A skin peel is a safe and effective way to erase fine lines, repair minor sun damage, and improve the overall texture of your skin. Immediately after the procedure, patients may experience dry, irritated, or peeling skin. While these after-effects are entirely common and will go away on their own, they can be uncomfortable. Try these tips to soothe and care for your skin following a peel, and hasten the recovery process.

Avoid the Sun

A skin peel works by using chemicals to remove the outermost layer of skin cells. This leaves behind a layer of immature skin cells that are unaccustomed to the UV rays outside. Stay indoors as much as possible during the day. If exposure to sunlight can’t be avoided, be sure to apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. It’s also a good idea to wear a broad-brimmed hat to keep harmful rays away from the face.

Moisturize, but Not Too Much

Wash the skin at least twice a day with lukewarm water and let it air dry. You can continue using your regular moisturizer to alleviate the irritation. However, avoid the temptation to overuse it as this will only prolong the healing process. It can be a good idea to invest in a plastic surgeon-recommended product that isn’t heavy.

Keep Cool

Avoiding the sun will go a long way towards keeping yourself cool. When indoors, keep the fan or air conditioning on to help reduce irritation. Sweating will cause inflammation and discomfort, so avoid rigorous exercise while you allow the skin to heal.

Don’t Touch

A skin peel will often result with flaking skin as dead cells fall away to reveal the youthful cells below. It may seem like a good idea to speed the process along by pulling the flakes off, but this is a wrong and counterproductive idea. Pulling the dead skin off before it’s ready can cause scarring and exacerbate the redness. While it may be tempting, avoid picking at the face until it is fully healed.