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.
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