The chemical peel: one of the most popular, effective, and versatile ways to take a few years off your skin and get an overall brighter, more refreshed look. They come with a wide variety of specialties and strength levels, and if you get your peel from an experienced pro, they can tailor it to fit your specific skin care goals.
Did you know that you can sabotage your results if you don’t manage your aftercare correctly, though? High stakes, I know. But luckily, getting the most out of your chemical isn’t all that difficult – it just takes the right knowledge and a bit of planning. Follow these top post-peel tips.
1. Hunker Down
Personally, I never need an excuse to settle into the couch for some Netflix bingeing, but that’s one of the best ways you can help your skin after a chemical peel. Try to stay home as much as possible in the first days after your peel, or possibly longer depending on the depth of your peel.
This is important because your post-procedure skin will be very vulnerable to sun damage, so the less sun exposure you have, the better. From my personal experience, you’ll want to stay home as much as you can anyway until your skin is no longer red and/or peeling heavily. Just cozy up on the couch with a great blanket, something delicious to sip, and your TV and give yourself a few days to hibernate and relax.
2. Stick with a Gentle Cleanser
Keeping your skin clean is important as you heal because you need to protect your skin from potential infections. Your skin will also be very sensitive in the first days after your peel, though, so make sure you’re using a gentle cleanser – ideally a cleanser that’s noted to be for post-procedure skin.
3. Keep Your Hands Off
Speaking of keeping your skin clean, do you know what’s shockingly dirty? Your hands! No judgment – it’s true for all of us. Our hands just come into contact with so many surfaces throughout the course of a day that they’re always harboring some amount of bacteria. So, as tempting as it might be to touch your skin or to peel your skin, don’t!
Bacteria isn’t the only problem here. It’s also critical not to try to “help” the peeling – just keep your hands off and let your surface skin peel on its own. Otherwise, you may end up peeling areas before they’re ready and causing damage.
4. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Keeping your skin hydrated is one of the best ways to help the healing process along and to keep your skin more comfortable throughout that process. Moisturizer should be your best friend after your chemical peel.
Opt for a gentle moisturizer that doesn’t contain any ingredients that are likely to cause skin irritation. That means no fragrances and no dyes. If there have been any ingredients your skin has reacted to in the past, skip those as well.
5. Take It Easy
Even a light peel can make your skin a bit uncomfortable during the first few days. It’s not necessarily painful, but your skin may feel hot, swollen, or itchy. That means your peel is doing its job, but you also don’t want to do anything to make those side effects worse.
Anything that makes you feel hot or increases your blood flow significantly may ignite your skin’s redness, warmth, itching, or discomfort. We’re talking intense workouts, hot yoga, steam rooms, saunas, and long, hot showers. It’s best to ease up on your workout routine and avoid those saunas, steam rooms, and sauna-like showers while your skin starts to heal.
6. Use a Soothing Healing Cream
Even if you’re minimizing your strenuous workouts and steam sessions, your skin will have some warmth and sensitivity in the first days after your peel. But there are creams out there that are specifically made for post-procedure skin, and they’re so soothing that if you don’t say “ahhh” out loud when you put them on, you must have nerves of steel.
Invest in a post-treatment soothing cream to use after your chemical peel. It will both soothe and hydrate your skin, so it’s great to use as a nighttime skin cream after you’ve used a milder moisturizer throughout the day.
Making Your Chemical Peel Even More Effective
With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time of year when we all want to look like our most stunning selves in all those family pictures and selfies from the office party. A chemical peel can be a great way to make that happen, and the tips above will help you get better results and have a more comfortable healing period.