What to Put on Your Face After a Chemical Peel, And What to Avoid

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Your skin is an extremely precious organ — and your largest one to boot. This means that it needs as much care as the organs we need that live inside of us, like your heart and lungs.

Your facial skin is the most delicate area, and so it needs to be treated as such, especially if you’ve just had a chemical peel. After having a chemical peel, where your skin would have had its surface layers removed, you may be left to recover feeling inflamed, itchy, dry, and irritated.

Unfortunately, this is a common after-effect of chemical peels, and these symptoms will continue while your skin goes through its healing process of cellular renewal.

In this article, we’ll show you what to put on your face after a chemical peel to make this process faster and easier!


How Far Did You Go?

Having a special routine ready that will help to heal your skin after having a chemical peel is key. You will need to successfully manage the side effects of your chemical peel, like redness, flaking, bumpiness texture, and peeling, and taking extra care of your skin while it’s feeling this vulnerable will help with its healing.

What you decide to put on your face after a chemical peel will depend on the type of treatment you actually have. That’s because there are three types of chemical peels. They use different forms of acids that strip the surface layers of your facial skin, and give varying results.

The healing time your skin will need after your chemical peel depends on how deep the ingredients that are used penetrate the layers of your face during the process.

The healing time your skin will need after your chemical peel will depend on how deep the ingredients used penetrate the layers of your skin during the process.

The skincare professional that performs your chemical peel will advise you on the type of product that will be the best and most suitable to your needs. This will also determine what you have to put on your face to help it heal.

Chemical Peel Levels

The three types of chemical peels that are used to help promote the growth of fresh and healthy-looking skin are:

1. Light Chemical Peel

This type of chemical peel is used to simply promote healthier skin. Also known as the superficial or lunchtime peel, because it won’t cause disruption to your day’s other activities, a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid is applied to the skin, which helps to slough away dead skin cells.

Doing this will support your skin in eliminating any mild discoloration or rough texture. Light chemical peels are so gentle that they can be done on a weekly basis.

The Ordinary AHA Peeling Solution  would be a good example of this level of peel.

Also known as the superficial or lunchtime peel, because it won’t cause disruption to your day’s other activities, a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid is applied to the skin, which helps to slough away dead skin cells.

2. Medium Chemical Peel

The active acid ingredients in this strength of chemical peel are either glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid. These acids are able to penetrate the skin’s surface further into the middle layer, where they will help to eliminate fine lines, freckles and even age spots.

A medium chemical peel can be done two or three times a year, depending on your skin type and the issues being treated.

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3. Deep Chemical Peel

This process of chemical peel is only for the hardcore. Either phenol or trichloroacetic acid is used to deeply penetrate the middle layers of your skin to eliminate damaged skin cells.

If you choose this route, you have to be prepared to go under anesthesia in a surgical setting. A deep chemical peel can only be done once, and can take up to two weeks for your skin to heal.

If you choose this route, you have to be prepared to go under anesthesia in a surgical setting.

What To Put On Your Face After a Chemical Peel

Besides being extra gentle with your skin, for example, avoiding touching your face, picking it or applying too much pressure when your putting on products, there are a few other things you must be aware of after having your chemical peel.


To start, whenever your skin is wet, only use your fingers with a very light touch to wash your face. Using a washcloth or cleansing brush, for instance, will be too harsh, because of the potential of rubbing off any flaking dead skin that is still attached to the live cells on the surface.

Keep it gentle!


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You should also use a good sunscreen whenever you go outside, because your skin will be extra sensitive to UV exposure! Although this might seem obvious to do when the sun is out, even on a cloudy day, your skin can become damaged because of its extra sensitivity to UV light and heat.

If your skin is going through a really flaky healing process and you don’t want to rub sunscreen into it, then you can use an SPF-infused mineral powder like Mineral Fusion Brush-On Sun Defense , which has an SPF of 30.

The transparent mineral sunscreen powder is suitable for all skin tones, and contains sea kelp and white tea, which provides antioxidant protection.

It’s a gentle product that doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients, like parabens, artificial colors, gluten, or phthalates.

Avoid The Acid

There’s only so much acid your skin can take, so you also need to make sure that your usual skincare products, such as cleansers, toners, masks, serums, and moisturizers don’t contain acids or enzymes. That said, this doesn’t necessarily include hyaluronic acid.

Your skin has to shed naturally after your chemical peel (even though you may not actually experience skin shedding off in pieces), and so using products with enzymes and acids can possibly burn your skin or scar it.

Your skin has to shed naturally after your chemical peel, and so using products with enzymes and acids can possibly burn your skin or scar it.

Eating highly acidic foods like oranges and tomato sauce/ketchup can lower the pH of your skin cells and cause mouth rashes or burns after you’ve had a chemical peel. This is because the facial movements around the mouth, like yawning, cause this skin to become more reactive.

The salt that’s produced through your sweat will also cause this kind of reaction to happen, so don’t sweat to avoid this sting, unless you want to irritate your healing skin even further.

And although retinol isn’t technically an acid, it does work to stimulate skin cell turnover, which is not what you want to do after having a chemical peel. If you do so, you’ll overwhelm your skin, which will result in more irritation and a longer healing process.

Moisture, Moisture, Everywhere!

The products that you use on your skin after a chemical peel have to provide as much soothing calm as possible. This is because they will need to calm down the redness, inflammation, and irritation you’ll probably be feeling.

Here at Luxe Luminous, we have looked at a few hydrating products that will help your skin to recover after a chemical peel. Below we share with you our top three recommendations to get your skin healed, as well as both feeling and looking younger faster.

Yes To Cucumbers Cooling Jelly Mask 

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If your skin is feeling really uncomfortable, then you can use a water-based gel mask that has been kept in the refrigerator once a day, which will help to provide a cool soothing treatment. The Yes To Cucumbers Cooling Jelly Mask will hydrate, soften, and soothe your skin to help keep it calm.

The gel-based formula will refresh your skin in only 10 minutes, and leave it feeling cool and soothed from its 95% natural ingredients, including cucumber and watermelon extracts, lycopene, and vitamin C.

The jelly mask is also free of harsh ingredients like parabens, silicones, and sodium lauryl sulfate, and is cruelty-free and vegan.

Eau Thermale’s Avene XeraCalm AD Lipid-Replenishing Cream

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Eau Thermale’s Avene XeraCalm AD Lipid-Replenishing Cream is a rehydrating moisturizer that has been formulated to target itching, as well as soothe skin that’s prone to eczema and other allergens.

The cream not only works to rehydrate the skin, but also supports it in maintaining a healthy balanced microbiome, without using any harsh preservatives, parabens, or fragrances to help your skin heal more naturally.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin 

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La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin is a moisturizer that has been specially formulated to soothe irritated and ultra-sensitive skin, and contains Neurosensine and La Roche-Posay’s natural thermal spring water to intensely restore your skin’s hydration level.

Toleriane Ultra Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin is also free of any harsh synthetic ingredients like alcohol, parabens, preservatives, and fragrances, which are commonly known to cause potential irritation or allergic reactions.


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Vaseline is a very simple solution for care after a chemical peel. It does a great job of sealing in the moisture that already exists on your skin, and protects it from further damage.


As you’ve now discovered, if you’re considering having a chemical peel, then a bit more thought and effort needs to be given than just having the treatment done. Probably the most important thing to consider besides the treatment itself is what to put on your face after getting your chemical peel.

But now that you have our Luxe Luminous recommendations for healing your skin in a safe and healthy way, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of your chemical peel while feeling more confident and attractive with your appearance.

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).