Do you just got a chemical peel. Now you’re left with dry, irritated, red, peeling skin—all perfectly common post-peel side effects. But now what? Here are some tips for chemical peel aftercare and managing the side effects without disrupting your skin’s natural healing process.
With a chemical peel, the name says exactly what the skin is supposed to do -peel. Your esthetician or dermatologist applied a chemical solution (acid) to your face. The purpose was to remove the top layers of the skin along with any discolored cells within those layers. This process happens as the skin peels. While it’s not always ideal to walk around with flaky skin, you have to be very mindful not to interfere with the process. Let Mother Nature do her thing. Simply put, you have to accept the peeling and avoid doing whatever you can to make it stop before its ready to. The goal is to keep the skin feeling moist, calm and comfortable.
Chemical Peel Aftercare Dos:
1. Do treat your skin gently.
Be sure to use a very, very light touch when massaging any type of product onto your skin. No aggressive rubbing at all. Some of the flaking cells are still attached to live cells, and you don’t want to risk pulling anything off that isn’t ready.
2. Do be extra careful when the skin is wet.
Water melts and softens dead skin, so it’s very easy to rub off both dead and live cells when the skin is moist. This means avoid using washcloths or sonic cleansing brushes after a chemical peel. It’s too risky.
3. Do wear sunscreen after a chemical peel.
Stating the obvious, but the skin is very vulnerable post-peel. UV light (even daylight on a cloudy day) is damaging your skin. If the skin is overly flaky and you’re being mindful of not touching it too often, consider trying an SPF-infused powder. You can dust it on for a quick and easy, rub-free reapplication.
4.Do limit your time outdoors.
After a chemical peel, you want to hibernate as much as possible to keep your skin protected. The last things you want to expose your skin to are heat and UV light. It’s already in such an inflamed state, you don’t want to make it worse.
5. Do use products with soothing ingredients.
You want to provide as much comfort to the skin as possible to ease redness and irritation. We can use a water-based gel mask (no more than once a day) if they feel like their skin is too uncomfortable. Its good if we keep it in the refrigerator to provide an extra cooling experience.
After a chemical peel, do keep your skincare routine simple and gentle.
If you’re wondering what to put on your face after a chemical peel, we recommend following this type of regimen, in this order.
- Wash your skin with a gentle, low-foaming, sulfate-free cleanser. Use cleanser which protects moisture a that won’t leave the skin feeling dry.
- Use an essence but mist it on the skin. This is essentially an alcohol-free toner that removes impure tap water from the skin post-cleansing. This is also serum-infused to deliver excellent hydration. This provides additional comfort to irritated and peeled skin. Normally, you’d apply a toner or essence to a cotton pad then wipe it over the skin. Since post-peel you want to minimize rubbing, instead put the product into a spray bottle and mist it on the face. If you don’t have a spray bottle, then pour into the palm of your hand and pat it on the face. Use toner which deeply hydrates the skin and can certainly be used year-round for skin types that need it. Like all toners, you should leave an essence damp on the skin so your serum that follows can seal in its hydration benefits.
- Apply a no-sting, acid-free antioxidant serum. Since the skin has been traumatized (which is the intention), free radical production is very high. You’ll want to suppress some of that free radical activity by using a gentle vitamin C serum. Many vitamin C serums use pure ascorbic acid as the main ingredient. As the name implies, this is an acid, which is the last thing you want to add to the skin after a peel. Instead, look for vitamin C ingredients
- Apply moisturizer. If it’s during the day, you’ll want a moisturizer with sunscreen. In the evening, you’ll want to use a non-sunscreen moisturizer for your skin type. Be sure to use a light touch when applying.
The skin becomes more sensitive and taking care of it after treatment becomes an essential work to do. Help your skin rejuvenate more and follow this tips to make your treatment go successful.