If you’ve just gotten (or are planning on getting) a chemical peel, it’s important to know how to take care of your skin post-treatment. Typically you might have some redness, sensitiveness, or even dryness after a peel, so knowing what products are okay to use and how to protect your skin during the aftercare is key!
What is a Chemical Peel
A chemical peel typically is a solution comprised of acids (such as AHAs, BHAs, and TCA). The solution is meant to improve the texture and tone of your skin by taking off the external layers of dead skin cells.
Once these layers have been removed, you’ll notice smoother “new” skin which helps with the appearance of aging, uneven skin tone, and other imperfections on your face.
What Are The Different Peels
There are different levels of peels that you can receive, depending on your skin type and sensitivity. These levels depend on different levels of pH and acidity. Aka the lower the pH and higher the acidity, the stronger and deeper the peel.
The frequency in which you need chemical peels also depends on your skin type, skincare, and age.
How Often Should You Do Peels
As a general rule of thumb, about three to four times a year is ideal when you’re in your 20s and 30s, six to eight times when you’re in your 40s and 50s, and monthly or bi-monthly if you’re in your 60s or older.
Aftercare Products to Use
During your chemical peel aftercare, it’s important to use the right products that will help your skin heal and hydrate without causing any irritation or congestion.
Aestheticians recommend using water-based products as a lot of these products are specially formulated for repairing the skin post-treatment.
Never use alcohol or other active medicated ingredients, such as acids, as this will irritate your skin. Since you’ve already done the peel, your skin will need time to repair itself before you should starting using your own active ingredients again to prevent damaging your skin.
Once you’ve passed your no-face wash period, the three products that will be the best for your skin are a hydrating toner, a good water-based moisturizer, and sunscreen.
What Else Should I Do?
One of the most important steps of your chemical peel aftercare is to avoid sun exposure after your treatment. If you’ve opted for a strong peel like TCA or a retinol chemical peel, you should even take precautions such as avoiding sweating and extreme temperature exposure for 24 hours.
Can I Wear Makeup?
It is not recommended to wear any makeup for the first 24 hours. After the 24 hours, you should still avoid wearing heavy foundations if you can. Opt for mineral makeup or a moisture-rich BB cream or tinted moisturizer.
How Long Does It Take For My Skin To Be Back To Normal?
After a week, your skin should be pretty much back to normal. Once this happens, you can resume your usual skincare routine including active products such as moisturizers with built-in AHAs.
To maintain smoothness in your skin, use a mild chemical at-home exfoliant weekly. This along with SPF and a good moisturizer will help prolong the effects of your professional peel and give you the best bang for your buck!