What percent did you get? The 12.5% was a light peel for me. Hardly noticed I had it on, but the 18% is very noticeable. Every brown spot, freckle etc turns a very dark brown, the area gets crinkly. I would perhaps shave close in the morning do the TCA at night before bedtime. I am by no means a doc or expert just going on my own experiences. Do a spot test first please, about the size of a dime on your cheek near the ear and see how it reacts.
Actually, shaving would will be a great way to prep your skin before you do the peel.
Down time is really different for everyone. It depends on the strength of your peel and how your skin responds to it. Some get a great peel with 12.5% some have to use 18%, so it all just really depends. If it were me, I would do the peel during a time when you can stick close to home. And definately out of the sun!!
Best of luck with it, and let us know how it is going for you.
Chunch...I did a 12.5% TCA peel 10 days ago and my skin crinkled up so much by the second day I did not go out until the seventh day my skin had strips peeling off and they were brown in colour and my face was very red and I am still "shedding" skin my shirts still look like I have bad (real bad) dandruff!! It might be a good idea to do it when you have some time off.