My TCA Chemical Peel From Start to Finish

In a recent post, TCA With Jessner’s Solution: A Chemical Peel That Gets The Job Done, Dr. Herzog shared her favorite in-office peel and one that she recommends for those who have a week to ten days to heal. After reading about this peel, I decided to try it out myself. So, I paid a trip to Dr. Jo’s office for the procedure and waited to see how I would respond. I took photos each day for those of you who might want an idea of how this peel works. There are myriad peels advertised and not all are the same. This peel is a 20% TCA with Jessner’s solution prep. The cost of this peel at Dr. Herzog’s office is $250. If shopping around for peels, it is always savvy to know what you are paying for and how effective it will be at rejuvenating your skin.

The procedure took less than 45 minutes. Vicky, Dr. Jo’s aesthetician, applied numbing cream and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, Vicky applied a prep of Jessner’s solution. I didn’t even need to use the small fan that they gave me for burning, as it wasn’t bad at all. Finally, Dr. Jo came in and applied 20% TCA. It did burn, but not enough for me to use the fan for more than a few seconds. As shown in the first photo below, my skin began “frosting” which shows that the chemical is working. After the application, I was good to go, as the chemicals remain on the skin and begin to do their work. I went about my day and looked normal other than not having on makeup.

The worst part of the peel was not being able to wear makeup for a span of 2-3 days. The skin became wrinkled and “drawn” in areas and peeled and flaked considerably, so wearing makeup wasn’t an option. This is the main reason that I suggest doing this peel when you have 7-10 days to hibernate while your skin goes through the peeling process.

Immediately after the peel, I began applying Elta MD post laser balm, which Dr. Jo keeps in her office for patients to use following laser and chemical peel procedures. It is very thick and emollient and made my skin feel much better during the healing process.

Verdict: I love how fresh my skin feels, and I can definitely tell that some of the hyper pigmentation is diminished. A few brown spots that were dotting my hairline are almost imperceptible now. My skin had been looking a bit dull but now seems much fresher. I plan to see Vicky for a microdermabrasion to clean up any remaining flakes or areas of dryness and give the new skin a polished look.

These photos are just snapshots that I took each day with my iPhone to give an idea of the progression of this type of peel from beginning to end. But as Dr. Jo always says, everyone’s skin is different. If you have any questions about how this might work with your own skin, you should consult with your dermatologist.


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