Can You Wear Makeup After A Chemical Peel?

Face peeling at the beautician. Facial treatment. The beautician applies a cleansing face mask to the female patient
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Chemical peels are a great way to deeply exfoliate your face and get rid of all the dead skin cells that have clogged your pores and the surface layer of skin in the case of deep chemical peel. 

There are different levels of peels, from deep peels done at a dermatologist’s office to light peels done at home.

But now you may be wondering, can you wear makeup after a chemical peel?

You should not wear most types of makeup after undergoing a chemical peel. There is a recovery period. The length of time you need to wait varies depending on the type of peel you’ve done. After a superficial peel, I usually can wear makeup a couple of days later. Deeper peels will require more time, from weeks to a month.

But it depends on the type of makeup, as well (for example, mascara is probably ok).

I’ll go into detail on makeup and chemical peels below.


Why Get a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels are powerful wrinkle-reducers that quickly smooth skin. They often use acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid to clear old layers of skin. A chemical peel will do a great job at reducing acne breakouts, sun damage and hyperpigmentation, and rosacea, eliminating fine lines, and even wrinkles!

The skin always looks more youthful and fresh after a peel. 

Depending on the type of chemical peel that has been applied, you can expect more even-toned and flawless skin for several weeks if you’ve had a superficial peel (light and medium), or up to many months after a deep chemical peel. 

Skin Recovery After a Chemical Peel

The Ordinary Peeling Solution

If you’ve gone to a dermatologist to undergo a deep chemical peel, then the skin technician that did the procedure will have given you an aftercare recommendation to follow.

If you’ve chosen the superficial peel route and grabbed something like the Ordinary Peeling Solution (which I love), follow the aftercare guide for your specific peel.

Most likely the instructions will look something like this aftercare guide.

Can You Wear Makeup After a Chemical Peel?

The aftercare guide will probably recommend not wearing makeup for a specific amount of time so that your skin has a better chance of healing without getting infected.

The aftercare guide will probably recommend not wearing makeup for a specific amount of time so that your skin has a better chance of healing without getting infected.

While your layers of skin are peeling, you need to be careful not to further irritate the skin, clog pores, cause a bacterial infection, etc. You need to give the skin time to heal.

Soon, a fragile new layer of skin will be revealed, and it is very prone to become irritated or infected if the makeup ends up clogging your pores. It can even bring on an allergic reaction to products that hadn’t caused sensitivity before.

And even if you decide to disregard the rules and wear makeup after your peel, then it will probably flake off as you top layer of skin starts to peel away, which won’t look attractive anyway.

How Long Should I Wait to Apply Makeup After a Chemical Peel?

As always, follow the instructions provided with your specific peel. But here’s a general guide:

  • For a light peel, you will probably need to wait at least a day or two to start wearing makeup.
  • For a medium chemical peel, you will likely need to wait 7 to 10 days to begin using makeup again.
  • For a deep chemical peel, you may need to wait two weeks to a month to start wearing makeup again. This will depend on how fast your skin is healing from any scarring. 

The makeup that you use can help blend in any discoloration you may be experiencing, although there is still a chance that it will appear flaky, due to the fact that your skin could still be peeling off. 

This is why it is usually advised that you wait a while before applying a full face of makeup. Your skin needs time to breathe and recover from the chemical peel process. And note that just because you’ve undergone a peel, that doesn’t mean your skin will start peeling off in sheets like a snake shedding its skin.

The Type of Makeup Matters

There are some types of makeup that are likely fine to wear after a chemical peel. For example, using mascara should be fine, since it isn’t applied directly on your skin like other topical cosmetics.

But even using lip liner, lipstick, or lip gloss could cause irritation, since your lips have even more sensitive skin than the rest of your face.

And tinted moisturizers are a definite no-no because they can contain ingredients that will clog your pores.

Even using lip liner, lipstick, or lip gloss could cause irritation, since your lips have even more sensitive skin than the rest of your face.

All is not lost though, because there is makeup available that doesn’t contain all of the harsh chemicals and heavy metals that are found in the more popular formulas that you can buy at Sephora. 

For instance, mineral foundation won’t clog the open pores of your newly exposed skin. So, if you can’t live without makeup, try and use these less toxic brands while your skin is in the healing process. 

However, if your skin is still feeling sensitive in any way, then you should definitely stick to the no makeup rule while your skin is recovering.

Clean Foundations To Wear After A Chemical Peel

Choosing to wear cleaner makeup products without harsh and harmful chemicals, like parabens and sulfates, could help your newly revealed smooth skin from becoming irritated after the peeling process has finished.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear All Natural Liquid Foundation Elixir Light-to-Medium, Full Coverage | Dermatologist Tested, Clinicially Tested
  • Ultra-nourishing, ultra-fluid, and...
  • Improves appearance of skin tone and...
  • Delivers a silky second-skin, airbrushed...
  • Skin Type: Combination

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Silk Foundation  is a weightless and ultra-nourishing fluid foundation that will improve the tone of your skin for sheer to buildable coverage. 

Made from all organic ingredients, including aloe vera, cactus flower, and coconut oil, this foundation will lock in moisture while leaving a dewy, airbrushed finish on your newly-healed skin.

Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral Powder for Sensitive Skin, Medium , 1 Count (Pack of 1)
  • 100% mineral SPF 50 PA++++
  • Zinc Oxide 22.5% & Titanium Dioxide...
  • Water/sweat Resistant (80 minutes)
  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Powder reinforces...
  • Antioxidant blend defends against free...

Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral Powder  comes in multiple shades and finishes to suit every skin type and tone. The lightweight powder formulation is free from harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, while it’s also cruelty-free and vegan.

Containing ingredients that are ideal for sensitive or acne-prone skin, it also has a broad-spectrum high SPF factor sunscreen, and can be worn alone, or as a sheer coverage powder on top of your foundation.

Final Thoughts

After you’ve had a chemical peel done, it is best to speak with your esthetician, who will give you a proper treatment plan that you should adhere to, because they will have a good idea of how your skin will react to the procedure.

Your treatment plan should include when you will be able to wear makeup again. Ask first before you make any changes to the plan.

So, can you wear makeup after a chemical peel? Depending on the type of chemical peel you’ve had, you’ll need to wait 24 hours up to multiple weeks before you can show your new made-up face off in all its glory. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).