After you’ve performed a glycolic peel, you want to take care of your skin because its especially fragile at the moment. The old skin has been burned by the chemicals and are in the process of shedding to remove a new layer of fresh skin. How you look after your complexion at this stage is very important not only for post-peel recovery but for getting the maximum effects of your glycolic peel.
Here are some of the common recommendations often given by professional dermatologists when it comes to post glycolic peel care:
- Avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen. For 48 hours after a peel, try to avoid direct exposure to the sun as much as possible. And always use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher if you’re heading outdoors and one that’s SPF 15+ if you’re staying indoors.
- Don’t use make-up immediately after a peel. You don’t want to add layers of foundation or powder on your skin right after you’ve done a peel. Give it some rest and if you have to, apply light make-up a day after the peel. This is why for deep peels, its recommended to do them at night or near the weekends so you have time to rest your skin.
- Don’t sweat or exercise for 12 hours after a peel. This is commonly recommended because excessive sweating may cause itchiness of your skin and you don’t want to over-stress your skin by getting it dirty and sweaty through exercise. After 12 hours, exercise should not be a problem.
- Avoid using AHA/BHA or Retinol products. For at least a day after a glycolic peel, you should not use any glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid creams/lotions. Don’t use any retinoid based treatments like Retin-A, Differin, Tazorac as well. You should also avoid using topical acne medication like benzoyl peroxide if possible. You can resume your treatments after 24 hours or longer if you feel as if your skin is still raw and needs more rest.
- Don’t shave. Don’t shave any area where a peel has been applied at least until 24 hours has passed. You don’t want to irritate the skin, especially when the old layers of skin are hardening to drop off from your body or face. You can resuming shaving afterwards but be very gentle.
- Moisturize. To avoid excessive flakiness and dryness of the skin after a glycolic peel, you may want to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer. A botanical healing oil like arghan, emu, jojoba or rosehip oil are what some other people to use as moisturizers although they may not be appropriate if you have acne prone skin. It’s best to use a simple moisturizer with no added fragrance. Cetaphil is a brand that offers dermatologist-approved moisturizers.
If you follow all these tips, your skin should heal quite well after a glycolic peel and you’ll definitely see great results. As always, if you have any other concerns, you may want to consult a qualified professional like a dermatologist or physician.
Post glycolic peel care is pretty simple, just make sure that you really abide by all the rules mentioned above!