How To Prep For Your Next Chemical Peel

There's no better way to perk up dull skin than with a chemical peel. A beauty staple since the days of Cleopatra (who was said to bathe in spoiled milk, the basis of lactic acid), the formulations and peeling agents used today may have been adapted to meet modern-day beauty standards, but the basic principle of exfoliation for an immaculate complexion remains a steady constant.

A 10-minute treatment with a superficial peel at your dermatologist's office (using glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid) can help change the surface layer of your skin by increasing cell turnover. But just as important as how you care for your skin post-peel is how you prep it beforehand. It's best to talk to your doctor about which products you should go on a break from (for at least a few days before your treatment) and avoid facial waxing for at least one week too. Also, keep the following points in mind:

For anti-aging peels: Antioxidants and a low-dose retinol may be recommended for at least two weeks prior to treatment.

For anti-pigmentation peels: Lightening agents like hydroquinone and kojic acid plus a retinioid are usually suggested. “This will help to get rid of the top layer of skin and allow the peel to work more predictably,” says Boca Raton, FL, aesthetician Cheryl Staurowsky.

For anti-acne peels: A low-dose retinol and tropical product with salicylic acid will help to first clear the pores.

Related:
Demystifying Chemical Peels
Is it Time for a Chemical Peel or Microdermabrasion?

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