Post Chemical Peel Skincare Tips
Chemical peels remove the outermost surface layer of skin to help reduce signs of aging, acne, discoloration, and sun damage. At the same time, they reveal smoother, brighter skin below.
Depending on your skin's sensitivity, you may experience side effects from a chemical peel, including redness, dryness, or irritation. This is actually a normal part of the post-peel renewal process.
Here's how to care for your skin after a chemical peel treatment to avoid discomfort and speed up the recovery time.
#1: Avoid Picking at Your Skin
The first rule of caring for post chemical peel skin is to not pick at your skin. While it might be tempting to remove peeling skin to help speed up the healing process, doing this can actually damage the new skin underneath.
The best thing you can do to spur skin recovery is to keep your hands off of your face. Resist the urge to pick or peel dry, dead skin. Remember, this will only slow down recovery rather than speed it up. Allow your skin to peel on its own.
If you need help remembering not to pick, try wearing gloves so it reminds you picking is a bad idea. Alternatively, try keeping your hands busy with activities like writing, drawing, or sewing.
#2: Wash Your Face with Cool Water
Since your skin's going to be extra sensitive post-peel, it's important to be especially gentle on your skin. That includes washing your face with cool water rather than hot water, which can irritate or damage the top layers of skin.
Using cool water will feel much better on your skin, and also help calm irritation and provide relief. Use a gentle cleanser targeted at sensitive skin types to cleanse and soothe your face without causing tightness, flaking, or irritation.
In the days after your treatment, only wash your face once a day to prevent drying it out and exacerbating peeling.
#3: Hold Off on Exfoliating
Chemical peels are exfoliants themselves, so you won't need to exfoliate with a face scrub or chemical exfoliant until your skin has fully recovered. Exfoliators can be too harsh on your skin and cause irritation. It's best to keep them off your radar until your skin is strong enough to tolerate them again.
That means dropping skincare products containing alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and salicylic acid. As effective as these ingredients are in your regular skincare routine, they tend to be too harsh following skin resurfacing treatment.
#4: Moisturize Regularly
After a chemical peel, your skin barrier will be a bit weaker than usual. For that reason, it's essential to reinforce that barrier with a nourishing, hydrating moisturizer.
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help hydrate your skin from the inside out and avoid dehydration.
Strengthen your skin barrier and speed up the peeling process with Rainbow's Hydrate Serum. It's made with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to improve tissue regeneration, boost hydration, and enhance elasticity for plump, youthful skin.
#5: Apply Sunscreen
Dermatologists recommend avoiding sun exposure after getting a chemical peel as your skin will be more sensitive than normal and prone to damage.
Whenever you leave your house, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 approximately half an hour before leaving for maximum protection. It's crucial to incorporate sunscreen as part of your post-treatment aftercare to speed up the downtime and prevent issues like fine lines and hyperpigmentation from surfacing.
#6: Bring in a Vitamin C Serum
According to skin experts, chemical peels increase melanin activity. That's why it's a good idea to apply a Vitamin C serum to calm melanin cells. What's more, applying a thin layer of vitamin C serum under your sunscreen can help elevate its effectiveness.
This antioxidant is excellent for promoting collagen production, protecting skin from UV damage, lightening acne scars, and improving skin tone.
Try Rainbow's Smooth Serum for your daily dose of vitamin C. It's formulated with vegan collagen and vitamin C to deliver bouncier, fresher, fine line-free skin.
#7: Drop the Retinol
As effective as this vitamin A derivative is for speeding cellular turnover and increasing collagen production, it's simply too harsh to use on chemically treated skin.
To help your skin heal, temporarily stop using products formulated with retinol. Applying retinol to skin after getting a chemical peel could cause redness, flaking, peeling, and irritation.
Wait until your skin has fully healed before using retinol products. It's generally best to avoid the majority of active ingredients to save irritating your sensitive skin.
#8: Avoid Strenuous Workouts
Following your chemical peel, you'll want to avoid heavy workouts for up to four days. Intense workouts can increase blood circulation and worsen post-peel side effects. You'll also want to avoid saunas and steam rooms after getting a chemical peel to prevent exacerbating symptoms.
Try sticking to walking and other light activities to stay healthy without worsening your symptoms.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR SKIN TO HEAL?
Your recovery time will depend on the type of chemical peel you receive. If you have undergone a mild chemical peel, you may not require any downtime at all. You may experience a little redness for the first few hours, but that should quickly diminish.
Those who have undergone a medium chemical peel can expect to experience redness and inflammation for approximately two days. And if you opt for a deep chemical peel, recovery time can range between one and two weeks.
The best way to encourage healing and recovery is to follow our steps above. Our post chemical peel skincare tips are easy yet effective for soothing your skin while actively speeding up healing.
If you continue to experience uncomfortable side effects such as redness, dryness, flaking, burning, or breakouts, visit a dermatologist for professional advice. They may be able to prescribe you oral or topical medication to ease your symptoms.