How To Care For Your Skin After A Chemical Peel
Not all chemical peels are equal; these suggestions we share are for light to light-medium peels. The skin care professional who performed your treatment should have given you detailed chemical peel aftercare instructions.
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 Do’s:
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.
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.
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. Make sure the sunscreen is broad spectrum, which means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Both can damage the skin. Second, make sure that it has a SPF of 30 and all types of solar radiation: UVB, UVA, IR (e.g "Sun Supreme"). If the skin is overly flaky and you’re being mindful of not touching it too often, consider trying an SPF-infused powder (e.g " Sun Perfection"). You can dust it on for a quick and easy, rub-free reapplication.
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.
Do use products with soothing ingredients.
You want to provide as much comfort to the skin as possible to ease redness and irritation. We recommend to use a water-based Collagen Wash Gel if they feel like their skin is too uncomfortable. I suggest keeping 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, follow this type of regimen in this order.
- Wash your skin with a gentle, low-foaming, sulfate-free cleanser . As mentioned, Collagen Wash Gel is a great collagen-based formula that won’t leave the skin feeling dry.
- Use mist on the skin. (e.g " Atelocollagen Water") 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 a mist is the solution. Atelocollagen water deeply hydrates the skin and can certainly be used year-round for skin types that need it.
- Apply a no-sting, acid-free antioxidant product. 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 product. Many vitamin C products use artificial ascorbic acid as the main ingredient. Instead, look for natural vitamin C, sinceconsidered to since they are stable, acid-free and don’t cause a stinging sensation. (Check out this "atelocollagen water")
- Apply moisturizer. If it’s during the day, you’ll want a moisturizer with sunscreen. (Sun Supreme is ideal as it will be more soothing to the skin.) In the evening, you’ll want to use a non-sunscreen moisturizer for your skin type. eg. Collagen Wash Gel. Be sure to use a light touch when applying.
Do use a natural skin brightener.
Since chemical peels can stimulate melanin activity, you don’t want to end up with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a condition in which you develop brown spots or patches post-peel (common in skin that already struggles with discoloration/brown spots). We recommend use Sun Supreme, as mentioned above works beautifully to calm melanin cells.