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Hello everyone,

So I have had acne for pretty much all of my high school life, and now, after about 4 years, it has just about cleared up through a combination of a meticulous skincare routine, green tea, improved diet, glycolic pads etc. I do have the odd breakout for hormonal reasons during that time of the month, but I feel like it's in the same recurring areas and once those layers of skin are removed, it will stop. Anyway, I have been left with terrible hyperpigmentation. It is the type that's so dark against my normal skin that it's impossible to cover with make up. I've looked into a LOT of possible treatments and have come to the conclusion that doing a TCA peel at home will be the best method to removing these scars for me. It seems to be the most effective acid over lactic and others. I know that some people may not recommend doing a peel at home, but I am going to do it because it is so so much cheaper than getting it done professionally and if I follow the instructions and research it thoroughly, it minimises my risk of error.

So, I recently purchased the Yavonae 25% TCA Peel from Amazon. I was hesitant about getting it from Amazon, but it had over 100 good reviews and the brand seems legitimate. Plus, I have no other choice, as MUAC TCA doesn't ship to my country and the TCA on eBay looked very..suspicious shall we say. Since all of my exams will be over next week, I have about 3 months off school and at home, so it will be the perfect time for me to complete the peel. However, I have a LOT of questions about it even after reading the instructions and there are so many things I need to be 100% knowledgeable about before I even do the patch test. The best way for me to pose these questions is just by listing them all. I'm not expecting one person to answer every single one, but if you could answer as many as you can based on your own knowledge and experience, I would appreciate it so much! I would also love to hear any other TCA advice or stories you have.

My questions are....

1. Will TCA be okay for my skin tone? I have heard it can be dangerous for darker skin tones but I'm not sure what is meant by "darker"..is it African American or anything that is not Caucasian? I have Middle Eastern skin, I'd say it's like Kim Kardashian's. Is this "too dark"?

2. I bought 25% but I have heard that it's best to dilute it and start with 12.5. But then I don't want 12.5 to be so low that I don't see any results. Should I dilute it or go straight in with 25?

3. I use a dermaroller every few weeks on my skin too. I haven't done it for about 3/4 weeks now in preparation for the peel. Is it safe to restart after the peel? And if so, how long after?

4. I use Peter Thomas Roth Alpha Hydroxy Glycolic Exfoliating pads to keep my skin clear. It says in my instructions to stop using all exfoliating products up to 3 weeks beforehand, but I've read on here that you should prep your skin with gylcolic acid. Since this product falls right in the middle of the spectrum, what do you recommend I do? Continue using them or stop a week or two before? Also, how long after the peel can I restart?

5. I also know that you must ban all hair removal up to 4 weeks before. I have done this, but does threading/waxing eyebrows count? Because I'm not going to apply the peel to my eyebrows but I don't want to take any chances.

6. What do I apply the acid with? A cotton wool pad?

7. I have heard that you should use neosporin afterwards. They don't sell it in my country, so it's going to cost me quite a bit more to buy online. Is it necessary and does it make you break out?

8. It says in the instructions to prep skin right before the peel with acetone or alcohol..I have no idea where to purchase this from!! Is it a necessary step?

9. How long should I leave the peel on considering its my first time? The instructions suggest 5 minutes but I think that's too long

10. I will be fasting while my skin is recovering from the peel, so I won't be able to drink my usual 10 or so glasses of water each day. Will this affect the process in any way?

11. Are there any good excuses I can use for why my skin looks the way it does during the peeling? Since I don't really want to tell every family member I encounter about what it is and why I'm doing it...

12. Lastly, any more tips..?

Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate all of the help and sorry for writing so much!

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i think i used skin sollutions tca 25% ...clean face with alcohol ...have a cool air blow dryer ready and maybe bowl of ice water and goggles to cover eyes ...apply acid i think i used cotton balls all over area wait 3-5 mins for it to frost then do it again ...i apply atleast 3 coats....going to try 5 next time ...keep aquafor on face all the time mine generally peels 72-84 hours later u might need to have someone help u through this

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start slow, you dont want to do more damage then good, especially since your darker toned. start with 12.5 or 15%. do a test patch, if no adverse reaction after 24 hours, then do 1 coat with q-tips, leave it on until you frost (up to 5 mins generally; and you might not frost with the lower percentages) then rinse off well with cool water (some people use some baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the peel) and see how your skin responds. you may or may not peel with the lower percentages. keep your face moisturized. you could probably do 2 layers the next month if your skin reacts well. then you could probably increase the percentage a little and do one layer of that the next time. TCA is strong, and some people have damaged their skin with it. so just start slow, hyperpigmentation will go away eventually without intervention, you dont want to cause any permanent damage. as for fasting, i don't know. i don't recommend fasting while trying to heal (unless they're throwing up or have the flu), i normally recommend to eat lots of nutritious food so your body can heal properly. just my advice. goodluck!

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start slow, you dont want to do more damage then good, especially since your darker toned. start with 12.5 or 15%. do a test patch, if no adverse reaction after 24 hours, then do 1 coat with q-tips, leave it on until you frost (up to 5 mins generally; and you might not frost with the lower percentages) then rinse off well with cool water (some people use some baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the peel) and see how your skin responds. you may or may not peel with the lower percentages. keep your face moisturized. you could probably do 2 layers the next month if your skin reacts well. then you could probably increase the percentage a little and do one layer of that the next time. TCA is strong, and some people have damaged their skin with it. so just start slow, hyperpigmentation will go away eventually without intervention, you dont want to cause any permanent damage.

as for fasting, i don't know. i don't recommend fasting while trying to heal (unless they're throwing up or have the flu), i normally recommend to eat lots of nutritious food so your body can heal properly. just my advice. goodluck!

Thank you!! I am just worried that Q tips will be too small for my whole face? I will definitely start with a lower percentage then. Also, I have heard that Avene Cicalfate is a good substitute for Neosporin..what do you think?

I appreciate your advice!

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Definitely stick to diluted. 25% is where you should max out for at home use and is for experienced users. The Q tip works well. I just do long horizontal strokes from ear to midface, starting at the top and moving down after every stroke. I usually use a couple Q tips. That's how I saw people on youtube do theirs. You can watch some TCA videos too. It's kind of nice to see a visual demonstration.

Let your skin heal for at least 6 weeks after. Each skin cycle (30 days) will show more results. The results you see a couple weeks after the peel is not the final results. I see improvements up to 90 days after. It just keeps healing. If you want to do another one, 6 weeks will be midway through your time off and plenty of time to do another and heal.

Aquaphor (or Vaseline) and lotion is all you need for the first 3 days or so. Continue to moisturize for good basically. That's essential to healing. Don't use harsh pad products on your skin for a little while. Your skin really needs to be moist, and it's fresh sensitive skin under there, so putting glycolic acid on it isn't the best way to go. That Avene Cicalfate looks like a great cream to use for healing, but I'd still have some Vaseline for protection directly after. You need a layer of a protective barrier for the first few days.

I don't think you'll be able to hide it. There's going to be a few days where your skin is going to look funny, and then very very peely. Do not help the process, let it completely fall off on its own. Showering after day 5 tends to help get the flakes off. I find it takes 10 days from the peel to look normal and you can go back out with no worries. Oh, and sunscreen!! Never never forget that. I put mine on even if I sat by a window. Sunscreen needs to become a routine addition to your skincare if it isn't already. I use kiss my face and it doesn't clog my pores.

The alcohol, is there any toners you can get? Those have alcohol in them. You should check the ingredients and get a gentle one. I use witch hazel, but it smells funny. You can use any. The point of the alcohol is to sterilize the area and to wipe away any oil on your skin to have a better surface to start with for the TCA.

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Definitely stick to diluted. 25% is where you should max out for at home use and is for experienced users. The Q tip works well. I just do long horizontal strokes from ear to midface, starting at the top and moving down after every stroke. I usually use a couple Q tips. That's how I saw people on youtube do theirs. You can watch some TCA videos too. It's kind of nice to see a visual demonstration.

Let your skin heal for at least 6 weeks after. Each skin cycle (30 days) will show more results. The results you see a couple weeks after the peel is not the final results. I see improvements up to 90 days after. It just keeps healing. If you want to do another one, 6 weeks will be midway through your time off and plenty of time to do another and heal.

Aquaphor (or Vaseline) and lotion is all you need for the first 3 days or so. Continue to moisturize for good basically. That's essential to healing. Don't use harsh pad products on your skin for a little while. Your skin really needs to be moist, and it's fresh sensitive skin under there, so putting glycolic acid on it isn't the best way to go. That Avene Cicalfate looks like a great cream to use for healing, but I'd still have some Vaseline for protection directly after. You need a layer of a protective barrier for the first few days.

I don't think you'll be able to hide it. There's going to be a few days where your skin is going to look funny, and then very very peely. Do not help the process, let it completely fall off on its own. Showering after day 5 tends to help get the flakes off. I find it takes 10 days from the peel to look normal and you can go back out with no worries. Oh, and sunscreen!! Never never forget that. I put mine on even if I sat by a window. Sunscreen needs to become a routine addition to your skincare if it isn't already. I use kiss my face and it doesn't clog my pores.

The alcohol, is there any toners you can get? Those have alcohol in them. You should check the ingredients and get a gentle one. I use witch hazel, but it smells funny. You can use any. The point of the alcohol is to sterilize the area and to wipe away any oil on your skin to have a better surface to start with for the TCA.

Your post is so helpful! Thank you!!

I will watch a YouTube video to get a better sense of what I'm doing. I had no idea results lasted that long..90 days is surprising!

I didn't know to use Aquaphor, so I'll take a look at it. Does it make you break out? I have stopped using the gyloclic pads for a while and will continue long after the peel now.

I already have a tea tree toner..would that be good enough? Thank you once again, I appreciate your advice so much

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Aquaphor is not known to cause breakouts. It feels a little gooey but pretty soothing after the peel. Your tea tree toner likely has alcohol and would be perfect for pre-peel prep.

When you do a peel, you put your skin in repair mode. You're technically causing stress on the skin, and skin regenerates. That's why the results right after the peel are not the end, the skin will continue to repair itself from the infliction. It takes time. Your complexion will continue to improve and fine lines will continue to fill in. It's pretty awesome.

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Aquaphor is not known to cause breakouts. It feels a little gooey but pretty soothing after the peel. Your tea tree toner likely has alcohol and would be perfect for pre-peel prep.

When you do a peel, you put your skin in repair mode. You're technically causing stress on the skin, and skin regenerates. That's why the results right after the peel are not the end, the skin will continue to repair itself from the infliction. It takes time. Your complexion will continue to improve and fine lines will continue to fill in. It's pretty awesome.

I checked, it does have alcohol. Thank goodness for that!! I have researched aquaphor and many people say it breaks them out! It's also only suggested for 30% or more. I'll see how the patch test goes with the Avene and then see. Thank you for your help!

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