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?
–Treat your skin gently. Instead of using a washcloth on your face switch to a gentler option like a baby washcloth. The rough texture of a wash cloth can be too aggravating for skin that is already irritated. Pair with a gentle cleanser like SkinMedica Facial Cleanser.
–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 such as SkinMedica Total Defense and Repair.
–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. SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator is great for this.
–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.
*Blog adapted from http://blog.reneerouleau.com/how-to-care-for-your-skin-after-a-chemical-peel/