I just did a 70% glycolic acid peel*, you can find it here, along with photos. Since I’ve been using Retin-A, my skin was much more sensitive this time around, so appropriate aftercare products were very important.
Immediately after a chemical peel, oils should be avoided like the plague as they can cause the burning to penetrate even deeper. After 8-12 hours, oils can be used, and are very beneficial
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
Right after washing the acid off (I stay by the sink, so I don’t use neutralizer), I used First Aid Beauty’s Face Cleanser. Ever since I had my first glycolic peel, this has been my go-to cleanser for using after dermapen treatments and peels. Many thanks to Delisia T. at the Shreveport Sephora (now she’s in Houston) for suggesting this and selling it to me! It’s unscented and very, very gentle.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is $20 and is available at Sephora.
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
After washing the acid off, I used Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. This is another go-to product for after procedures or any kind of irritation. The mist is extremely fine, and it leaves a thin layer of moisture. It’s very gentle, so I keep it nearby and spritz my face throughout the day. It’s also got some great antioxidants to nourish and help with healing. My full review is available here.
Eau Thermale Avene Cicalfate
Avene Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream is recommended by many dermatologists and estheticians for use following cosmetic procedures. It’s clinically proven to not only soothe, but to speed up healing time. I apply this regularly during the 12 hours after a peel.
Avene Cicalfate is available at Dermstore.com for $29.00.
Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
After 12 hours have passed, I start using oil products to keep my skin as moisturized as possible. Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is just as gentle as the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, but it’s more hydrating and helps soften the rough areas. It’s important, though, not to cleanse more than once a day, twice if you really need to- other than constantly moisturizing, you really just need to let the skin rest.
Honey Sweetie Acres Facial Cream
This is a perfect product for use after procedures. Just make sure you wait until at least 12 hours have passed because of the oil. The top three ingredients are organic aloe juice, goat milk, and organic coconut oil. The aloe juice and goat milk are very soothing and hydrating, and the organic coconut oil is not only hydrating, but has antibacterial properties to help prevent infection. I slather this stuff on liberally every few hours! You can read my full review here.
Honey Sweetie Acres Facial Cream is just $13.50 at HoneySweetieAcres.com.
Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector
If at all possible, you should avoid the sun following your peel. But, if you must go out, use at least an SPF of 30, preferably higher. Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector has an SPF of 50. It also has a slight tint, which helps conceal redness and inflammation. Furthermore, the lactobionic acid in the formula is safe for use following procedures, and is very soothing. You can read my full review here.
Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector retails for $42 and is available at www.exuviance.com.
Radical Skincare Eye Revive Crème
Although one should never, ever put glycolic acid near the eye area, I like to use a very gentle eye cream in the event it migrates to areas that were treated with acid. All Radical Skincare products are made specially for sensitive skin. (You can read my full review here.)
Radical Skincare Eye Revive Cream retails for $125 and is available at www.radicalskincare.com.
Omorovicza Gold Rescue Cream
This product is absolutely fantastic for irritation and inflammation. It’s really pricey, so I usually just apply it to the spots that need it most, like the red patches where frosting occurred. It does a great job of moisturizing, softening, and promoting healing.
*If you have never had a glycolic peel, you should never attempt one of this strength on your own- as 70% glycolic acid is entering into the medium depth territory, many states do not even allow this strength of peel outside of a physician’s office (in which case you should follow the doctor’s instructions). If you are interested in doing an at-home peel, please get one from Sephora or Ulta, especially if it’s your first time. These solutions are a weaker strength and are buffered, so you won’t be as likely to burn yourself.