How To Care For Your Skin After A Chemical Peel

Skin Care Tip: So you’ve just had a chemical peel and now you’re left with dry, irritated, peeling skin—all side effects which are perfectly common post-peel.  Now what?

Do’s:

Treat your skin gently. Instead of using a washcloth on your facial, switch to a gentler option like a baby washcloth or Renée Rouleau Facial Sponges. The rough texture of a wash cloth can be too aggravating for skin that is already irritated.

Wear SPF. You’re exposing vulnerable immature cells so you must make sure they don’t get damaged from UV rays. Apply sunscreen daily on the face and neck.

Limit your time outdoors to reduce sun exposure.

Use soothing products with Chamomile, Azulene and Sea Whip to comfort the skin and reduce redness.

Use antioxidants. Since the skin has been traumatized, free radical production is high. Suppress the free radical activity with an antioxidant moisturizer

Use a skin lightener. Since chemical peels can stimulate melanin activity, you don’t want to end up with post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation, a condition where you can develop brown spots post-peel (common in skin that already struggles with discoloration/brown spots). Our Vitamin C & E Treatment works beautifully for preventing and lightening discoloration.

Don’ts:

Pick at the skin! The whole purpose of a chemical peel is to “burn” off the surface dry, damaged cell layers and reveal younger-looking, healthy new cells. But to do this, the skin has to shed and that’s part that people dislike the most. But picking off dry, flaky skin when it may not be ready to come off can result in scarring and unnecessary redness.

Over-moisturize to compensate for post-peeling dryness. When the skin is peeling and flaky, it’s normal to want to apply heavier moisturizer to alleviate dryness and comfort the irritated skin. The whole purpose of a chemical peel is to peel. So to hydrate peeling skin when it wants to shed off, will not give you the best benefit and prolongs the down-time of the peel. Just use your regular moisturizer and let the skin do what it wants to do.

Exfoliate. It is so important to not remove the dry skin before its time and to let the skin shed naturally. Facial scrubs and acids will only irritate the irritation further and could result in scarring the skin.

Bottom line: Hands off, protect your skin with SPF, use calming ingredients and let it run its course.

Read more about chemical peels and their benefits.

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

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Comments:

  1. could you please tell me if i can do yougart mask after 5 days of chemical peel

    Posted By: Gulshah  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      That would be a question for the person who did your peel. Every peel has a different strength and every skin responds differently to yogurt…or any other product post-peel.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  2. Hi,

    After four day of Chemical Peel treatment ,there are some new dark patches on my face ,consulting with my doctor since last two week and using the moisturize and creams but not help very much so please advise what to do now , feeling very embarrassing

    Posted By: Rekha  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      Using a gentle, no-sting vitamin C serum like Vitamin C&E Treatment is excellent for putting active melanin cells asleep that have been inflamed from a chemical peel.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  3. After the peeling has completely stopped, is that when I go back to my normal facial routine?

    Posted By: Sue Cook  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      Generally yes, but your skin care professional should give you instructions of when exactly to get back to your normal routine. Exfoliating products are the ones that you want to wait a bit before using.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  4. I have uneven face skintone with dark spots on 20% area of face. I ‘m planning to go for chemical peeling treatment (light or medium) from any dermatologist, please tell me how much days I would have to avoid sunlight after this treatment? And other precautions required?

    Posted By: Shaminder Gill  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      You for sure will want to get this information from the person who is administering the peels because there are so many different types and all have different side effects. However, in general, you would want to limit outdoor activities for 5-7 days, and of course, wear sunscreen even when indoors as daylight can come through windows. You can read more information about chemical peels here.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  5. I had a mild checmichal peel (sal/gly 10%), a couple of days ago. This morning while washing my face a used a facial sponge (soft). While washing my face I noticed some of he dry flaking skin rubbed off. Now my face is red and tender/sensative. Do have suggestions on what I should use to calm the irritation? Thank you

    Posted By: Sara  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      Hi Sara, When your skin is wet, the cells get really moist and easy to rub off so I can understand why your skin is irritated and probably feeling kind of raw. At this point, it’s best to leave it alone because the more you put on it, the more things will sting and the skin will stay moist. You want everything to dry out so that things can heal up. Don’t over-moisturizer, but a light lotion will keep it feeling comfortable when you talk and make facial expressions. Contact the person who did the peel if you need more assistance.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  6. I’m confused. Most of my dermatologists say to hydrate a minimum of twice daily to help the healing process post peel and helps to regenerate skin faster. Even recommend heavy creams (Vaseline even, or aquaphor) for the first couple of days (not too long otherwise it’ll clog pores).

    Posted By: Roberta troy  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      Some heavy duty peels such as a TCA peel, it is recommended to keep the skin moist but not all peels are equal so you always want to go with the recommendation of your skin care professional.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  7. Hey. I just got a chemical peel done for my acne. This was my first time. My doctor told me to not wash my face with anything but water for three days.
    My skin is oily, can I not even wash it for once with a facewash ?

    Posted By: Aayushi  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      I’m not sure why they would suggest this so it’s best to ask for the reason behind it.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  8. Hi.
    I had a glycolic peel few days ago but my dermatologist has not given me proper instructions about post peel. He has prescribed a brightening cream. Is that enough??

    Posted By: Divyansh ujjwal  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      Other than the tips I’ve provided, I can’t give any guidance as I don’t know what was done to your skin or any details. I suggest you contact your derm and ask them how it’s best to care for your skin type after a peel.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  9. I have done my 3rd chemical peel couple of days before. after 2nd peel my face was clear and acne free. but after this 3rd peel i have lot of white heads and they become redness. also itchy bit. why this happen? do i need get treatments. is it suitable for get another peel during this month.

    Posted By: Ash  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      It’s hard for me to comment without knowing any details about your skin and the peels that were used. Perhaps your skin is being over-peeled and it’s causing a lot of inflammation. You are best to talk with your doctor about all of this, as well as why he or she suggested you use that gel.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  10. I just finishing up my chemical peel 2 weeks ago
    my skin is looking normal now
    Is that ok for me to start to put avocado mask on every night?
    And what kind of brightness serum that I need to ?

    Posted By: Anna Mandy Truong  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      I never recommend to my clients to put avocado on their skin, especially when their skin has just been freshly peeled. As for a serum that is good for brightening, a vitamin C serum is your best bet for this.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  11. Hi I’ve just had the perfect peel was expensive I’m.just in the peeling stage I want to take better care of my skin with a gentle face wash ect for sensitive skin I know I can’t use any products except water for couple weeks what product can u recommend that’s not going to cost a lot can’t see point paying all this money if I can’t mentain it in the future ,

    Posted By: Paula  | 

    Reply
    • Renée Rouleau

      A chemical peel is offering exfoliation to help with various skin issues such as brown spots, post-breakout marks and an overall smoothing of the skin. I would highly suggest that you invest in an exfoliant to use at home on a regular basis. You can see the various exfoliants that I recommend here.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply

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