A beauty fanatic says she is 'over the moon' after her latest treatment — despite it leaving her looking like 'Beetlejuice' for a week.
Amanda Watkins, 51, decided to have a dramatic and intense chemical peel on her face because she felt insecure about wrinkles, especially around her eyes, HullLive reports.
She opted for a £1,800 full face treatment, including a phenol peel around her eyes — the most intense chemical peel available — and it covered her face in horrific scabs.
Such was the severity of the pain, Amanda considered calling off the treatment after her eyes were done, but she persevered with an attitude of 'beauty is pain'.
Having not thrown in the towel, Amanda faced a painful week-long recovery as her face was so swollen she was temporarily blinded and her crusty and peeling skin gave her a 'Beetlejuice-like' appearance - a reference to 1988 horror film.
The mum-of-one documented her recovery on TikTik to give an honest account for others considering a chemical peel, with many shocked viewers commenting that they thought her 'graphic' appearance was a filter.
Now a month on, after having the treatment on May 26 and since shedding off her wrinkles and emerging with fresh, glowing skin, she says she has 'no regrets', despite the gruelling recovery.
"The wrinkles around my eyes were bad — my makeup would sit in the lines and I would zoom in on photos of myself and cringe,” Amanda, from Pokesdown, Bournemouth, said.
"I asked my cosmetic doctor whether I should go under the knife to get rid of them but he suggested a peel instead so I went for it.
"It didn't swell instantly but I felt like I was badly sunburnt and my skin was really tight, then by day two it got worse and by day three I was incredibly swollen — my eyes were almost swollen shut so I could hardly see.
"I also started peeling really badly. I posted about it on TikTok just to be informative and had lots of comments saying it was a filter or makeup and a few of my videos even got taken down for being too graphic.
"Lots of people said I look like Beetlejuice and I thought it was hilarious — instead of getting offended I got onboard with it.
"It was all part of the healing process and as the days passed the swelling slowly calmed down and the dead skin peeled off.
"I never realised how haggard I looked until I saw the before and after photos — I've got no wrinkles now and I'm absolutely over the moon with the results."
During the treatment, the retired charity event hostess endured intense burning as a chemical solution was applied to her face to burn the top layers of skin off.
Amanda had to be monitored by her cosmetic doctor through close-up photos of her face every day following the harsh treatment because of the strength of the acid used.
She also had an in-person check-up the day after the appointment to re-apply the bright yellow antiseptic powder dusted around her scabby eyes to prevent any infections.
Amanda said: "When you first have the acid applied it's awful, it feels like your skin is on fire and then it's sore for about 12 hours.
"After I had my eyes done I said 'that's it, I don't want the rest of my face doing after that' but the doctor reassured me to just breathe and I got through it.
"They applied a neutraliser at the same time as the acid and had an assistant come and hold a fan on my face to cool the burning sensation down a bit but it was still really painful.
"When I first looked in the mirror and saw my swollen face the next day I got straight on the phone to the doctor and asked him if it was normal.
"He reassured me it was and said it would get worse before it got better, which it did."
The mum-of-one stayed with and was cared for by her 25-year-old daughter, Ruby Watkins, as she was temporarily blinded by her swollen eyes for two days after the peel.
Despite her shocking appearance, Amanda says Ruby wasn't too fazed as she's used to seeing her mum recover from other plastic surgeries, including a boob job and face lift after losing 140lbs.
During the week-long recovery, Amanda could hardly leave the house due to the risk of sunburn on her burnt skin and wasn't allowed to pick at any of the peeling skin, which could create scars.
Amanda said: "Ruby's seen me with metal clips in the back of my head from a face lift so she's used to seeing me in discomfort and wasn't too shocked by my face.
"She picked me up from the appointment and looked after me because I could hardly even see for the first 48 hours and needed caring for.
"I was house-bound for most of the first week and if I did pop out I would have to cover myself in medical grade factor 50 sunblock and put a big hat and sunglasses on.
"The doctor said he usually does this treatment in the winter so I had to promise him that I would stay out of the sun for six months — I had sunblock caked on like Tipex just to go from the door to the car in the first week.
"I wasn't allowed to pick at the skin because that would cause scarring or remove the yellow antiseptic power around my eyes for risk of infection."
Despite the 'traumatic' healing process and hefty £1,800 price tag, the beauty fanatic says the results of her chemical peel were worth it.
She now hopes to inform other women considering the procedure of the realities of the treatment and recovery before opting for a chemical peel.
Amanda said: "Women considering a peel need to see how traumatic the healing process is so I posted about it on TikTok just to be informative.
"For me it was one-hundred-percent worth it — compared to going under the knife it was a doddle and that would've cost about £10,000, so I have no regrets whatsoever.
"If you're happy in your skin that's wonderful but it's nice to have a choice — I believe in self love but if something is affecting your confidence go and treat yourself."