I’ve always taken good care of my skin. Well… let me rephrase that… ‘I’ve always ‘tried’ to take good care of my skin.
Cleansing in the morning, cleansing at night. Religiously applying my moisturisers and sunblock. Living in Australia (the sunburnt country), the words ‘take good care of your skin’ should literally be added to our national anthem!
The sun here can be brutal! And it seems that, despite my best efforts, there’s no avoiding some amount of environmental damage showing up on my skin. The laid back, outdoorsy lifestyle we are so lucky to enjoy here in Oz prevents us from having our cake and eating it too… and to be completely honest, there may have been a handful of times when my skin ritual was not so ‘holey’ - we’ve all been there right?
Pigmentation, sun spots, a dull looking skin… not what I want to see when I look in the mirror. Plus, I’m a less-is-more type of person when it comes to make-up - I’d rather invest in skin care than skin cover. So when the skin gurus at the Australian Skin Institute launched their new pigmentation fighting, retinol based Vita A Skin Peel; I just had to be first in line to try it out.
Here’s what happened!...
WHAT IS A VITA A PEEL?
A retinoic acid peel formulated with active Tretinoin, the Vita A Peel works on fading pigmentation, age spots and other pigment disorders by not only removing accumulated pigmentation on the skin’s surface, but also inhibiting the over-production of melanin at a cellular level, giving you both immediate and long-lasting results.
The ASI Vita A peel is also a fast-acting treatment for Acne, working on blocked and congested pores while effectively fading post-inflammatory scarring.
Best of all, Vita A Peel’s advanced formulation will improve the overall condition of the skin by stimulating collagen and elastin formation and speeding up the skin’s natural metabolism to produce a healthy and more vibrant complexion.
You can read more about the benefits of vitamin A and why every skin needs it here
Before my actual procedure, I started by having an initial consultation with one of the Brazilian Beauty skin therapists. This is an important step needed to assess my skin and ensure that a vitamin A peel is suitable for my skin type.
I found the consultation was a great opportunity to discuss my actual skin concerns (pigmentation, texture and fine lines) and to get a heads-up on how to prepare myself for my Vita A procedure appointment.
Turns out… you need to make sure that you stop any exfoliation to the treatment area at least 3-5 days prior to the Vita A peel, and you need to avoid direct sun exposure for about one week prior. There are also some medications and conditions that are a ‘no-no’ for having any type of vitamin A peel applied to the skin - like if you take Roaccutane for acne or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
I also found out that the Vita A Peel needs to be left to activate on the skin for up to 10 hours!! So I made sure to find a day when I could book my procedure in the morning, then go home to chill out with Nextflix and the cat, while the peel weaves its magic.
Straight to the important stuff… This procedure is not painful at all! I found the whole process actually relaxing and not dissimilar to having a regular facial.
My skin therapist started by giving my skin a thorough cleanse - using ASI’s Rejuvenating Foaming Cleanser - to ensure any make-up and product residue was removed from the surface of my skin.
Once squeaky clean, my skin was prepped with a Lactic Acid solution to further clean the skin by breaking down and removing natural surface oils and fatty bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of the skin.
I have to admit, there’s a bit of a sharp smell to this step and I did feel a little heat on the skin, but the moment was quickly over, and we were then ready for the next step… applying the Vita A mask.
Having had other chemical peels in the past, I braced myself for the familiar stinging sensation, but I was pleasantly surprised to feel… well… nothing really. In fact, I was quite enjoying the feel of the creamy mask being brushed on to my skin, and I found myself wondering if this treatment was going to have any effect on my skin at all. I mean, ‘no pain no gain’ right?... let me revisit this point a little later…
With the Vita A Peel now applied to my face, the only thing left to do was wait. 8 hours in my case. The timing can differ from person to person depending on your skin and what you are treating.
The Vita A mask has an orange/brownish colour to it, so I did walk out of the clinic looking a little bit like an Umpa Lumpa, but honestly, it wasn’t too bad. A little ‘pro-tip’... make a beeline straight for your car and make sure not to look sideways at the drivers next to you at the traffic lights. Once you’re home, I guarantee your cat won’t even notice.
After my 8 hours passed, it was time to remove my Vita A Mask and, it was as simple as rinsing it off with tepid water, patting my skin dry and then applying a soothing layer of ASI’s R3 serum.
Made with Calendula and vitamin C, the R3 serum is a versatile, soothing remedy that acts as an anti-inflammatory to relieve sensitivity and assist in the skin’s recovery from intensive treatments such as the Vita A Peel.
Although not dramatic, once I removed the Vitam A mask, my skin did feel slightly tender to touch and the R3 was a welcome relief. My skin had a slight ‘tanned’ look but my skin therapist did warn me that the mask can leave a slight stain on the skin… actually it looked more like a sun-kissed glow, and although I didn’t see any change to my pigmentation yet, I felt like the process had been pretty easy so far.
The ASI Vita A peel is not like our other traditional peel treatments. The potent formulation is a step-up from standard peels and will deliver fast and active results on your skin but, comes with a little downtime.
Formulated with Tretinoin - the fastest absorbing, most potent form of vitamin A, the Vita A Peel offers amazing benefits in treating skin ageing and acne as well as alleviating a number of skin conditions such as rosacea and psoriasis.
A vitamin A peel works by literally speeding up skin cell turnover; allowing for the exchange of dead, damaged skin cells to be replaced by new, healthy cells. This ‘peeling’ started for me on about day 3, when I woke up to find the skin around my chin and mouth starting to flake and fall away.
Over the next 7 days, my skin continued to flake and peel - starting from the centre of the face and working its way out to the sides. I experienced some sensitivity, dryness, tightness and slight redness (no pain - no gain… remember?). I definitely wouldn’t say that going out on a hot date or special occasion should be on your to-do list during this time, but overall, it wasn’t enough to interfere with going about my usual work/home routine.
By day 7, and with the last bit of peeling skin dangling off my earlobes, the process was complete.
My skin looked luminous… smooth; definitely much brighter. And, my pesky pigmentation definitely looked less noticeable.
It’s now been around 4 weeks since my Vita A Peel procedure, and I am loving the results!.
For me, it was the perfect balance of the advanced skin results I was expecting but with manageable down-time that didn’t interfere with my day-to-day activities like going to work, grocery shopping or ducking out for a coffee catch up with my friends.
One treatment gave me about a 30-40% improvement on my skin’s appearance, so I will continue with the recommended course of 3 treatments at around 4-6 week intervals, as well as incorporating a vitamin A serum into my daily skin routine to maintain the results between treatments.
Needless to say that the Vita A Peel get a big A+ from me.