Like your emotions, your skin go through high highs and low lows and while you’re more adept at masking your feelings, stress on your skin is a little bit more obvious — and this also includes treatments that you choose to have, like lasers, peels, and even tattoos.
The healing process when it comes to having your skin intentionally injured during a cosmetic procedure is actually the same as when you get a cut or a scrape.
The skin barrier is broken and it needs to rebuild itself. It is important to note that while you may look like Freddie Krueger post-peel you shouldn’t slather products in attempt to speed up the healing process.
The skin is at its most fragile state after it’s injured so it gets easily irritated. Stay away from products with essential oils, fragrances, lanolin, vitamin E and even anything petroleum-based as the skin cannot use its hydrocarbons for any purpose while healing.
Arm yourself with all the 411 you need before booking yourself an appointment at the dermatologist
Get an appointment at least a week ahead of your big event. Microdermabration removes the top layer of dead skin cells and stimulate microcirculation.
There is barely any downtime, which also means that there aren’t long-term results.
However, avoid retinoids, acids, and any exfoliation for 24 hours afterwards and be conscientious about sunscreen.
The healing protocol post-chemical peel depends on the intensity of the peel itself.
Some peels utilise mild AHAs and BHAs so while the skin is slightly pink afterwards, there’s not much to do about the healing.
However, when the strength of the chemical solution increases, and skin layers are shed in the course of a few days, you have to be more careful about healing.
Your skin will go through multiple stages, including swelling, redness, and granulose tissue formation, until, a week later, the inflammation subsides, collagen fibers bundle closer together and the epidermis finally thickens.
In this case, use a gentle cleanser, plus moisturizing with a product rich in humectants, antioxidants, growth factors, peptides and ceramides will help your skin heal. Remember to be diligent with sunscreen and avoid any facial treatments for a month.
A few days before your peel, remember to stop using any prescription topicals, retinol, AHA, BHA or benzoyl peroxide.
Like peels, the intensity of injury to the skin from lasers depends on the dive and the energy setting used by your dermatologist.
At the most superficial level is a laser treatment like Clear and Brilliant, which aims to improve mild sun damage, melasma and texture.
At the most intense, a carbon dioxide laser which takes on deeper wrinkles, sagging eyelids, and acne scarring. Protect your complexion, avoid strenuous exercise, sun exposure, exfoliation, and any products with actives like retinol or vitamin C.
Also, for the first two days, sleep on extra pillows to stay elevated to reduce swelling, stay hydrated, and eat healthy. Avoid your afternoon tipple, saunas, super-hot showers and yes, makeup too.
Tattoos also wound your skin and you’d need help healing too.
Wrap your new tattoo with a bandage for as long as your artist’s instructions before washing with warm water and fragrance-free soap.
Pat dry and then continue to apply petrolatum and lanolin-free ointment to keep the skin moist.