After a chemical acid peel, you will want to protect the new skin that has been brought to the surface. In addition, if you haven’t already been doing so, you may want to start using skin care products that contain the same mild chemical acids that were used in your treatment.
You will want to keep the new skin moist, especially in the first few weeks after the treatment. During the first week or so, you will be using a triple-antibiotic ointment all over your face to help minimize the risk of skin infection. As the skin continues to heal, however, you will want to switch to moisturizers.
You already know that sun exposure is one of the leading causes of skin damage. Skin that is still healing from acid peels is more sun-sensitive, especially if the treatment consisted of a tca chemical peel or something stronger. Therefore, you may want to consider using two different types of moisturizers—one with sunscreen that you will use in the morning and one without sunscreen that you will use at night.
Another thing you may want to consider is using a slightly heavier moisturizer at night, especially for the first few weeks. In this way, your skin can have the benefits of additional moisturizing while you sleep.
For the first two weeks after treatment, it may be necessary for you to use sunscreen alone—the same type that you would use if you were tanning. You may want to consider choosing one that is intended for sensitive skin, as your new skin will be just that for a little while.
Mild face cleansers with no alcohol should also be used. Further, until your skin has completely healed, you will want to apply these cleansers with your fingertips only, not a washcloth, and gently pat the skin dry with a soft towel.
Once your skin has completely healed, and during the time you are between treatments, you may, as mentioned in the first paragraph, want to start using skin care products that contain alphahydroxy acids or glycol acids. The application of such products will work with the peel, keeping your new skin looking better longer, and possibly even prolonging the time between treatments. You will probably not want to use anything stronger than the two acids mentioned, especially for daily use.
Once you are able to use make-up again, you may want to consider a brand that contains more natural ingredients or has more moisturizers. In this way, you will be assured that you are not using anything that may be too harsh for your rejuvenated skin.
If you have not been already, you will definitely want to start using cosmetics that provide added sunscreen protection. This applies not only to make-up but to anything you put on your new skin. The fewer harmful UVA and UVB rays that your skin is exposed to, the better.
One thing that you probably will NOT need to use any more is exfoliating products. If you do find that you need them, or if you just want to start using them again, you should take care that they are not too harsh.
A dermatologist or esthetician can recommend other products that will help protect and preserve your chemical peel. Don’t hesitate to ask either of these professionals for assistance when considering how to care for your “new” face.