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A woman getting a chemical peel

The Skincare Routine You Need After a Chemical Peel

Combatting the adverse effects of aging, acne scarring, and skin discolouration is no easy feat, unless you employ the help of chemical peels, that is! A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment that works by means of a chemical solution. The substance is applied to the skin in order to remove the top layers. The aim of this skin-resurfacing procedure is to eliminate the damaged skin and promote the growth of new, smoother, healthier skin.

Ideal for treating wrinkles, discolouration and scars on the facial area, chemical peels can be done as standalone procedures or be used in combination with other cosmetic treatments. Customizable to your specific need, this revolutionary procedure has been designed with various depths: light, medium and deep.

The Types of Chemical Peels

Depending on your specific skin concerns, the deeper the chemical peel, the more dramatic and visible the results will be.

Light (Superficial) Chemical Peels

This peel removes only the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis) in order to reveal a smoother and healthier complexion. It uses mild acids that are perfect for treating fine lines, wrinkles, acne, dryness, dullness and uneven skin tones. A light chemical peel can be done every two to five weeks. 

Medium Chemical Peels

Reaching a little deeper than the light peel, the medium peel removes skin cells from the epidermis all the way to the upper portion of the middle layer of your skin (dermis). Depending on the specific case, come patients may need to repeat this procedure several times for optimal results.

Deep Chemical Peels

The third and most vigorous skin resurfacing procedure is the deep chemical peel. This type removes skin cells from deeper levels of the dermis, and is recommended for individuals with deeper wrinkles or scars. Unlike light and medium chemical peels, deep peels need to be done only once to experience the full effects.

A man applying a charcoal mask

Aftercare: The Chemical Peel Skincare Regimen

Depending on the type of chemical peel you get, treated areas require at least one to two weeks to heal completely. In most cases, redness, swelling and throbbing may be experienced for a certain period of time. To alleviate the discomfort of the healing process, follow these six steps:

Avoid Touching the Treatment Site

The main purpose of chemical peels is to eliminate the damaged skin cells and uncover the glowing, healthy skin underneath. When the upper layer of skin begins to shed, it is imperative to refrain from touching, scratching, or picking at the skin. It is highly recommended to allow the damaged skin to shed off naturally. If you do use your fingers to peel it off, you run the risk of scarring.  

Wash Your Face With Cool Water

Contrary to warm water, cold water could help provide relief from the post-peel sensations. Using ice packs can also help alleviate any residual pain.

Keep Your Hair Pulled Back

Keep irritation and breakouts at bay by tying your hair up in a ponytail or pulling it away from your face with a hairband. Avoid the risk of aggravating your skin with strands of hair. In the event that you do break out with pimples, do not attempt to treat them yourself. Instead, consult your doctor for a pimple remedy. 

Hydrate, Moisturize and Protect

Chemical peels temporarily compromise the skin’s protective barrier, so it is vital that you reinforce its natural shield with a medium moisturizer. Moreover, make sure to increase your water intake, in order to avoid any dehydration, which could cause a tight sensation on the treatment areas.

During the healing period, it is advised to refrain from using too many skincare products, as it could be harmful to the treatment site. The only two types of creams that you should be using during this stage are moisturizers and sunscreens. The moisturizer replenishes moisture content, while the sunscreen protects your new and vulnerable skin from sun damage. Apply a liberal amount of SPF 30 sunscreen every time you go outside. Your moisturizer should be non-comedogenic so as to not irritate the skin. 

It is important to keep in mind that the slight dry feeling and frequent peeling of the skin are normal parts of the skin healing process. New skin may temporarily be lighter or darker than normal. The deeper the chemical peel, the longer the recovery time.

A woman applying moisturizer on her face while looking in a mirror

Refrain From Partaking in Strenuous Exercise, Saunas, or Steam Rooms

While working out and relaxing in a sauna are great activities that can stimulate healthy blood flow and reduce tension in the muscles, they are not the best for post-chemical peel skincare. This is because increased blood circulation to the face can intensify the itching, warming, redness, tingling or other uncomfortable sensations brought about by the cosmetic procedure. You can safely return to these healthy activities once the treatment sites are fully healed. For now, you have a good excuse to take a break from lifting weights and attending your zumba class!

Avoid Exfoliating

Chemical peels are intense exfoliators of their own, therefore, it is not necessary for you to use separate brushes, scrubs, or exfoliating cleansers during your recovery period. Excessive exfoliating can result in more sensitivity and discomfort. It is best to wait until your skin feels healed and strong enough for your regular skin care routine again. The two week healing period is worth the wait for beautiful, youthful, more radiant and healthier skin.

The Chemical Peel You Need

It’s important that before deciding to undergo a chemical peel you speak to a licensed physician about any history of scarring, cold sores, or facial X-rays that may affect the desired results. At Harmony MedSpa, one of our doctors will ensure you’re getting the best treatment possible for your specific skin concerns. If you’ve already had a consultation and are ready to purchase your next chemical peel, you can do so through our secure online portal.