Post-Chemical Peel Do’s and Don’ts

NOTE: these are instructions I give to my clients and pertain to my specific type of medium-deep chemical peels. Please follow the instructions your skincare therapist gives you following a peel.

4 hours after the peel:
Wash your face gently with a simple cleanser and tepid water, pat dry, then apply moisturizer. Drink 40 oz of water.

Post-Peel Do’s

  • Treat your skin extra gently – no aggressive rubbing, pulling or scrubbing as this can cause post-inflammation. Use very light touch when massaging any type of product into the skin.
  • Do wear zinc sunscreen; re-apply every 2 hours
  • Limit your time outdoors to keep your skin protected
  • Use products with soothing ingredients like aloe, aquaphor, oat, hyaluronic

Keep your skincare routine simple. Follow this regimen for the first 7 days:

1. Oil cleanse with either jojoba, coconut or olive oil. Then, while the oil is still on the skin, use your regular cleanser and massage them both in gently. Rinse with tepid water and pat dry.

2. Ice your skin – remember to keep it moving and not hold it in one place as this can cause burning

3. If the area begins to feel itchy or irritated, use the CliniCalm 1% cream in your post-procedure kit. This is a 1% hydrocortisone cream to help calm itchiness, redness and irritation. You can find it over-the-counter as well. DO NOT USE MORE THAN 7 CONSECUTIVE DAYS IN A ROW. If it burns, do not use it.

4. Apply a moisturizer AM + PM. You can use the cream in your post-procedure kit. A great over-the-counter post-peel moisturizer I recommend is the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. The ingredients such as oat helps soothe irritation and dimethicone creates a protective seal over the skin which helps lock in hydration

5. Apply a broad spectrum SPF 30+ and reapply throughout the day, rain or shine

6. Spot treat extra dry spots with a thin layer of Aquaphor

Post-Peel Don’ts

  • Don’t pick or pull at flaking skin! The intention is to lift away damaged, dead cells to reveal younger, healthy cells. Picking off dead skin prematurely also pulls off new healthy skin and can result in scarring and redness. Leave it alone!
  • No washcloths, facial scrubs or cleansing brushes. You’ll end up with scabs all over your face which can lead to scarring and post-inflammation hyperpigmentation
  • Do not over-do it on the moisturizer. Let the peel do it’s process of shedding and keep in mind that letting the skin be slightly on the dry side allows you to get the most out of the peel.
  • Do not waste using your amazing, expensive skincare products during this time as your skin will not be able to readily absorb them until all the peeling is done. Use what is in your post-procedure kit, or opt for something over-the-counter. I recommend products from Aveeno or CeraVe.
  • Don’t use acids, enzymes, benzoyl peroxide, retinol or hydroquinone
  • No heavy sweating, exercise, saunas, or steam rooms for 48 hours

After 7 days, you can go back to your regular skincare routine. It’s very important to use antioxidants and brighteners after to stop any possible post-inflammatory pigmentation from developing

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