House of Obagi Blue Peel diaries (coverage of procedure and days 1-2)

I've been breaking out heavily this past month - underscore on "heavily". I use a lot of stuff on my face for this blog then couple that with stress and you've got a dangerous playground for acne! I've lost track of what makes me break out at this point. I was running out of options so I turned to the House of Obagi, a clinic famous for their skincare products and medical procedures.

HOO has been asking me if I could review their Blue Peel since July, I think, but I kept saying no because while my skin was far from ideal, it was alright. Nothing makeup and my regular skincare couldn't solve then! But after the Skin Hell Month that was August, I was ready to try anything to get rid of the acne and the numerous dark scars it left behind.

I want to emphasize that I wouldn't do this if I didn't need it. But my acne and scars were out of control; this was the best solution.


This is my mug last Friday, September 9, with absolutely no face makeup (save the lipstick)

My enemies. Even my neck had two big pimples. I mean, wtf.

What is Blue Peel?

The Blue Peel is Obagi's deepest chemical peel that uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) as the active ingredient mixed with HOO's patented Blue Base. I have read that it was quite painful too, so I was really tense the week before my appointment. Basically, the acid will burn off the top layer of skin, promoting macropeeling and allowing the younger, fresher skin to surface.

This peel is perfect for those with really bad skin, but don't have the time nor the patience to keep on coming back for treatments. It's a 40-minute procedure that promises to rid you of most of your skin discolorations, wrinkles, and large pores due to the deepness of the chemical penetration. It's rather expensive (roughly P10,000) but if you're desperate and pressed for time, like me, this is definitely worth it.

It sounded like just the thing I needed, and Obagi's in-house derma agreed! He suggested the highest concentration at 20% (the mild one is 15%). Aside from the peel, he also prescribed acne medication and acne serum, which I bought from HOO.

Dr. Stephen Lacson was my dermatologist for the day. He also has a clinic at Makati Med.

The Blue Peel procedure

The procedure began with thorough facial cleansing to remove the dirt and oil. Then the attendant applied a strong toner that stung a little.

Clean and comfortable treatment room

Cleansed, toned, and ready to rumble

Dr. Lacson then mixed the Blue Base with the acid. 

Parang cooking show lang

And then, the real challenge (for me) began!

After mixing, the chemicals actually look like a bright blue green. Cute fact. PS, I' used my SMART Netphone to take these photos. Not bad eh?

The first layer actually didn't sting so much. It just felt like a very strong toner.

By the second layer, it was burning. I'm already a bit teary-eyed here. The fan really helps!

Breathing exercises. Was chatting with the doctor to keep my mind off the burning sensation.

By the third layer, it was straight out painful. Do you know that feeling after picking a freshly scabbed wound? It was like that, except my face was the whole wound. The fourth layer wasn't applied all over my face anymore - the derma just touched up on those areas with the most blemishes. The even frosting shows that the chemicals have reached the layer of skin we want to surface.

Now, I know the pain sounds bad, and it was, but for me it didn't last long. As soon as the liquid dried (in around two minutes) I only felt a mild sting. When the solution was left on my face for 15 minutes to be absorbed, I was comfortable.The pain was not as bad as I thought. It was intense during the third and fourth layers, but it was very short.

Note: how much this peel will hurt really depends on your personal pain threshold and skin type. Like what Sophie said, if you have moderate to high pain tolerance, then you can definitely do the Blue Peel with no trouble.

After the application, the attendant washed off the blue dye with the Nuderm facial wash. There was still some blue chemical after the cleansing but it's supposed to be left like that to steep on skin. The derma said that before clients would go home with the whole shebang on their face and wear it overnight, but now they just leave the slight blue tinge since it has the same effect as leaving the whole thing on.

I was advised not to wash it off until the following morning, and to only do so with water. I can only use sunblock and moisturizer (as needed) aside from a mild facial wash. Naturally, makeup, serums, creams and everthing else are not allowed on my face for at least a week.

Yes, I'll try super try not to go out of the house this week! Good thing I work *mostly* from home. And in any case I have huge shades for emergency use.

Day 1: The morning after

This is what my face looked like after I woke up. It was an on oily blue mess. The sides of my face has darkened and turned a bit purple, but my skin felt normal, just tighter.

After washing with water and trying to get the dye off with cotton pads

It was a lonely Saturday so I went to Greenbelt to maybe watch a movie and eat dinner. The movie times didn't jive with my sched, so I just bought a Sebamed facial wash from First Aid in Greenbelt 5, walked around in Landmark, then hied off to Bonifacio High Street to have shabu shabu. Overall a great Saturday.

Big shades are my new best friends. People weren't staring as hard as I thought they would.

Day 2: Lazy Sunday

I just stayed home on Sunday playing video games and watching rom coms. My face looked burnt and bruised; it's also a bit swollen. 

My skin felt rough and scaly to the touch. It's also super tight so I have have very limited facial expressions. Otherwise, it's not really bothersome. There's no pain or any major discomfort. 

I'm so excited! I can't wait for the new skin to be revealed! I should be done with most of the peeling in 7-10 days (it depends per person) so I'll keep you updated during those times. The full effect of the peel - the extra radiance, rosiness, tighter lines and pores - will manifest in three weeks.

Stay tuned for my next updates! And while you're at it, please let me know if you've tried the Obagi Blue Peel and how your experience was! If you want to try it, let me know of any questions you might have and I'll try to answer it to the best of my knowledge.

Follow House of Obagi on Facebook for updates on their promos and services! Oh, please follow me on Twitter (@lizlan) too for my musings on the Blue Peel experience.

Disclosure: I availed of this treatment at no cost for blogging purposes. My review is not in any way influenced by the brand, and in any case, I have pictures to support most of the things I say. You know the drill!