Chemical peels are great for your skin, but they can be a long and messy process.
But they are a few things that you can Do & Avoid Doing to aid your skin in its recovery journey towards a happier and healthier existence.
So in this article, we will:
- Answer some of the most common chemical peel aftercare questions
- Explain what you need to avoid doing after a peel
- Share with you some tips that you can do to speed up the recovery process.
Related Article – What to Expect After a Chemical Peel & When Do You Recover
Things to Avoid after a Chemical Peel
Avoiding certain things will help your skin to recover faster. Things you should avoid after a chemical peel are:
- Sun exposure – and wearing sunscreen is a must
- Exfoliation – let the skin naturally peel
- A complicated skincare routine – too much chemicals are to be avoided.
- Skin care products with active ingredients like retinoids, tretinoin, acids, etc.
- Washing with harsh cleansers/soap and warm/hot water
- Excessively touching, picking or scratching your face
- Other cosmetic treatments during the healing process
- Makeup immediately after the treatment
- Saunas (which cause you to sweat excessively)
- Strenuous physical activity (which also causes you to sweat excessively)
Tips to Make Your Skin Heal Faster after a Chemical Peel
- Ensure that you Ask about & Follow Aftercare Instructions.
- Take a Break from Makeup
- Keep your Face Clean – use a gentle cleanser
- Do Not Itch, Pick or Pull at your Face
- Moisturize your Skin – use gentle moisturizer that won’t clog your pores
- Keep your hair back & away from the area that the chemical peel was done, your hair can irritate your sensitive skin
- Protect your Skin from the Sun wear a hat and ensure you use a good sunscreen
- Do Not Exfoliate your Skin
- Keep hydrated and get enough sleep and rest – to allow your skin to heal
I cover these tips in more detail, so keep on reading.
What can you safely put on your skin after a chemical peel?
Generally, it is best not to use too many products on your face just after a chemical peel and while your skin is healing. The simpler your routine is, the better.
Let your skin breathe and have the chance to heal. However, here are a few things that you can use:
- Clean water that is Cool or at room temperature
- A Gentle cleanser
- Hydrating mists or toners that are acid-free and gentle
- Non-comedogenic Moisturizer (this means a moisturizer that will not clog your pores)
- Certain brands of Sunscreen
- Any treatment or protective ointments that have been prescribed by your doctor
- Vaseline, Petroleum Jelly, or Aquaphor
- Aloe Vera (the best kind is the natural plant gel)
- Acid-free and mild vitamin C serum (only if necessary)
How soon can you wash your face or shower after a chemical peel?
It is recommended that you wait at least 2 hours after your chemical peels before showering or washing your face.
If you have your peel in the morning or before lunchtime, you can wait for the evening to wash your face and shower. Do not shower or wash your face with hot or warm water.
Also, avoid steaming and always use cool water and a gentle cleanser to wash your face and avoid washing for too long.
Best Cleansers to Use After a Chemical Peel
It is important to wash your face every day after a chemical peel. If your usual cleanser is drying, you can use a mild soap and water. Or, you can use a hydrating gentle cleanser.
The aim is not to strip the face of all of its oil and moisture, but to wash away any debris that may have settled on the skin.
I highly recommend CeraVe Cleansers, you can click here to see the price on Amazon for one that is ideal to use after a Chemical Peel
Can you Apply Moisturizer after a Chemical Peel
Yes you do need to use a Moisturizers after a chemical peel. It should be your best friends after your chemical peel. This is because chemical peels usually make your skin extra dry.
Now you do need to be able to peel for the process to work. However, extra dry skin tends to crack and damage. So our advice is to moisturize often and well.
How Often Should I Moisturize After a Chemical Peel
A moisturizer should be applied right after washing your face – every time you wash! This will help to keep skin hydrated and prevent the loss of moisturize.
Best Type of Moisturizer to Use After a Chemical Peel
The best type of moisturizer to use after a chemical should be very gentle and should be
- Non-comedogenic meaning it won’t clog your pores
Can I wear Sunscreen After a Chemical Peel
Yes you need to wear sunscreen after a chemical peel. It is recommended that you use one with an SPF of 30 or higher.
This is because your skin will be very sensitive following a chemical peel, it is important to avoid direct sunlight to avoid injury and permanent scarring.
Sunscreen should be applied about half an hour before going outdoors and as often as needed throughout the day.
Best Sunscreen After a Chemical Peel
Look for a sunscreen that contains one or both of the chemicals titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. These substances effectively protect the skin from both UVA and UVB radiation.
These compounds are long-lasting physical filters that give great protection, making them suitable for safeguarding skin after a chemical peel. Citation.
I recommend either the Aveeno Mineral Sunscreen, click here to see the price for one with a 50 SPF on Amazon.
Or you can use the CeraVe Sunscreen, click here to see the price of it on Amazon.
Can you use Makeup after a Chemical Peel
How soon you can use makeup after a chemical peel will depend on the kind of chemical peel that you get.
|Light Peel||Medium Deep Peel||Deep Peel|
|It is best to avoid any makeup for at least 48 hours after a light chemical peel||Wait 5-7 days after a medium depth chemical peel before wearing any makeup.||And wait at least two full weeks after a deep chemical peel before applying any makeup.|
When can you use makeup after a chemical peel
In general, it is best to avoid using any makeup at all while your skin is actively healing and peeling. Makeup has many chemicals and the tools we use to apply the makeup are not always clean or sterile.
These can cause irritations, reactions and even infections, all of which can further damage the skin and/or slow down the healing process.
Always consult your doctor for clearance before starting to apply makeup after your chemical peel.
Why You Need to Avoid Makeup After a Chemical Peel
Makeup hinders healing because;
- Makeup has all sorts of chemicals and ingredients in them – some we understand and some we do not. We do not know how some of those will affect our now tender and irritated skin.
- Makeup brushes and tools can also have millions of tiny bacteria (no matter how well we clean them) which can cause breakouts, acne, or other reactions on the skin.
How to safely apply Makeup after a Chemical peel
When you have been given the go-ahead to start using makeup again, it is best to start small and work your way up.
Instead of starting right away with a full face of makeup:
- Start with a few products and gradually add products.
- Always moisturize and use a primer to protect your skin before using any makeup.
- Do not put the make-up on your bare skin.
- Always make sure that your makeup brushes, sponges and tools are clean before you use them.
Do not sleep with makeup on your face. Always make sure to remove your makeup before bed.
How do you safely remove dead skin after a chemical peel?
The best thing to do after your chemical peel when you see your skin start to flake and peel is to let those flakes and peels fall off naturally.
1- Do not pick and pull at your skin.
When you are peeling, it will be very tempting to pick at your face or to pull off the flaky skin that you see loosening off the surface of your skin.
It becomes even worse if it is itchy. Your skin will heal faster if you do not give in to the temptation.
You see your hands and fingernails are overrun with different bacteria which you can introduce onto the surface of your skin when you constantly touch, itch, or pick at your skin.
Your nails can also produce microtears in the skin that can slow down the healing process, leave scars, or even become infected. So just allow the scales and flakes to fall off on their own.
2- Stay away from the physical exfoliates.
Exfoliates may cause your now fragile and sensitive skin to develop micro-tears or bruises, which will cause more damage than benefit to the skin.
You may wash your face with cool water and a gentle cleanser to help remove the loose skin or to soften and wash away the pieces that are ready to come off.
Can you use Vitamin C after a Chemical Peel
You can use Vitamin C after a chemical peel – but not immediately. Consult your doctor before adding vitamin c to your routine.
If they give you the go-ahead, use a gentle vitamin c serum.
Benefits of Using Vitamin C After a Chemical Peel
Free radical production is high after a chemical peel. You can reduce part of that free radical activity with a mild vitamin C serum.
Chemical peels can also induce hyperpigmentation by stimulating melanin activity. Vitamin C serum with a good formulation can help melanin cells calm down.
Best Vitamin C Serum to Use After Chemical Peel
However, you should be aware that many vitamin C serums contain acid-based compounds. Instead, look for serums that contain compounds like
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate,
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate,
- Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, or
- Ascorbyl Palmitate.
These are the best for sensitive skin since they are stable, acid-free, and don’t irritate the skin.
If you are not sure whether your vitamin c serum is too acidic or not, it is best to avoid it together until your skin has healed.
It is best to only use moisturizer and sunscreen for at least the first 48 hours after your chemical peel. After that, it is best to stick to a simple skincare routine throughout the healing period.
Can you use Retinol after a Chemical Peel
You should avoid using retinol or retinoid products after your chemical peel. Wait until your skin has healed.
Retinols increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight and will increase your skin’s risk of UV damage.
It is best to lay off the retinol, retina-A and retinoid products three to five days before your peel to help decrease sensitivity. Then, wait five to seven days after your peel to start using them again, so your skin has time to recover.
Can you use a Toner after a Chemical Peel
Yes, you can use a toner after a chemical peel. However, not immediately, and it should be alcohol-free.
As mentioned earlier, for the first 48 hours, you should only wash your face with a gentle cleanser or face soap and cool water, and apply moisturizer and sunscreen.
Recommended Toner to use after Chemical Peel
However, after that, you may apply a simple skincare routine. In this routine, it is recommended that you use a toner,
Ensure that the toner is
- Very Gentle
- Use a spray mist bottle to spray it on your face.
- Do not apply it with a cloth or cotton ball in a wiping motion. This may irritate your face.
Many professionals sometimes recommend using a hydrating mist as a toner after cleansing. Try to choose one that soothes and calms the skin .
But ensure that it is free of harmful ingredients like:
- Sodium lauryl sulfates,
- Animal by-products,
- Synthetic dyes,
- Petrochemicals and
Can you put Aloe Vera on your face after a Chemical Peel
After a chemical peel you can use organic aloe Vera if the need arises – straight from the plant if you can get it.
- Aloe Vera is a great moisturizer
- And has great antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- It also soothes and calms sensitive and irritated skin.
These attributes make Aloe Vera a great addition to your skincare routine if you want to add it.
However, keep in mind that it is always best to consult your doctor first and to always do a patch test before going all in.
Your skin is extra sensitive and exposed after a chemical peel so be careful with anything that you put on it, even plants.
Can you use Vaseline after a Chemical Peel
Vaseline or petroleum jelly can be used on your skin after chemical peels, especially light and medium depth peels.
Many professionals use this as a protective ointment. Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, helps to soothe and lock moisture in the skin, which makes it a great agent to prevent the skin from becoming too dry.
Why You Need to Keep your Hair back After a Chemical Peel
Your hair more than likely has many products and natural oils on them which can cause breakouts on the skin if the hair is constantly in contact with the surface.
Even more so when the skin is super irritated and sensitive from a chemical peel. Also having your hair on your face will also prompt you to touch your face more.
So keeping your hair tied back will keep you from having to move it out of the way often and will help to avoid breakouts.