Do you want radiant, glowing skin? That’s where chemical peels come in. This simple yet effective treatment works wonders. The results are startling: fresh, healthy, smooth skin. However, achieving these miraculous results does take some time. Today, we discuss how to speed up peeling after a chemical peel. 

While your skin is peeling, it can look sickly and unsightly. Small wonder that so many clients wish to speed up peeling after a chemical peel. They want to skip the red and sensitive stage to reveal the stunning, glowing skin hidden beneath.

Is there anything you can do? Or do you just have to wait for the skin to shed completely? 

Well, we’re about to let you know the secret tips for speeding up peeling after a chemical peel. Follow our advice for the best results.

How to Speed Up Peeling After Chemical Peel

How long does peeling last after a chemical peel

First, let’s explain how long you can expect a peel to last—the rate at which the skin peels will depend on its strength. We group chemical peels into three categories: light peels, medium peels, and deep peels.

  • Light peels. Peeling will begin within 24-48 hours and last 3 to 7 days.
  • Medium peels. Peeling will begin around the 7th day and continues for a week.
  • Deep peels. Peeling beings around day 3 to 5 and will continue beyond day 14.

The type of peel you undergo reflects the chemical applied. Light peels are the most superficial, using 30-50% glycolic acid, 30% salicylic acid, pyruvic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. 

Medium peels will lead to some swelling, redness, stinging, and skin flaking. The most common chemical agents used include 70% glycolic acid and 35 to 50% TCA, with or without the addition of Jessner’s solution or solid carbon dioxide.

Last, deep peels are no longer common due to the risk of complications. In fact, these peels could take up to 6 months for the skin to fully heal. The most common chemical agents are high-concentration TCA (>50&) and phenol. Let’s go more in-depth on how to speed up peeling after a chemical peel.

How to speed up peeling after a chemical peel

Keep it clean

Cleaning your skin is essential. We advise using a gentle facial wash to remove any dirt or grime. You should use an exfoliating glove or loofah – and DO NOT pick at your face. Instead, gently rub in the facial wash and remove with lukewarm water. Avoid hot showers, as this will further irritate your skin. 

Use vitamins and moisturizers

Vitamins such as biotin and vitamin C are necessary for skin healing. Remember to take extra to ensure your body is fully equipped for healing. 

You can also apply a mild moisturizer like an aloe vera gel. It will soothe the skin and help with the dreaded dry skin post-peel. Try not to over-moisturize, however. It’ll clog up your skin and prevent the healing process. Your skin does need to shed in order for the procedure to work. 

Never pick at it

Picking at your face will lead to scarring and may further exacerbate your skin. It’s literally the worst thing you can do! Instead, let the skin naturally slough off, and remove the layers once they’ve peeled on their own. We know it’s tempting to hurry the process along. That could be a disastrous mistake. 

Always follow the instructions

After your chemical peel, we’ll provide a list of dos and don’ts. They’re not optional. Skip our advice, and you’ll prolong the peeling process and won’t see the best results. Trust us – we know what we’re doing.

Do not manually exfoliate the skin

Just like picking, manually exfoliating your skin is not speeding up the process. Gloves, loofahs, and any other abrasive equipment are off-limits. It will irritate and damage the skin, causing micro-tears. That will prolong the healing process and increase the risk of scars.

Avoid applying makeup

Avoid putting anything on your face for at least 48 hours after the procedure. No makeup. No sunscreen. You can use a gentle moisturizer or apply a thin layer of Vaseline. But that’s it. You want to allow your skin to rest and gather its strength.

Stay hydrated

Hydration is key to healthy-looking skin. Drinking plenty of water will help nourish the skin and reduce any post-peel dryness. Avoid dehydrating drinks like coffee or alcohol – they’ll only further damage your skin. Oh, and try to stay stress-free. High levels of cortisol slow healing and prevent the body from repairing itself. 

Always use sunscreen and limit sun exposure

We all know the sun is deadly to our skin. That’s never truer than after a chemical peel. Your skin is extra sensitive to UV light and will likely burn, producing an inflammatory response. During the initial 48 hours post-peel, we advise staying out of the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, or stay in the shade.

After two days, you can apply a mild sunscreen to protect your skin should you need to venture outside. 

Give it time

Patience is a virtue, they say. It’s wise advice. While you can help speed up the peeling process, you can’t skip it. Your skin needs time to heal and peel. The more sensitive your skin, the less you want to do. Applying cucumber strips or chamomile teabags may sound like a good idea until it further aggravates your skin.

What if my skin isn’t peeling?

If your skin isn’t peeling, it can mean one of three things: the chemical peel solution wasn’t strong enough, it’s your genetics, or it’s not been long enough.

Genetics is the most likely reason for some people – especially those of Asian descent. Otherwise, wait at least two to three days for peeling to occur. You should contact your local clinic for further information if you do not notice any peeling.

Schedule an appointment with us to experience the best chemical peels in Austin. We’ll customize your chemical peel to your skin type. Our team will discuss in depth how to speed up peeling after a chemical peel.