How to Care For Your Skin After a Chemical Peel

The benefits of a chemical peel are plenty. This face treatment, known for resurfacing the skin to reveal a brighter and clearer complexion, really does wonders when your skin needs a reset. Hadley King, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist lists unclogging pores, reducing acne breakouts, smoothing out uneven skin texture, plumping the skin, stimulating collagen production, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as just some of the many benefits you get when you opt in to a chemical peel. Who wouldn’t want this? 

But as with any skin treatment, chemical peels come with some side effects that you should take note of. According to Michele Farber, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group, chemical peels — whether you do it at-home or as an in-office treatment — can cause redness, mild irritation, sun sensitivity, and flaking. More serious side effects, Dr. Farber says, includes infections such as cold sore breakouts.

So what can you use on your skin? Can you wear makeup after a chemical peel? How long does the recovery process last? Don’t panic: there are ways to mitigate any negative downsides and prevent you from having to deal with something such as cold sores and ways to figure out where your makeup falls into all of this. You just need to follow three simple steps, outlined below.

Have a simple skincare routine

Less is more, especially after a treatment like a chemical peel. Both Dr. Farber and Dr. King strongly advise with keeping your routine as simple as possible while your skin heals. 

“It is best to keep regimens simple post-peel,” says Dr. Farber. “Use a gentle, non-soap cleanser to wash the skin. Follow with a fragrance-free moisturizer, ideally a thicker cream to help hydrate sensitive skin.” 

For cleansers, Dr.

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