hospital fees. However, if you ever feel that you may not be able to remember the steps to do it properly at home err on the side of caution and go to a dermatologist. The money you spend will at least be worth your peace of mind.

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