What To Expect With A Chemical Peel Before, During & After

When transitioning between seasons, our skin’s needs change. For some of us, this change in seasons means a change in our skincare routines. For others, this means literally sloughing off the last season’s layers to reveal a fresh face for fall, if you will, in the form of a chemical peel.

Chemical peels safe for at-home use!

While celebrities and models alike tout the benefits of a chemical peel, Samantha’s raw, red face in Sex and the City left many of us forever fearing the chemical exfoliation of our outer most layer of skin. So, before you head to the dermatologist for a pre-season chemical peel (and yes, you should go to a dermatologist if you’re considering a deep peel), read on to learn what to expect from Lauren Zeifman, a SkinMedica Physician Assistant specializing in Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Surgery.

What To Expect From A Chemical Peel

Before… Typically, with any chemical peel, you should discontinue any form of a topical Retinoid for one week.  If you’re using products with Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid or any alpha and beta hydroxy acid, discontinue use for 2-3 days prior to peel to prevent an adverse skin reaction such as irritation, redness, swelling, itchiness or burning. Also, avoid sun exposure the day of the peel and, depending on what type of peel, weeks to months after a chemical peel as well.

How to reduce facial redness!

During…  Some people don’t feel anything during a chemical peel. Typically, though, you should expect mild to severe tingling, depending on the type of chemical peel you’re receiving.

After…  While some patients never actual peel, others can expect several days to weeks of noticeable skin peeling, depending on the type of peel and your skin type.  After a peel you will look fresh and radiant. With more aggressive peels, you may look pink to red, but that is temporary and goes away within a few days to weeks. Skin should appear tighter, fresher and more even toned. After a chemical peel be sure to apply a moisturizer with sunscreen every morning with at least an SPF of 30 – although you should be doing this every day regardless!

Have sun damaged skin? Find out here!

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