Undergoing a chemical peel can have many positive benefits, but it’s important to know what to do and what to avoid afterward. Here are the top ten things to avoid after a chemical peel.
1. Picking at the skin
The entire reason a person gets a chemical peel is to burn off the surface and get rid of damaged, dry skin cell layers. In order to do this, the skin must shed – which is what many people dislike the most about a chemical peel. Picking off the dry skin before it can lead to scarring and extra redness.
2. Skipping sunscreen
It’s critical to protect skin from the sun at any time, but especially after a peel – no matter how strong or what the type of peel was. Ideally, a person would avoid the sun for the first week or two, but if they can’t, then they should wear sunscreen. Not doing so can lead to blotchy patches and irregular skin coloring. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended and it should be applied about a half an hour before going outdoors.
3. Letting the skin dry out
Keeping the skin clean after a peel is very important. The best option is to wash with cool water and a mild soap.
4. Not applying moisturizer
Along with regular washing, keeping the skin moisturized is also essential. A fragrance-free, dye-free, gentle moisturizer should be applied right after washing it – every time it’s washed!
5. Applying too much moisturizer
It is important to moisturize regularly, but it’s also important to avoid putting on too much moisturizer. Remember that the point of a chemical peel is to let dry surface layers peel. If they’re over moisturized, they may not flake off properly.
6. Being afraid of cold compresses
There’s a rumor out there that cold compresses work against the benefits of a chemical peel. This simply isn’t true. A cold compress can actually be very soothing and can help the skin heal faster.
It can be tempting to exfoliate. After all, there’s skin peeling and it appears that it wants to be removed. The truth is that exfoliating can remove the skin before it is ready. This can lead to inadequate results and even scarring.
8. Expecting immediate results
There are some cosmetic treatments that have immediate results. Chemical peels are not one of them. While the results can be incredible and they’re well worth the wait, it does take a few days for the full results to be obvious.
9. Not staying hydrated
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to keep it hydrated. This is true right after a peel and it’s true every day of your life. Drink plenty of water.
10. Drinking excessive alcohol
While it is most likely fine to have a glass of wine or a cocktail, imbibing excessive alcohol can depress the immune system and should be avoided as it makes it harder for your face to heal.