Reader question: Should I get a peel or microdermabrasion?

Hey there Ms. Liz. I always see advertisements of Diamond Peel/ Chemical Peel, Microdermabrasion, etc. around the mall. I haven't tried any of those except for a basic facial that extracts comedones. I don't have pimples, just the occasional ones during my time of the month or if I forgot to wash my face. I just have bumps scattered on my forehead, visible pores around the nose area and a few bumps as well.

I'm only 20 and I'm scared those services might harm my facial skin and would turn out worse. So my question is when do we consider getting a diamond peel? Or is it required to get a diamond peel once in your life? Should I get one? - Nerys

Hey Nerys! I've tried quite a lot of facial treatments in my beauty blogging "career", and the truth is I have regretted most (not all) of them. Let me describe my skin condition back then: I had serious acne, from white heads to cystic ones, and they left very serious blemishes that would take months to fade away (still, luckily). I would get some sort of elaborate facial and my skin would look great for a few days, and then I would break out heavily for the next week or so. What a vicious cycle!

The worst thing that I think I did to my skin is the chemical peel (blue peel). The 7-day peeling process was traumatic, and on top of that I now have very fine wrinkles on my forehead due to the peel. I am 25, and I have wrinkles on my forehead. Wtf, right?

Physical and chemical peels work by scrubbing and burning the top layer of skin away to force a new, younger layer to emerge. Diamond peels involve a diamond-tipped, rotating drill that clears off the skin's top layer. Diamond peels are a form of microdermabrasion, which is basically a process that involves some sort of machine to scrub the skin. Chemical peels usually involve mild acid to burn the skin, and can thus penetrate deeper than physical peels.

These treatments are usually appropriate for those who have troubled skin, that is, those with acne, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, depressed scars, or deep wrinkles. 

Not something I'd want to experience again in a hurry.

The thing is our skin responds differently to treatments, which is why it's hard to say for sure whether these procedures will benefit the skin or not. My message is simple, and this has been consistent in all the posts: don't put it on your face if you don't need it.

From what I gather, Nerys, you already have okay skin. Maybe not perfect but it sounds fine to me. :) I recommend consulting a licensed dermatologist for a deeper treatment if you're really bothered by your skin, but for the love of bacon don't go to a mall facial center and leave it to mere aestheticians. I don't mean to knock the profession, I am sure many of them mean well and do good, but they are not doctors. They have a job and it involves selling a service. That leaves them rather biased towards making money off you.

Dermatologists have a practice and a name they need to take care of, so I reckon they're more careful about prescribing treatments and products.

What I find works for me is an excellent routine. I stick to products that maintain my ideal skin, and I'm very wary of using new things. :P If I don't need it, I don't consinder using it, but when I do I just try a patch test first. I usually apply the product on one side of my jaw and wait for a day or two to check for reactions.

I find that respecting skin works like magic. Our skin is not the enemy; it's not a piece of rubber that we can scrub or burn without mercy. It's skin, for crying out loud. Nourish it, take care of it, respect it, and you will see results.

So yeah, just go to a derma and/or find an effective skincare routine then stick to it. :) 

Related: 6 things I learned from my chemical peel experience 

PS I'm not a derma. These are just my personal opinions.

PSS I do like this facial from CACI6750. It's quite mild, and does not involve pricking whilst removing nasty blackheads and white heads.