When it comes to chemical peels, I’ve flirted with a few but never really gotten really serious, you know? I’m talking skin peeling, face cracking, downtime serious. And since 2020 has been nothing but time at home, what better time for a little “camera off in all my Zoom meetings” downtime?
So after turning (mumbles) thirtysomething… I took the plunge, contacted the gals at Simply Laser and made an appointment for the famed DMK Six-Layer Peel. This is the queen of all peels; think home care products working you up to the treatment; hydrating Enzyme Masks to prep the skin before and help it heal after; two days of peel layers being applied; and about 10 days of downtime. This is not your lunchtime peel, and nor should it be, because this baby is associated with results to the max. It’s said to restore skin to the optimal function of its younger days. It’s touted as a skin remodeling and resurfacing treatment that can give results for:
sun damaged and aged skin
fine lines and wrinkles
thickened, coarse skin
uneven skin conditions
anyone wanting to refresh their appearance and prevent ageing.
My biggest issues are the beginnings of fine lines (eep!) and uneven skin thanks to a combination of sun damage (WEAR SUNSCREEN) and hormonal melasma. I am hoping that this wonder peel can help that and wind the clock back to buy me some more time of youthful skin.
Step 1: Analyse and prep the skin
My first step is to grab all the DMK products to prep my skin for two weeks before the treatment. The products include a strong Vitamin A/retinol called Revitosin, and an intensely hydrating serum called Beta Gel, as well as some supplements called EFA Ultra that I am instructed to take two of every day to ensure my skin is in tip top condition to withstand the peel.
While I am there, I also pop my face in a skin analysing device and whoa… it shows up much more damage than I realised I had. Check it out. Yeesh.
The dark spots are sun damage working their way to the top layer of skin, the marks around my eyes show off that I need to drink more water (and I have mega hayfever) and if you can squint, tiiiiiiny little orange dots are congestion.
Step 2: Enzyme Therapy
So while I am getting into my new home care routine I have two different Enzyme Therapy treatments to help nourish my skin. I’ve been super looking forward to these since seeing photos of them ALL over social media. They call this the “Game of Thrones” facial because… well look: all dragon scaly and ancient-looking!
The treatment (which smells and feels kind of like oatmeal) gets slathered liberally on my skin, and as it dries it shrinks and cracks. It feels like my face is one of those shrinkies you used to pop in the oven and they’d come out like 100th the original size. The blood is pumping hard in my face, but I am told this is not only normal, but really, really good. It means that the mask is detoxifying and oxygenating my skin through a plasmatic effect. Which I later learn means I have a temporary effect on my skin that looks like I am an X-Man about to unleash my powers. I’m into it.
After the treatment, my skin feels dewy and smooth AF.
Step 3: The Peel
After three Enzyme Therapy treatments to make sure my skin is REALLY ready, and three weeks of my home care products, it’s finally peel time. I am equally nervous and excited.
My therapist mixes up the solution and it is VERY yellow. She warns me I might look a little yellow after day one, and very yellow after day two.
She starts applying the peel and holy hell it STINGS… but only for a short time as I have a handy dandy hand fan to blow on the area while it’s still being applied. Once it’s all done there’s still a basic ache, but nothing worse than a bit of a sunburn.
Similarly with a sunburn, I feel a little heat stroke-y after that first night, and really tired. I drink a LOT of water… seriously, I pee every ten mins because so much water. I am told to sleep with the treatment still on my face and wash it off very gently in the morning. I do this, and am surprised how normal my skin looks in the morning.
This is not the case after application two. First off, do not arrange to be anywhere after application two, because you will look YELLOW. Like, an extra in The Simpsons style yellow. I popped on my giant sunglasses and a giant hat to walk from Simply Laser’s CBD clinic back to my car.
Step 4: Healing
In the days that follow, my skin goes from looking red and sunburned to getting very tight, to cracking and flaking off. In one of my strongest displays of self control EVER, I resist the urge to break the rules and peel some of my skin off. There is some light scabbing, and for the whole time this look persists, I keep my computer camera OFF in team meetings at work. My flaking skin is so dry I can actually hear it flapping in the breeze like tissue paper.
While it’s healing, I have two more Enzyme Therapy treatments, which feel like HEAVEN because they lift off all my dead skin and leave it smooth… until the next layer starts cracking off.
But… look what else comes off during these treatments. MY PIGMENTATION. Notice the brown spots under my eyes in the below video.
Once my face has healed, and all my skin has peeled off (seriously, my whole face and neck peeled), I am left with what I am convinced is the softest skin in the world. Gone are my blackheads, any flaky or dry skin; my new skin sucks up products like there’s no tomorrow. Everything I put on my face, serums, moisturisers… they disappear in seconds now that all the dead skin cells blocking their way.
The second change is that fine lines that were starting around my eyes when I smile aren’t there anymore, and my skin feels bouncy and taut, like it did when I was in my teens. It’s incredible.
My pigmentation is a little lighter, though not completely gone, which I was told could happen with the hormonal type of pigmentation.
All in all, I am pretty thrilled with the results, and can go on continuing to pretend I am still in my 20s for a little while longer yet.
For more information about the DMK 6-Layer Peel or to book an appointment, check out the experts at Simply Laser here.
Elizabeth Best is a journalist, beauty expert, foodie and travel lover with a mild obsession for all things shimmery. She also hosts the smash-hit sex and relationships comedy podcast Ghosts of Boyfriends Past In her spare time, she likes long walks down the makeup aisle and performing in Brisbane theatre. You can follow her adventures on Instagram@thebeautypalate.