How I Care for my Skin after a Chemical Peel

Before I get/do a chemical peel, I consider my post-peel care.  After having a chemical peel, I need to properly care for my skin to produce the best outcome: gently cleanse, promote healing, soothe and calm, provide hydration, reduce redness and inflammation, and protect from UV radiation.  See the list of products below that I found after searching forums.

1. Immediately following my chemical peel, I do the following to properly care for my skin:
  • rinse with copious amounts of cool water and blot dry (do not rub)
  • apply a good copper peptide lotion or serum, but limit its use to healing time (1-5 days)
  • apply a physical sunscreen if daytime (see below for my new favorite physical sunscreen); chemical sunscreens may sting and irritate the skin right now
2. I won't need to cleanse my face after the chemical peel, but I may want to that night or the next day.  Make sure I use a gentle cleanser or oil and always blot, rather than wipe, dry.

Procyte Complex CU3 Gentle Face Cleanser 8 oz.

Non-irritating, gentle cleanser for sensitive skin that has undergone a cosmetic procedure. An important part of the Complex Cu3 regimen, this well-balanced cleanser is specially formulated to hydrate skin with essential cooper and minerals while offering gentle cleansing action. This cleanser does not need to be rinsed off, and can be used immediately after a procedure. Try refrigerating it for an extra soothing cleanse.   Skin Type: Ideal for post-operative or post-procedural skin.   Instructions for Use: Can be used immediately after your procedure. Apply liberally to skin every 2-3 hours the first day and then every 4-6 hours for the next 7 to 10 days. Ingredients: Purified Water, Poloxamer 407, Proplyene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Acetate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Citrate, Dihydrate Methylparaben, Copper Tripeptide-1, Dextrose, Calcium Chloride Dihydrate, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Hexahydrate, Propylparaben

This is often unavailable because it's so popular. If you can't find it, get a simple NON-LATHERING lotion cleanser from the drugstore. I use Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser on a normal basis and after a chemical peel; it's gentle and non-lathering.

3. I may apply makeup, depending upon the strength of the peel.  I've been able to use concealer and makeup without problems so far.

4. Plan to reapply moisturizer throughout the day.  This will HELP keep that weird leathery look minimized (although it will NOT keep it from happening), and once I start peeling, it will help mask the peeling.

5. When I remove makeup or sunscreen at the end of the day, make sure I use a baby wipe or something smooth instead of a rough washcloth.  I've found baby wipes to be the best, but I like to rinse them before I use them, so I know exactly what I'm putting on my face.

6. Apply a good copper peptide and put a thick coat of moisturizer on before bed.  I don't want my face to crack during the night before the new skin is fully formed.  I like light moisturizer after a peel because my skin seems to get clogged easily after a peel if I constantly use a heavy moisturizer.  If I use a thick coat of Theraplex, I get no clogged pores, and my skin stays hydrated.

CU3 Copper Complex Post-Laser Lotion 4 oz.

Soothing base is combined with patented GHK Copper Peptide Complex for enhanced healing immediately post-procedure. Helps prevent the formation of crusts and scabbing while maintaining skin hydration also relieves tightness and itching.
Ingredients: Petrolatum, purified water, microcrystalline wax, mineral oil, glycerin, PVP Eicosene copolymer, carbomer, benzyl alcohol, prezatide copper acetate, sodium chloride.
Directions: May be applied immediately post procedure. For use post laser, chemical peel, or invasive microdermabrasion: use liberally, covering exposed area, applying every 2-3 hours for the first day and then every 4-6 hours for the next 7-10 days. Skin may be cleansed with Complex Cu3 Gentle Cleanser or saline between applications. Avoid contact with eyes.

7. Avoid any serums that may contain actives that will aggravate the skin at this time!  I don't want to use any peeling agents, and it's hard for me to understand all the ingredients in some products, so I just stay away from them for 7-10 days after a peel, with the exception of my CU3 copper peptide lotion. Remember that copper peptides should ONLY be used while healing and peeling - this is not an everyday product.

8. When the skin starts peeling, do not pull on the skin.  I've found this to be very challenging, to say the least.  It's easier for me if I keep my skin very hydrated because I can't see the skin peeling, which helps me resist.

Timeless Squalane 100% Pure 2 oz.

Pure. Natural. Simple and effective because squalane mimics human sebum, so it moisturizes like more youthful skin does naturally.  The Timeless Pure collection contains ingredients at concentrations you won't find elsewhere. All natural and paraben free, they don't use excess ingredients to make up for the lack of actives.

I should start peeling within about 2-4 days.  Hello new, beautiful skin.  Don't forget the sunscreen!

After searching some chemical peel forums, these seem to be the most popular post-peel products. These aren't all necessarily the ones I use, but they seem popular among other peelers.

I've been using the following products from the list below, and I like them: CU3, squalane, and EltaMD sunscreen. 

PCA pHaze 11+ Apres Peel Hydrating Balm (for dry or mature skin)
This is most appropriate for normal to dry and mature skin.  A soothing moisturizer with the added hydrating, plumping and collagen building action of phytohormones from chasteberry and soy isoflavones. It is most appropriate for normal to dry and mature skin. Key Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Gel Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil Vitex Trifolia (Chasteberry) Fruit Extract Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil Hydrolyzed Milk Protein Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil

I must plan to use sunscreen!  I really like this sunscreen because it offers UV protection with physical sunblock instead of chemicals, which may sting post-procedure skin.  It’s slightly tinted, so you don’t need to worry about the white ghostly look of most physical sunblock or sunscreen.  Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (9.0%), Titanium Dioxoide (7.0%)  Inactive Ingredients: Alpha Tocopheryl, Aluminum Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Hydrated Silica, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate, Iron Oxide, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Linoleic Acid, Octyl Stearate, Octyldoceyl Neopentanoate, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Perfluorononyl Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate-13/ Polyisobutene/ Polysorbate 20, Purified Water, Quercitin, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Selenite, Thioctic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylsilane.