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Seeing Red? Here’s How To Reduce Redness After a Chemical Peel

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If you’ve ever gotten a chemical peel, you know the healing process takes a WHILE. And in the meantime, you’re left with a top layer of the skin that might be red and inflamed SO not the vibe. So, what do you do?

While the immediate aftermath of peel services might leave you wanting to pull your skin off (oh wait, you already did that), peel services have tons of benefits that make the side effects TOTALLY worth it. Let’s get into it.

While there are different types of chemical peels, chemical peel treatments all pretty much work the same: a chemical is applied to the skin to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. This procedure can increase cellular turnover (clearing pores), reduce acne bacteria, and fade acne scars and uneven pigmentation, promoting healthy cell regeneration. Like we said totally worth it. 

But, there are definitely a few undesirable side effects. And if you’re dealing with those, we got you. Here’s how to reduce redness and irritation as your skin heals. 

Seeing Red? Here’s How To Reduce Redness After Chemical Peel 

Schedule Recovery Time

You may not need a day of recovery, but if you don’t want anyone seeing you at your reddest, schedule a day off after your chemical peel. Those with sensitive skin may want to schedule more recovery time, as it may take longer for the redness to decrease.  

You’ll also want to avoid intensive exercise for 2-3 days after the chemical peel, as working out can lead to an inflammatory reaction AKA MORE redness. 

Adjust Your Skincare

You’re going to want to avoid most acidic products like retinoids and AHAs such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid. AND keep the exfoliants in your cabinet. Your skin has had enough of that for about 2 weeks.

Instead, focus on moisturizing and healing products, such as moisturizers with hyaluronic acid.

Here are some products we recommend for use after a chemical peel:

+ Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion

+ The Skinny Confidential depuffing oil

+ Agent Nateur face serum

Moisturize Frequently

Speaking of moisturizing, you’re going to want to do it often. How often should you moisturize your face? All the time. At first, you might want some petroleum jelly on the treated area to help lock in moisture. As the skin starts peeling, you’ll want to be using non-comedogenic moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated. Additionally, hydration will help the skin begin to repair itself and reinforces the skin’s protective barrier, reducing redness and irritation.

Stay Hydrated

Your skin can’t stay hydrated if YOU aren’t hydrated. It’s so important to drink lots of water after a chemical peel, because your skin is going to need it. Lauryn loves this morning spa water to stay nice and hydrated and you can find her latest water bottle obsession here (wrinkle free drinking!). If hydrating is hard for you in general, here are some tips to make drinking enough H2O simply effortless.

Get The F*ck Out Of The Sun

After a chemical peel, it’s super important that you prevent any sun exposure in order to keep any additional redness from popping up. Protect your skin from sun damage by wearing GOOD-QUALITY sunscreen that has SPF 30 AT LEAST. Yes, even inside. And if you MUST go outside, we also recommend wearing a hat for obvious reasons.

Take Vitamins

Vitamins A, C, and E are the key vitamins you want to take after a chemical peel. Vitamin A works to support cell growth and regeneration, so it’s essential for reducing redness. Vitamin C strengthens the new skin by aiding collagen synthesis, while Vitamin E protects against oxidative stress, which can delay healing. You can take these vitamins as supplements or serums, or both. Lauryn and Michael both take AG1 because it ensures you get everything you need in one scoop a day.

Keep It Cool

Probably the best way to reduce redness after a chemical peel is to use ice. Ice can help soothe inflamed skin and reduce irritation, leading to reduced redness. Just grab your ice roller and go to town. For tips on how to use an ice roller, check out this post.

Try Light Therapy

After a chemical peel, light therapy can add some serious speed to your healing process. How? The red and infrared lights encourage cell regeneration and collagen production, which helps strengthen and even out your new layer of skin. Lauryn recommends this light therapy mask from Dr. Dennis Gross

Chemical peels can leave you red and irritated but you don’t have to stay that way.

If you’re seeing red, just follow these tips and you’ll have your glowy post-treatment skin you’re aiming for in no time.

Got any tips we missed? We’d love to hear them down below. For more skin care tips re: peels, check out this post with Stacie Christie of Staci Christie Skin Care. She’s got all the best tricks for getting that GLOW.

x, The Skinny Confidential team

+ Find out how to get the no makeup makeup look.

++ Learn how Lauryn uses all TSC tools and products here.

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