Skin that has been subjected to the likes of lasering, microneedling, extractions or a chemical peel, is compromised skin. Granted, this compromise is for the good, but in the short-term these treatments are likely to leave your skin sensitive, irritated and red until that good place is reached. As we said: compromised.
When you undergo any aesthetic procedure, it’s always wise to speak to your physician about the possible downtime and everything that may come with it. They can prepare you for any worse case scenarios (rare as they may be), while simultaneously advising you on post-procedure do’s and don’ts that may shorten the healing process and/or enhance the results of your treatment.
But we like to offer a little assistance, too. So, herewith a few little post-procedure tips to bank for next time you think about exfoliating your skin a few days after an ablative laser treatment. Hint: don’t do that.
Avoid The Sun
Sun protection is vital all year round, but never more so than after undergoing an aesthetic procedure that removes the top layers of the skin. Why? Because skin is super-vulnerable as it heals and rejuvenates. Scrimp on your sunscreen (yes, even on cloudy days) and your skin could end up looking more damaged than it was before your treatment. Not only is that dollars down the drain, but it’s a terrible idea for your anti-aging pursuits.
Instead, play it safe with a broad-spectrum formulation that’s moisturizing and gentle, yet powerful and hard-working. We love EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44.
Be Gentle With Your Skin
While you want to keep your skin as clean as possible immediately after an aesthetic procedure, stripping it to within an inch of its life with harsh, abrasive cleansers and acid-based exfoliators are a big no-no. Opt for a much gentler cleansing routine with something like ZO Skin Health Gentle Cleanser and avoid retinoids, and glycolic and salicylic acids until your skin has returned to normal.
Don’t Dismiss The Classic Tricks
Never underestimate the power of simple, home remedies that have passed down through the generations. After all, they’ve stood the test of time for a reason. For example, if your skin is red, swollen or inflamed post-procedure, there’s nothing more effective than a good old cold compress or ice pack held over the area for 10 minutes or so. Similarly, sleeping with an extra pillow to elevate your head is a great way to relieve puffy, swollen skin on the face or around the eyes.
Help The Healing Process With Medical-Grade Skincare
Other than sunscreen, your second most important piece of post-procedure skincare arsenal is moisturizer. A lack of moisture may will not only delay the healing process but it could cause extra dryness, flakiness and even scabbing after certain treatments. Occlusive moisturizers that prevent moisture loss are very effective, as are formulas containing hyaluronic acid.
You should always check with your physician for recommendations for your particular concerns, but in the meantime, here are a few of our favorites to whet the appetite.
1. Avène Thermal Spring Water. An essential spritz for calming, adding moisture and helping heal the skin.
2. SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque. We love this calming botanical face mask for sensitized, dehydrated skin.
3. Neocutis Aftercare Post-Treatment Soothing Cream. Bursting with growth factors, this cream helps promote a speedy recovery while hydrating and soothing the skin.
4. Alastin Regenerating Skin Nectar. Designed to support the skin both before AND after cosmetic procedures, this recovery cream is a must.
5. NIA24 Rapid Redness Recovery. This green-tinted lotion is perfecting for neutralizing redness and soothing inflammation.