Chemical peels are used for everything from getting glowing skin to treating skin conditions. Take some key steps before and after getting a chemical peel to maximize its effectiveness and the longevity of the results.
Dermatologist Diane Rose and medical aesthetician and aesthetic laser specialist Julie E. Brien at Rose Dermatology and Laser Center (2221 Clearview Parkway, Ste. 101, Metairie, 504-885-8363; www.rosedermatology.com) agree the most important step to getting the most out of a chemical peel is to use sun protection.
Sun exposure can damage the skin, especially post-peel.
"You want to be on a good sunscreen regimen," Rose says. "You want to have your skin protected from the sun before and especially after the peel."
"Don't get a sunburn," Brien says. "Don't have sun exposure."
Besides sunburn, there are some other things you should avoid before getting the chemical peel. "Don't have a fever blister. Don't be pregnant or breastfeeding," Brien says.
Certain products can help prep the skin for the peel. "Retin-A in particular really helps prepare your skin and it will also help heal it faster," Rose says. "You usually stop [using the Retin-A] three to five days before the peel."
Retin-A should be in the pre-peel skincare routine for at least two weeks, though it can be used longer. "The longer you use it, the better," Rose says.
Rose and Brien also recommend using a gentle skin care routine post-peel.
"Because [clients'] skin is usually sensitive afterward, often times we'd use milder cleansers afterwards and more emollients," Rose says. "If they have a deeper peel and they're really peeling we may have them in Vaseline or Aquaphor for several days afterwards."
Cleansers should contain glycolic acid, salicylic acid or ceramides. "CeraVe has ceramides in it so it really helps to treat your skin and reestablish your normal skin barrier," Rose says.