After a Chemical Peel, why shouldn’t I exfoliate when my skin starts to flake off?

About two days after a chemical peel, your skin will start to peel and flake. This peeling process typically lasts another two days. During the interim, it is very tempting for all of us (myself included) to peel and pick at the pieces of skin that are starting to come off. However, it is very important that you don’t do this and that you resist the urge to pick during this time. In addition, even the use of physical exfoliators such as a scrub or your Clarisonic brush is not permissible.

The purpose of a chemical peel is to dehydrate and lift off the dead, aging and mature cells on the surface of the skin. The end result is skin that looks more refreshed, even and healthy. If you exfoliate too early (while it is still in the peeling process), you run the risk of pulling off skin that’s not ready to come off and potentially creating a scar.

Once the top layers have lifted (approximately 5 days after the procedure) it is safe and often advisable to use a scrub to help those remaining dead cells exfoliate off the surface. Many patients will even come into the office for a Silk Peel with hyaluronic acid infusion or Dermaplane procedure 1-2 weeks after their chemical peel to assist in the removal of those last few dead cells that are waiting to come off, and speed up the healing process.

I have always been a big fan of chemical peels. They do a great job refreshing tired skin and getting rid of the skin “blahs” in a relatively short amount of time with very limited downtime.

This article is part of a series. Click to see more FAQ With Allyson.

Winter-Proof Your Skin

Cold weather and heat will dry and damage the outer barrier of your skin. The way we can prevent this is to “winter-proof” it by sealing in the moisture that those layers need to stay healthy.  Here are some things you can do to keep your skin hydrated and protected.

Here’s how to get the most out of your skincare regimen.

  • Layer products like you layer clothes in the winter
  • Use a a daily exfoliant to slough off any dead skin cells on the surface
  • Use a moisturizer to trap moisture
  • When outside, be sure to use a product with silicone and/or shea butter

Here are some product suggestions

  • Kinerase – Uses kinetin and zeitin to seal in moisture, has glycerin
  • Anthelios with mexoryl – Has sunscreen and dimethicone, glycerin, stearic acid
  • Derma Rx Rejuvenator – For red skin, uses glycosaminoglycans and glycerin for moisturizing
  • Kinerase Lip Treatment – Jojoba and grape seed oil, hyaluronic acid, kinetin, oligopeptide