I went to Diana Palmisano of Derm Duo at Skin Solutions Collective. Diana is a Physician Associate, co-founder of Skin Solutions Collective and has been practicing Cosmetic and Medical Dermatology for just under 20 years. She is a faculty member of Allergan Medical Institute where she is a national speaker and trainer as well as an active clinical preceptor. I’ve known Diana for years and I trust both her knowledge of all things skin as well as her skill with all skin tools, devices and treatments.
Diana’s approach to dermatology is both holistic and highly individual. Meaning, she considers everything in her arsenal that may benefit your very specific skin (including type, tone, age, sensitivity, facial structure and more). Then she provides a plan that’s comprehensive, beyond a quick hit of Botox. In fact, you may go in saying I need Botox and after a thorough consultation, she may suggest a laser and a medical grade moisturizer. Unless all you actually need is Botox. Then she’ll inject some, tailoring it to how natural (or not!) you want to look. It’s not prescriptive dermatology where every patient gets the same thing (and looks the same after). Diana also considers how treatments work together over time, suggesting to start with one thing, then come back in a month or two for the next, if you feel you need it. For these reasons, I really trust her with my face. And specifically, this year with an ablative machine that will “vaporize” my skin’s outer layers. Definitely requires trust.
What is CoolPeel?
The CoolPeel website promises it “reduces fine lines, sun damage and pore size while improving skin texture with no real downtime.”
Diana expands on that. “CoolPeel gives the benefits of a CO2 resurfacing treatment but it’s safer and more comfortable. By targeting just the superficial layer of skin tissue, the damaged skin is removed and this reveals younger and healthier looking skin. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, sun damage and pores while improving skin texture. The downtime is customizable from minimal to few days of downtime.”
Who most benefits from it?
Diana shares “really anyone would benefit from this. Anyone with textural changes, fine lines, anyone who wants to smooth out their skin, refresh their skin.”
Who would *not* be a good candidate for CoolPeel?
According to Diana, “anyone who easily scars, like raised scars, keloid scars. Anyone with too dark a skin type [for the machine], anyone with a tan.”
What’s the aftermath?
Diana is always honest about this and never sugar-coats recovery. “There will be redness. The redness turns to dryness. Depending on the setting and how aggressive you decide to be, it can be dry and flaky – or flaky and peeling. It will look dusky. It can vary from 3 days to one week of downtime. Plan for one week.”
Can you have a glass of wine after? Asking in advance this time ;)
“Yes, you’re fine!” – Diana
Can you wear makeup after?
“Eyes and lips only. No [complexion] makeup until skin is completely healed.” – Diana
Can you workout after?
“No. No sweating. You can do weight training if you don’t sweat.” – Diana
What’s the best thing to do after?
“Nourish your skin, keep it hydrated after, but nothing occlusive.” – Diana
During the laser treatment, I was really in disbelief that there was NO PAIN and also no heat, especially given the treatment was ablative. I could hear it but there was no discomfort. None at all. I told Diana “I keep bracing for impact but I’m not having any” and also “I am shocked at how little it hurts, the Fraxel wasn’t awful but I needed the squeezy [stress] ball for it!”
After the treatment was over, my face felt hot and tingly for a few hours.
I used the recommended Cetaphil moisturizer. (Diana suggests applying super clean skincare in between the samples provided for morning and evening care.)
After the hot and tingly sensation subsided, I was red and swollen.
The skin didn’t hurt or appear raw but it was very sensitive to the touch.
It kind of hurt to apply the prescribed aftercare – Cetaphil cleanser followed by FactorFive serum, TAC steroid cream and Biafine – so I patted everything on and that felt fine. I would not recommend any rubbing.
I started with the Cetaphil cleanser plus the 3-step skincare (FactorFive serum, TAC steroid cream, Biafine).
My skin was dry and rough.
The process of getting “pixelated” (almost like stamped snakeskin) was happening much faster than with the Baby Fraxel. Which I was excited about. My face started to look dark and patchy (color wise and texture wise). I was very dark under my eyes and on the tops of my cheekbones and around my jawline.
At 1:30pm, I did the CO2 LIFT PRO Carboxy Gel Treatment Mask. I was unable to do it the night before because… my kids… but it was worth the wait. This mask feels SO GOOD. And it’s equally gratifying to peel it off. I did it after the Baby Fraxel and I was looking forward to getting reacquainted.
At night, I did the Cetaphil cleanser plus the 3-step skincare.
Diana had given me Prednisone pills as well to help with the inflammation and swelling. I took a pill on the first and second day.
I woke up with sandpaper snakeskin. I ran to look in the mirror. It was pink and brown. Not tight or uncomfortable on its own, but still sensitive to the touch.
I did the Cetaphil cleanser plus the 3-step skincare and finished the sample of FactorFive serum.
During the day, I used Cetaphil moisturizer a few times. I had to remind myself of Diana’s advice to “nourish your skin, keep it hydrated after, but nothing occlusive.” My urge to slather on Aquaphor had to be abated. The Cetaphil held me over.
Like with the Fraxel, I was honestly loving the appearance of the swelling. I was 15 again! And I’m not trying to look 15 forevermore but just for a short time it’s fun to see yourself that way in the mirror.
Around early evening, some peeling started!
At night, I did the Cetaphil cleanser with a flat cotton round pad and followed that with the 2-step skincare routine (now just the TAC steroid cream and the Biafine). Biafine, PS, is a TREAT for the skin. Love it.
Woke up and saw dark patches but also white flaky skin patches. It wasn’t uncomfortable, just unsightly. These laser treatments do require downtime and also patience. I did the morning Cetaphil cleanser and 2-step skincare and stared in the mirror at the patches trying to see the skin underneath.
During Day 4 I noticed my face had more of my normal skintone, less pink.
Finished the day with Cetaphil cleanser and 2-step skincare.
I started the day with Cetaphil cleanser plus 2-step skincare.
Now just the outer periphery of my face had brown patchy areas.
And I REALLY wanted to peel it a little. But I had already asked Diana and she kindly but firmly let me know, “No. Don’t do it. Add more hydration. Add more moisturizer. That’s when you can start injuring your skin. And cause more inflammation. Sometimes when it feels gritty, you can use a cotton swab with your cleanser. Something like that. Gently.”
I did have to say, my inner (not dark and patchy) face was already GLOWING. Which made me less focused on what appeared to be a few small red broken capillaries under my right eye. (Those went away later.)
I also noticed two teeny tiny little pimples on the bridge of my nose. Those were hard not to touch. And one teeny tiny little pimple on the side of my chin. I figured they popped up from all the skin turnover, And since I was already seeing results, I didn’t care. Welcome, little friends, to my new radiant face.
By night on Day 5 I already could see fewer fine lines. This, in addition to the glowy skin.
I happily patted on my Cetaphil cleanser plus the 2-step skincare.
I started the day with my morning Cetaphil cleanser plus 2-step skincare.
By now only the corners of my face were speckled with dark tiny dots, kind of like a laser print.
Unlike the Fraxel, I was noticing my skin didn’t lift up in patches exactly. It was more like these little individual tiny black dots which lifted around the same time in different sections on my face. They were all super fine. To some this may feel less dramatic and therefore less gratifying. For me, I didn’t love that it kind of looked like dirt. But results over process, so all good.
I ended Day 6 with the Cetaphil cleanser followed by the TAC cream and Biafine.
On day 7 after my cleansing, I started using the Biafine only.
The TAC cream was very thick and by now there was not much inflammation requiring a steroid cream. I really only had tiny little black dots now on the corners of my jawline, hairline and at my temples.
I ended Day 7 with the Cetaphil cleanser and Biafine.
MY RESULTS (AT 2 WEEKS)
I would say I really noticed all the results by the 2 week mark.
Most impressive, the CoolPeel left a great glow to my skin, without any skincare, or any products. It totally removed (literally) any dead and dull, lifeless winter skin.
My face felt fresh and bouncy. Radiant.
I definitely noticed an improvement with crepey under-eye skin.
I definitely noticed an improvement in fine lines. And even where there were still fine lines, like on my forehead, they looked less noticeable because the skin was plump and glowy. The lines didn’t really show unless you looked in a magnifying mirror, which of course I did.
In the areas where I have rougher texture, like the chin, I noticed a bit of improvement. Not much, but better than nothing.
The CoolPeel absolutely tightened pores for me. A big benefit.
MY RESULTS (NOW)
It’s been 4 months since the CoolPeel. I did it at the very end of November.
Lately I’ve been throwing on just mascara and smudged eyeliner and a quick layer of lipgloss and feeling good without any complexion products. When I do wear complexion products, they glide right on. The skin remains bouncier and more radiant. Even in the dead of winter, even now into early spring.
The fine lines on my forehead are still kind of invisible because of the improved quality of the skin. This is kind of unbelievable to me. But it makes sense. When light hits fresher, brighter skin it bounces back differently. I know this from all my years of working in beauty and with cosmetics brands and also doing makeup, it’s why we use highlighter.
When Diana first told me about the treatment she talked about “tighter skin, smoother lines, literally feeling like you have baby skin” and I would say baby skin is a great way to describe results.
It’s not perfect skin. There’s no laser for that (yet!). But it’s fresh skin.
This time Diana did comp the treatment. She wanted me to experience the difference between CoolPeel and Fraxel (which I paid for) so I could share how the experiences and outcomes differ.
The typical cost for CoolPeel with Diana starts at $1250 per session.
I’d recommend it! I’d do it again! But I’d probably do Baby Fraxel or even full Fraxel again first.
It was not that much less of a recovery time for me (in comparison to Fraxel) so I’d prefer the extended benefits of Fraxel, which for me were not only lifted pigmentation but additionally just a feeling of deeper results. I’d take the pain of Fraxel for that.
I definitely saw results with both.
I would consider CoolPeel more surface work and Fraxel deeper work.
If you’re someone who wants no pain, a shorter recovery, and still real visible results, CoolPeel is a great option for you.
NOTE: This post is not sponsored. The serviced was comped to compare to a previous paid service. All thoughts are unbiased and my own. All photos and content are property of Lauren Cosenza Beauty LLC.
Lauren Cosenza consults for top brands, websites, and magazines, and serves as a trusted beauty/fashion/mom expert, a brand ambassador, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a creative director, a published editorial contributor and writer, the creator and owner of DIVAlicious®, the creator and owner of BEAUTYfull®, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker — with a former life at Cosmopolitan, Shape and Bustle/BDG brands. She currently runs Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce with her husband (and two little humans) as the Co-Founder + Head of Brand.
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