A variety of factors such as: smoking, acne, frequent sun exposure and/or aging can cause a wrinkled, uneven, discolored, scarred and/or spotted skin complexion. An effective way to maintain a healthy and youthful appearance is to partake in a chemical peel, a process in which a chemical solution is applied to the damaged areas of your skin in an effort to remove blemishes, irregularities and/or scars. In other words, a chemical peel, also known as dermal peeling or chemexfoliation, is an effective way to improve your skin’s appearance. Although this cosmetic procedure is normally performed on the face, it can also be used on your neck, arms, hands, back and legs.
Chemical peels are especially beneficial for conditions like: acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, liver spots, freckles, skin discolorations, rough skin, scars, scaly patches and sun-damaged skin. One chemical peel session typically costs between $700.00 and $765.00, although it can cost more or less, depending on the services being performed. The aftercare is one of the most important steps in the chemical peel process. Why? Well, this is the time when your skin heals itself. It is also the time when side-effects and complications can occur. The best way to protect your skin from damage and keep it soft and moist is to moisturize it.
A good moisturizer not only aids in the recovery process, it also helps prevent permanent scarring. In order to keep your skin soft and moist, you will need to moisturize your face every day (once you have been given “the green light”) by your dermatologist or licensed esthetician (skin care specialist). If you are interested in learning how to keep you face soft and moist following a chemical peel – you have come to the right place. This blog will provide you with valuable tips on how keep your face soft and moist after a chemical peel.
Steps that can help you maintain a healthy appearance following a chemical peel:
Research Chemical Peels
The first thing you will need to do is research the various chemical peels. Look up the treatment process (i.e. cost, length, solutions used, prep, side-effects/complications, aftercare regimen, maintenance requirements, etc.). If your peel is performed at a spa or a physician’s office, the dermatologist or esthetician should explain to you the aftercare procedure. You should be able to resume normal activities within a few hours, but you may experience facial redness and tightness immediately following the procedure. Any facial discomfort should subside within 8 hours. It is important to note that your recovery time will depend heavily on the potency of the peel.
Purchase Aftercare Products
After you have chosen a peel and completed the process, you will need to purchase aftercare products. Call your dermatologist or esthetician and ask him/her to send you an “aftercare checklist” in advance. If you opt for a deep chemical peel (a peel that involves multiple layers of the skin), your dermatologist or esthetician may cover your face with medicated gauze, moisturizers and/or ointments for the first couple of days.
Do not be surprised if you experience flaky skin after the procedure – this is normal and should subside within a few days. Moreover, it is extremely important that you make a variety of facial expressions during the recovery process. Do not overdo it, but make sure you practice on a daily basis. Moving your face will accelerate the healing process. If your skin starts to crack and/or bleed – contact your dermatologist or esthetician.
Wash Your Hands
After a chemical peel, your face may be raw and slightly cracked in places; therefore it is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face. Your hands may carry bacteria that can enter into those cracks and calls a serious infection. Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap several times a day and/or before touching your face.
Cover Your Face in Vaseline
Once you have been given permission by your dermatologist or esthetician to moisturize your face – gently rub a small amount of Vaseline onto your face in a circular manner. Avoid scented Vaseline because it can irritate your skin. Keeping a thin layer of Vaseline on your face can actually accelerate the healing process.
Moisturize Your Skin
Once you have had a follow-up appointment with your dermatologist or esthetician, you will probably be advised (if you skin is healing properly) to apply a gentle moisturizer to your face. The moisturizer will replace the Vaseline. You will probably start the moisturizing regimen a week after the procedure.
As your skin heals, it may brown, turn leathery and peel – this is a normal part of the healing process. During this time it is crucial that you refrain from peeling off the skin because it will lead to scarring. As your old skin peels, new pink skin will appear – this is also normal. When cleaning your skin, do not use abrasive cleaners; rather stick to unscented soap and water. If you experience pain or discomfort following the procedure, apply a cold rag or compress to the affected area. Most of all – make sure you keep your face moisturized at all times. If you experience prolonged and/or severe bleeding, breathing difficulties and/or intense pain – seek emergency medical care.
American Academy of Dermatology. (2014). Chemical peeling: What to expect before, during, and after. Retrieved from http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/chemical_peeling_expect.html
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (2014). Chemical peel. Retrieved from http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/chemical-peel.html