Chemical peels are a great way to expose the healthy, glowing skin hiding beneath the layers of dull, dead skin cells. However, many people find themselves with struggling with side-effects like flaky, peeling skin, dryness and irritation. These are normal and common, but that doesn’t make them easier to deal with. Here are eight tips that can help you manage these issues.
1. Be Gentle
Using a normal washcloth on just-treated skin can worsen irritation and redness. When you wash your face, try using a soft sponge, a washcloth designed for babies or even just your fingers. Furthermore, it’s important not to scrub at your face. The newly exposed skin is very delicate and can be damaged by such harsh treatment.
2. Use Sun Protection
Your aesthetic clinic likely informed you not to expose your treated skin to sunlight following your chemical peel. This is a critical recommendation to heed. The fresh skin is highly susceptible to sunburn while it’s healing, so always be sure to apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat before going outside, even on cloudy days.
3. Use Skin-Soothers
There are many natural substances that can help soothe irritation, minimise redness and provide much-needed hydration to your treated skin. These include chamomile, honey, green tea, aloe vera, cucumber and oatmeal. Try a combination of them by making your own homemade face mask.
4. Increase Antioxidant Intake
Your skin endures a fair bit of damage after a chemical peel, which increases the production of free radicals that can accelerate skin aging. Boosting your intake of antioxidants will help keep free radicals under control and can also assist in the healing process. Fresh fruits and vegetables, green tea, cocoa and even red wine are all fantastic sources of antioxidants.
5. Apply a Skin Lightener
Skin’s melanin production tends to increase after a chemical peel, and in some people, this can cause areas of hyperpigmentation (dark spots). If you think you might be susceptible to this, your aesthetic clinic may be able to recommend a high-quality skin lightener to help you prevent the problem.
6. Avoid Picking
Flaking and peeling means the dead skin layer is sloughing off, but it has to follow this course naturally. Pulling away the peeling skin before it’s ready to come off can damage the healthy skin underneath, causing additional irritation, discomfort and redness and increasing the chances of hyperpigmentation.
7. Don’t Over-Moisturize
Your skin likely feels tight, flaky and dry, which can make liberal applications of heavy moisturizer sound like a good idea. However, over-moisturizing can prevent the dead skin from sloughing off properly and will increase the amount of time it takes your face to heal.
8. Avoid Harsh Products
This means that you should avoid toners, exfoliants, scrubs and acidic products until your skin has healed fully. Using these things too soon will just cause more irritation and redness and can damage the fresh, new skin.
The after-effects of a chemical peel are rarely pleasant to look at, and they can even cause significant discomfort. However, by adhering to these tips, you can ensure that the healing process goes smoothly.