Loose Ends

Chris gently reminded me that I haven’t updated on my chemical peel yet, and by George if she ain’t right.


So here’s the thing: I don’t look like this anymore.




Now, I look way more like this:




I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like I had the peel, and suddenly I emerged from my crusty shell wearing garish red lipstick and dark wash trouser jeans. Weird, huh?


Oh fine. The straight poop is that overall, I think the peel was worth it, and it can be for you too, if your expectations are reasonable. I have to admit that I thought my zits would burn off, which did not happen, and in fact, as the upper two layers of my skin peeled off, it exposed my clogged pores in 3D bas relief. Wow, I’ve got me some hyper sebaceous glands.


I have however noticed that my skin looks “refreshed,” and my brown spots are diminished, and my skin tone evened. I cannot emphasize enough that I have crappy German skin, not having inherited my Dad’s lustrous Norwegian complexion, anti-aged by years of coldwater fishing and ice packs culled straight from the fjords. No, I got the skin that comes after centuries of stressful warring and Black Plague avoidance. So, I instantly notice any little improvement, because in a nutshell, my skin sucks. And the peel DID help. But the zits, you know? The zits. By God, THE ZITS, HAVE YOU NO MERCY?


In any case. I had a TCA peel, which is a medium-grade chemical peel normally applied by plastic surgeons. A medical esthetician I trust, who I’ve visited for years, performed my peel, and I’m glad she did. She’s got amazing attention to detail, superior follow-up skills, and major accountability. In short, she didn’t slap the chemical on my face and tell me to call her in the morning. She called me. Several times, in fact, and walked me through the healing. A week later, she even performed a facial to sweep away the weeping sore crusts.


Anyway, meander much? Let me try to bullet point this.


  • A TCA peel is better in my opinion than lasers. I’ve seen too many laser casualties (hyperpigmentation, burns, etc.) to be comfortable with that option.
  • The peel is applied in quadrants (forehead, right cheek, left cheek, chin) and it does hurt like a motherfucker for about two minutes. But you can handle it. I’m a hypochondriac, remember? And if I can withstand burny pain for two minutes, I guarantee you can too.
  • The peel removed my superficial brown spots and very fine lines.
  • On a scale of 1-10, I think the improvement in my skin tone is a 7 and a half.
  • The peel does not eliminate acne, so be prepared to still be a pizza face if you were one before the peel.
  • The peels typically cost $1,000-ish if you go to a plastic surgeon. My medical esthetician charged $450, which included the follow-up facial.
  • It’s ideal to have a couple peels a year for best results. But since there’s a week downtime, this is hard to do if you say, work, like to go for Starbucks everyday, or show yourself to other humans who might possibly want to have sex with you.
  • If you’re approaching 40, this peel makes you feel like you are stalling the gray hands of time. And you DO notice a difference.


In other loose ends updates, Rebecca is now in a convalescent hospital. I’m going to write more about that tomorrow. I’d like to describe the experience a little more poetically, which is something I tend to do when my heart is ripped out.


All right. I suppose that’s a little dramatic. Still, there is nothing as depressing as a convalescent hospital. It’s a soul sucker, that one.


But hey! State of mind is where it’s at. Positive. I’m staying positive. The Norwegian wins over the German in this one.


24 Responses to “Loose Ends”

  1. Midlife Mama says:

    Wow!! Beauty is expensive. LOL But worth it, apparently. Your skin is luminous!

    Btw, stop by my blog. I gave you an award!! :)

  2. A couple of times a year? Burny for two minutes.


    Okay. Maybe.

  3. Da Goddess says:

    1) I’m going to a convalescent hospital after my surgery at some point and not all are bad.

    2) I’m glad Rebecca has you.

    3) Couple minutes of burny stuff? Nah. I’ll pass.

    4) You look amazing!

  4. Green Girl says:

    The gal who cuts my hair had one–it was amazing the difference in her complexion so I totally believe you. You do look fab now!

  5. Thank you Deb. This is honest and helpful information for those of us considering beautification projects on our mugs.

    Your skin looks great in the pictures – can’t see any signs of acne though.

    I’ll keep Rebecca in my thoughts…

  6. g says:

    Yikes!! You look fantastic in shot #2, but shot #1 looks painful!

    Best thoughts about your friend Rebecca. My family is struggling to help our Mom – we are trying to transition her into assisted living, but she has taken a turn for the worse and it may end up being a convalescent home instead. This is not fun. I hope your friend Rebecca is getting the care she needs.

  7. You look beautiful!

    I’d be scared I’d scar, and then break out on top of the peels, because gah! The break outs!

  8. Danielle says:

    I’ve recently found your blog and I quite enjoy reading it! I read one post and it felt like I was writing it myself (your first Rebecca post, the part you said to skip, well I didn’t skip that part).

    And, You look great after your peel!!!

  9. Jennifer H says:

    I’ve considered a chemical peel, and am glad to hear from someone who’s gone through the procedure. You look amazing!

    (But, seriously, ouch…that first photo)

  10. You’re hot.

    This was fascinating. I wrote it down TCA Peel and will save it for when I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.(I’m almost there).

  11. vodkamom says:

    OMG You look fantastic. (Now I remember the whole fake boob incident everyone was commenting about.) Now, if had some money laying around, I would SO seriously consider this. I have a few spots coming on and I am in denial. TOTAL DENIAL. If I stand close to the grill can I apply one to myself???

  12. Detailed review – good stuff to know as I have already approached and overtaken 40…

    I feel the need to say, however, that your lipstick does not look garish to me; it looks fantastic. Wish I could work the lip color like that.

  13. Lauren says:

    Wow, you look fantastic. I wish I could have one…approaching mid-40’s now…run, run for the woods! Anyway I appreciate your before and after pictures. I have a friend who wants a peel. She has a lot of brown spots. I’m forwarding your info! Rock on!

  14. You look absolutely stunning my dear! I love the after photo. Viewing the before photos was a little more difficult but if it looked worst than it felt then I am happy for you. Do you plan on doing it again?

  15. I forgot to tell you how amazing you looked the other night–I forgot about the chemical peel. If/when I get the money I’ll have to call you for her name.

  16. WOW the peel does look painful. I am glad you shared the details. I so want to do something but don’t know if I have the guts or want to spend the cash. You look awesome! And I’m sorry about Rebecca…

  17. I forgot what I was going to say because the ad for the Therma Clear zit zapper has me giggling.

  18. kate says:

    love the trouser jeans. want to know which shoes you’re wearing with them though, and the lipstick is good, not garish.

  19. I really have a hard time looking at that close up of your face all red and peel-y.

    So… as a gift to your readers, you should also post a close up of your new post-peel beauty. Seriously – that “after” shot looks glam, but is too far away to appreciate.

    Go take a new picture (please!)

  20. Lisa Milton says:

    You look amazing, even though the burn looks very painful.

    (I’m dismayed by the zits, post-burn. They should be dismissed, permanently. Ack.)

  21. SeaBird says:

    Yes, but does it hurt??

  22. myra says:

    You look fabulous! Now whatever medical grade skin care you choose can really penetrate into your skin because you’ve taken the top layer off. It’s so worth it. Yay for you!

  23. mommypie says:

    You look gawjus. And you’re VERY brave. But it totally looks worth it!

  24. Alexis says:

    Deb. I was not in any way prepared for that first picture. And it loade d all slow on my phone, and them bam! There it was. I was a little shocked. Buti trust you will never do that to me again and I thank you for the invaluable public service.

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