How to Care for Your Skin After a Chemical Peel
Aftercare is important to successful healing.
If you’re looking for a skincare solution to help even out your skin tone, lighten up dark spots, and reduce the risk of future breakouts, you might want to consider a chemical peel. Chemical peels improve the skin by removing dead skin cells, which reveals healthier skin cells and promotes the growth of new ones. Although chemical peels vary in intensity, ranging from superficial to deep, they can leave the skin sensitive and vulnerable to the elements. Fortunately, there are a few simple and easy ways to care for your skin after a chemical peel.
Follow Your Post-Care Instructions
It’s very likely that your dermatologist or esthetician will give you instructions on how to care for your skin after the procedure. The best thing you can do is follow their directions religiously and listen to whatever they tell you to do or not do. If they tell you to apply a cold compress every so often, be sure to do it. If they tell you not to exercise for a while, take a break from the gym.
Avoid Letting Hands and Hair Touch Your Skin
Remember—your skin is extra sensitive and vulnerable after a peel, and your hands and hair likely have oils, dirt, and bacteria that your skin can’t fight off post-peel. It’s best to leave the face touching to a minimum, but if you absolutely must, make sure your hands are clean first. Additionally, pull your hair back as much as possible, and clip back any bangs to avoid breakouts and irritation.
Hydrate and Moisturize
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help your skin recover faster. Moisturizing properly, however, can be tricky. You want to avoid moisturizers with active ingredients that will irritate the skin, such as AHAs, BHAs, tretinoins, Vitamin C, or acne medications. If you’re looking for something natural and free of active ingredients that will both moisturize and hydrate your skin, try aloe vera. Aloe vera has many skincare benefits, and because it’s mostly comprised of water, healthy fats, and lipids, it will soothe your skin and help repair cells faster.
Stay Out of the Sun
Your skin’s protective barrier helps protect new, more vulnerable cells from harsh UV rays. Because your barrier is weakened after a chemical peel, you need to stay out of the sun. The sun also makes you sweat, clogging your pores and further irritating the skin. If you have to go outside, keep it to a minimum, and be sure to wear a broad-spectrum SPF with minimal ingredients.
Resist the Temptation to Pick
The most important thing you can do when caring for your skin after a chemical peel is to never, ever, under any circumstance, pick or peel at your skin. It’s natural for your skin to flake and peel afterward, but picking puts your skin at risk of scarring. Not only that, but it’s also just plain painful! The nicer you are to your skin during its healing process, the better the end results will be.
Photo – RF Studio