Test Driving: The flaming facial

An employee applies salmon eggs onto a client's face at a beauty salon in Hanoi March 6, 2012. Facial care users believe that using salmon eggs to mask the face can help make skin whiter and stronger. A single facial procedure costs about 1.3 million Vietnam dong. REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM - Tags: SOCIETY) REUTERS /KHAM /LANDOV

Test Driving w/ Tia

Welcome to Test Driving. I’m S. Tia Brown, a Senior Editor at JET. As a seasoned journalist, life coach and licensed therapist, I’m going to test drive something new every week and give you the lowdown. Buckle up. 


Ok, so I know the old adage, “Black doesn’t crack”…but it definitely flakes, looks weathered and generally lose its glow. At least, that was the case for me. So, I decided to go for it— and no, not plastic surgery. I opted to try a facial peel (a process that burns a layer of skin off your face, ultimately leaving new refreshed skin).

Initially, I wanted to try a chemical peel.  But in the back of my mind I was petrified, and kept obsessing over images of a reddened, meat-faced, post peel Renee Graziano (VH1’s Mob Wives). Luckily, I was spared. After consulting with esthetician Torrence Forde I was told that my skin required a much milder treatment, an enzyme peel.

As I closed my eyes, steadying myself after this minor boon, I elected to minimize my esthetician’s warning that the treatment would still burn…especially since the coating she was slathering on my face barely tingled. Then it hit me. The only thing I can compare the pain to is coating a layer of relaxer cream on your bare face— after scratching it. After the first 60 seconds my gloating smile morphed into a grimace. Then my arms froze in the dead grasshopper pose. Next, I began a real-time countdown to when I would hop up and wipe my face clean— payment be damned.  I wanted to cry. I did whine. And I think I even peed a little… Oh, did I mention it was over in about five minutes.

My 300 seconds of hell was well worth it. My post peel face glowed more than it singed. In fact, after the enzyme peel my skin’s texture, moisture and color improved tenfold, rendering me feeling more beautiful and healthy than I have in a while. Much like a proud mama post birth, the pain was well worth the end result so much that I’m ready for number two.

For more info about enzyme, and other peels, check out Torrence Forde at


To find out what’s happening with Tia, follow @tiabrowntalks on Twitter.