review vitamin c peel

I didn’t remember it burning that much.

She had warned me this would happen. But, I didn’t believe her. I had had vitamin C peels before. They didn’t sting this much.

Heck, they had never stung before. At all. My skin is super resilient, I proudly told her before this hell began.

This time was different. As the minutes passed, I was convinced I was gonna walk out of there with a red, blotched face.

I tried to relax. The aesthetician was there. She could see my face. Surely, if something bad was happening, she would have stopped the whole thing. And she didn’t. But then, why was my skin on fire?

Messing with vitamin C is tricky business. The little bugger can give you the most glowing skin or a bad irritation. I had been lured in by the former, but now I was almost certain I was getting the latter…

What’s The Deal With A Vitamin C Peel?

Vitamin C is one of the 5 anti-aging superstars:

  • It fights the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles
  • It boosts the production of collagen, making skin firmer
  • It fades dark spots 
  • It gives skin a healthy glow

I don’t have any dark spots (yet), but now that I’m in my mid-30s, I could do with all these things. You know what I could do without? The irritation. Vitamin C peels can sting. Especially if your skin’s sensitive.

And they make your skin more prone to sun damage. So, if the treatment doesn’t end with sunscreen, whoever did doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing. Run away from that damn place as soon as you legs can carry you (and run into the first shop that sells sunscreen).

Related: The Complete Guide To Vitamin C In Skincare

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The Vitamin C Peel At Premier Laser & Skin

I can’t be faithful to a salon. Heck, I’m in London. There are so many here. How do I know which one is the best if I don’t try them all?

This time I was at the Premier Laser & Skin in Soho. Just in the heart of the lively theatre district. One of my fave places in London. Any excuse to go there, I’ll take it.

Their Vitamin C peel takes around 30 minutes. Before that, you have to sign the usual papers (you know, if something bad happens, it’s not their fault) and have a little a consultation (just to make sure you aren’t using anything that can make your treatment go wrong).

The treatment I had is a 4-layer peel that’s especially created for dry, mature, sensitive and sun-damaged skin. FYI, my skin was on fire at the first layer…

The Prep

First things first. Cleansing and toning. You need to make sure every last trace of dirt and grime is off your face before you get the peel or they may prevent it from doing its job as well as it should.

The First Layer

That’s where the ordeal began. The first layer is pure vitamin C. Its job is to completely destroy the first layer of dead cells on the surface of your skin.

That alone will make your skin brighter and smoother. And help the other layers penetrate your skin better. But ouch! Why did it hurt so much?

I guess I was partly to blame. Note to future self: stop using retinol + glycolic acid a week before you have a peel. 3 days before won’t do it.

But, it also had to do with the products she used. For some reason, I thought they’d be from Skinceuticals. EVERYONE uses Skinceuticals here. Not this time. My skin was treated with Image Skincare. More powerful stuff.

My skin had never been in contact with that much vitamin C before. No wonder it was screaming.

The Second Layer

After a few minutes (it seemed like an eternity but it couldn’t have been more than 5), that first layer was off my face. It was replaced with an exfoliant. With beads. 

Yes, this could get worse, I thought. I wasn’t sure that exfoliating now was a good idea, but I trusted the pro. At least, it was refreshing. This second layer was much cooling. Just what my skin needed to quench the fire.

She simply applied it on my skin, waited a couple of minutes and then massaged it all over my face before taking it off.

The Third Layer

This was the heart of the treatment, I was told. The part that would make it all worthwhile.

What’s that? An enzyme mask with vitamin C. Yep, even more of that little bugger. But, this time, it didn’t sting. Not even a tiny little bit. Phew!

She told me that if my skin was dry, it would lap up the mask within a couple of minutes. If not, she’d leave it on for 5. I was a little proud when that happened. This girl knows how to keep her skin hydrated (it’s all in the hyaluronic acid, ladies).

Related: Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type

The Fourth Layer

Even more vitamin C! Vitamin C galore!

Now it was the turn of a vitamin C serum. And a hyaluronic acid serum. Now your skin’s a little bit thinner, it needs all the hydration it can get.

The last step was sunscreen. A must after every peel, gorgeous.

The Result

Drumroll, please….

So, how damaged was my skin?

0. When she handed me the mirror, I thought a lobster would be looking back at me.

Instead, I saw something else in there. My skin was SO bright. Pretty much everyone I met afterwards commented on how much I was glowing.

The morning after, I still had my glow on. My skin was also softer and smoother. I went a week without wearing foundation. Who the heck needed it anymore?

The Bottom Line

The Vitamin C Peel At Premier Laser & Skin is stronger than any similar peel I’ve had in the past. That’s why it’s more effective and gives you such awesome results. If you can bear the sting for a few minutes…

Price & Availability

1 session, £90.00, 3 sessions, £243 and 5 sessions (+ 1 free!) £450, at Premier Laser & Skin