If you’ve just undergone a chemical peel, first, congratulations, aren’t they just awesome? If you’re my kind of weird, the controlled peeling that comes from having medical-grade acid painted onto your face is that OMG kind of rewarding. That baby soft, evenly textured and toned skin at the end stage of the peel is really something to celebrate. To ensure you get the best results, there are certain things you need to avoid.
Here, we cover the top ten things you should avoid for that oh-so-beautiful post-chemical peel goodness.
1. Refrain from Picking at the Skin
The most important and often the most difficult (the struggle is very real here, folks). When you undergo a chemical peel, the top layer of skin is essentially burned off (trust me, it sounds worse than it reads), removing damaged and dry skin cells. Let the skin shed naturally and avoid picking at it, as this can lead to scarring and additional redness. If the skin is not ready to say ‘goodbye’ just yet, leave the poor pieces of dead skin cells alone.
2. Do not Skip Sunscreen
You shouldn’t ever skip the SPF, now with that fresh layer of skin about to be exposed, this is even more crucial. Avoid direct sunlight for the first week if you can. Failure to use sunscreen can result in uneven skin color and blotchy patches. Essentially, everything you were hoping to get rid of in the first place.
3. Wash your face with COOL water
After a chemical peel, keeping your skin clean will ensure bacteria stays far away from your pores. Using cool water is key as your skin will be sensitive the first week after your peel. This means, avoiding hot showers as well.
4. Don’t let your skin get dry
After a chemical peel, keeping your skin clean and hydrated is vital. Use a gentle, fragrance-free, dye-free moisturizer immediately after washing your face every time.
5. Do not Over-Apply Moisturizer
Although it’s crucial to moisturize your skin regularly, be cautious about over-slathering on thick layers of moisturizer. The purpose of a chemical peel is to allow the dry surface layers to peel off naturally. If they’re over-moisturized, they may not peel properly.
6. Avoid Exfoliating
Despite the fact that your skin may be peeling, exfoliating is not recommended. It can cause the skin to shed too soon, resulting in insufficient results and potential scarring.
7. Skip the Hot and Long Shower
For the first week following your chemical peel, avoid washing your face or showering with hot water. This is because hot water can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. In addition to this, the steam will open up your pores which can significantly increase your risk of infection.
8. Skip the Gym
It is best to avoid any heavy sweating if your skin has not started to flake, yet. So keep your exercises to a minimum. Sweating through exercise may cause the skin to peel prematurely leaving you with red, sore areas that have not yet fully healed.
9. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated
Drinking plenty of water is one of the most effective ways to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. It’s particularly crucial after a chemical peel, but it should also be part of your daily routine.
10. Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption
While it’s okay to indulge in a glass of wine or a cocktail, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your skin to heal properly after a chemical peel.
Chemical peels can be incredibly beneficial for your skin, but it’s crucial to avoid the guidelines mentioned above to ensure you get the best results possible.
Don’t schedule your next light to medium chemical peel (or any facial rejuvenation procedure) for at least four weeks after your initial peel. Let your skin fully heal and for new skin cells to form first before another procedure.
If you haven’t yet gotten your chemical peel and are wondering what it’s like, check out our series “So I Got This Done”, Chemical Peel edition for an inside look at the treatment from start to finish.