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How to Care For Skin After Chemical Peel + What Not To Do

A chemical peel is a popular way to improve the appearance of the skin. It is a cosmetic procedure that involves the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which causes it to blister and peel off.

But even though they’re safe and effective, they don’t always leave your skin looking perfect. Follow these tips to keep your skin looking its best after a peel.

DOs: How to Care For Skin After Chemical Peel

When you have a chemical peel, your dermatologist will tell you how to take care of your skin after the treatment.

Here are some tips on skin care after chemical peel:

Be Extra Gentle When Your Skin Is Wet

young woman using towel on her face

When your skin is wet after a chemical peel treatment, it is especially vulnerable to irritation. You should be extra gentle when caring for your skin in this condition.

Avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbing your skin. Gently wash your face with mild soap and rinse with cool water. Pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it. Apply a moisturizer to help protect and soothe your skin.

Wear Sunscreen

Chemical peels are a popular way to improve the appearance of your skin, but it’s important to continue wearing sunscreen after the peel. A chemical peel removes the top layer of skin, and without sunscreen, your skin will be more susceptible to sunburn.

Make sure you wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and be sure to reapply it often. You should also avoid tanning beds and excessive sun exposure.

Limit Time Spent Outdoors

It is important to follow the instructions exactly on how long you should wait after having a chemical peel before going outside. Sun exposure can cause problems such as sunburn, redness, and peeling.

Use Products With Soothing Ingredients

beautiful lady applying green tea on her face

If you’re wondering what to put on your face after a chemical peel, it’s important to soothe and protect your skin with products that contain calming ingredients. Look for lotions, creams, and ointments that are rich in antioxidants like green tea or grape seed extract. These ingredients can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Aloe vera is also a good choice for post-chemical peel care. It helps to hydrate the treated area and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Keep Your Skincare Routine Simple

If you’ve just had a chemical peel, keep your skincare routine simple. Stick to gentle cleansers and moisturizers, and avoid using any harsh exfoliants. You may also want to avoid using any products that contain high levels of Vitamin A, as they can aggravate the skin. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on when it’s safe to resume using other skincare products.

Don’ts: What Not to Do After a Chemical Peel

While a chemical peel can provide dramatic results, it’s important to follow post-care instructions carefully to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

Here are some things you should never do after a chemical peel:

Don’t Pick or Pull at Your Skin

young woman picking her face

If you’ve just had a chemical peel, don’t pick or pull at your skin. It can cause scarring and other problems. Let the skin heal properly so you can enjoy the results of your peel.

Don’t Use a Sonic Cleansing Brush, Washcloth, or Facial Scrub

When you have a chemical peel, the skin is raw and needs to be treated gently. A sonic cleansing brush, washcloth, or facial scrub can cause micro-tears in the skin, which can delay healing and lead to infection. It’s best to just use your hands to cleanse your face until the skin has healed.

Don’t Use Any Acid Ingredients

Avoid any ingredients that contain acids. This means no lemon juice, no vinegar, and no orange juice. All of these ingredients can cause irritation and skin peeling.

You should also avoid using any harsh exfoliators or scrubs. Instead, use a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer that is suited for your skin type.

Don’t Over-Moisturize

Moisturizing cream

Many people make the mistake of over-moisturizing their skin after a peel, which can undo all of the work that was done during the peel. In fact, over-moisturizing can actually cause more skin irritation and flaking.

Instead, use a light moisturizer and avoid applying it to the areas that were peeled. If you do experience any dryness or flaking, apply a very thin layer of moisturizer to those areas and only once per day.

Don’t Eat Highly Acidic Foods

Acidic foods can cause irritation and inflammation of the skin. They can also slow down the healing process and increase the risk of scarring. So it’s best to avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, and other acidic foods for at least a week after your peel.

Instead, focus on eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. These healthy foods will help speed up the healing process and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

Don’t Sweat Too Much

sweating working lady

Sweating can cause the new skin cells to come off prematurely. This can lead to irritation and a less than desirable outcome from your peel.

So if you are planning on getting a chemical peel, be sure to avoid any activities that will make you sweat excessively. This includes exercise, hot weather, and saunas or steam rooms.

Don’t Use Retinol

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is often used to improve the appearance of skin. It can be found in over-the-counter and prescription products. Retinol may cause skin irritation, redness, and peeling when used after a chemical peel. If you have recently had a chemical peel, wait until your skin has healed before using any products that contain Retinol.

Final Thoughts

It is important to know how to properly care for skin after a chemical peel. Failure to do so can result in adverse effects, such as infection or scarring. To avoid these complications, be sure to follow the post-peel instructions provided by your doctor or esthetician. Additionally, avoid the following activities until your skin has healed: swimming, sunbathing, and using harsh soaps or cosmetics.

If you are in Texas and looking for a skincare expert to perform a chemical peel on your face, don’t hesitate to contact Team Dermatology. Our board-certified dermatologists can recommend the best types of chemical peels for you. We have offices conveniently located in Sugarland and Houston, TX.

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TEAM Dermatology advises you of the departure of Dr. Kuda Maloney from our Memorial and Sugar Land locations in November of  2023.  Dr. Maloney will be pursuing interests outside of private practice and we wish her the best in achievement of her future endeavors. Please contact our office to arrange for your care with another provider in our offices.