I had a chemical peel and now my skin is red, dry, and flaky

I had a chemical peel and now my skin is red, dry, and flaky

Solution: Go easy, but keep the skin moist and protected

  1. Wash your skin gently.  Instead of using a washcloth on your face, switch to a gentler option, like a baby washcloth, microfiber cloth or facial sponges or just water and pat face dry. A washcloth’s rough texture can be too aggravating for skin that is already irritated and could accidentally rub away skin cells that aren’t ready to come off yet.
  2. Wear SPF only if going outside. A peel exposes vulnerable immature cells, so you must ensure these cells aren’t damaged by UV rays. Apply sunscreen daily on the face and neck if going outside.
  3. Don’t pick at the skin. The whole purpose of a chemical peel is to “burn” off the dry, damaged surface cell layers and reveal younger-looking, healthy new cells. But to do this, the skin has to shed. That’s the part that people dislike the most. Be warned that picking off dry, flaky skin when it’s not ready to come off can result in scarring and unnecessary redness. It’s really important to be patient and let it run its course.
  4. Keep the skin moist but DON’T over-moisturize. When the skin is peeling and flaky, it’s normal to want to apply heavier moisturizer to alleviate dryness and comfort the irritated skin. The whole purpose of a chemical peel is to peel. Hydrating peeling skin when it wants to shed off will just prolong the downtime of the peel. Instead, use your regular moisturizer, or add quench and let the skin do what it wants to do. If you have a special event, applying a few drops of skin oil like beauty oil can make the flaky cells lay down flat so they aren’t as noticeable—temporarily.


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