SkinMedica® Chemical Peels Pre & Post Care Instructions

Please carefully review and follow these post-care instructions for your chemical peel to obtain maximum benefits from your treatment. If you have any questions about these instructions, please discuss them with your esthetician.

Failure to comply with these instructions may negatively impact your treatment outcome and increase the likelihood or severity of complications. Depending on your individual needs, additional post-care treatment instructions may be given to you by your esthetician.


  • Avoid using salicylic, lactic, azelaic, glycolic, or mandelic acids for 2 weeks prior to your treatment.
  • For 2-3 days prior to peel, discontinue the use of any retinoids, hydroquinone, benzoyl peroxide, or topical acne medications.
  • Use gentle soap for cleansing your skin and avoid any exfoliating scrubs or masks.
  • For 7 days before your appointment, refrain from waxing, laser, or any other procedures on or around the face.


  • The skin peeling may take anywhere from 7-10 days on average or longer to resolve, depending on internal and external factors such as skin type, age, weather, lifestyle, and hormones.
  • Slight redness and skin sensitivity and flaking can occur as your treatment eliminates dead surface skin cells. Other areas of the body may respond differently because the skin on the face and scalp has a different texture than on your chest, back, arms, and legs. The healing process may take longer in those areas.
  • Your skin may take on a rough, patchy, darkened quality a few days after your chemical peel treatment. This is normal and expected and it will resolve on its own.
  • The first areas to peel are usually around the nose and mouth, but the peeling can begin anywhere. Most people begin peeling on the 3rd or 4th day after treatment. It is also possible to not peel at all. If this occurs, you will still benefit from the treatment because the skin has exfoliated microscopically.
  • Possible side effects include but are not limited to: mild to extreme redness, temporary tightness, itching, swelling, and dryness of the skin similar to a sunburn or windburn. These side effects will usually subside in 2-3 days. A prescription of hydrocortisone or over-the-counter hydrocortisone may be recommended if the skin is inflamed or irritated.
  • You may GENTLY apply a cold compress to the treated area(s) as needed for any burning or irritation associated with your treatment.
  • Avoid excessive heat on the treated area and any kind of direct sun exposure, as well as tanning beds and self-tanners on the treated areas for 4 weeks after the treatment.
  • Do NOT engage in strenuous exercise for 2-3 days after treatment as this can exacerbate the inflammatory response in the skin, causing the skin to become red and angry.
  • Avoid excessive sweating after the treatment which can irritate the skin or cause blistering due to the sweat being unable to escape through the top layer of dead skin. Try to avoid sweating until after you have stopped peeling to avoid lifting the skin prematurely, as this can cause scarring.
  • Refrain from using any of the following products for 2 weeks or more after your chemical peel: acidic products such as retinoids or tretinoins, acne medication products such as Retin-AⓇ, TazoracⓇ, RenovaⓇ, AtralinⓇ, ZianaⓇ, VeltinⓇ, DifferinⓇ.
  • Refrain from using the antibiotic Doxycycline, AHAs (lactic, glycolic, tartaric, etc.), BHAs (salicylic), benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C products, lightening agents such as hydroquinone or any exfoliative products including loofahs or coarse sponges to your skin for 2 weeks after your chemical peel, or more if you notice your skin becomes sensitive to application. These medications and products increase your photosensitivity, which can significantly increase the likelihood of complications.
  • Do NOT tweeze, pick, rub, exfoliate, wax, use a depilatory, undergo electrolysis, or schedule a facial or cosmetic service such as laser resurfacing, or IPL on a treated area(s) for 4 weeks after your treatment. To reduce the risk of scarring, DO NOT manually remove the dry, rough, dead skin faster than your body is able to naturally eliminate it. If needed, you can use a small pair of scissors to cut away any larger pieces of loose, peeling skin.
  • Do NOT get your hair dyed until a week after you have finished peeling if your treatment was performed on the face or neck. For most people, week 3 post-peel is the best time to have your hair color treated.
  • If you have a history of cold sores, an over-the-counter antiviral medication should be taken prior to the treatment.


  • Cleanse your skin very gently. Your skin may be fragile for 5-7 days. Avoid using hot or very warm water as this will cause inflammation in the skin. Choose COOL water instead, gently rinsing your face, using only your fingertips. No washcloths, loofahs, buff puffs, sponges, ClarisonicⓇ, etc. We recommend using the cleanser in the Epionce PostCare Kit for the best results.
  • Be sure to moisturize OFTEN. Letting the skin dry out may cause discomfort. We recommend using the moisturizers found in the Epionce Post Care Kit several times per day as needed or until the skin feels back to normal. This will promote the healing process by locking in moisture and reducing the chance of a bacterial infection, redness, and irritation. Topical hydrocortisone may be recommended, depending on your specific needs.
  • Protect your skin from the heat. Heat and sun exposure can cause inflammation in the skin and should be avoided entirely for 4 weeks after treatment. This includes tanning beds and self-tanners. If you need to be outdoors, make sure to use an umbrella or wear a large-brimmed hat, a pair of sunglasses, and use a sunblock containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  • We recommend using SkinMedica SPF for at least 2 weeks after your chemical peel. This will provide broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays with no chemical sun filters. Apply 30 minutes before exposure and reapply often (about every 2 hours) when exposed to the sun. Other sunscreen products may be recommended depending on your specific needs.
  • Makeup can be applied 24 hours after the treatment.

Contact Information:
Seattle Aesthetics
Phone: 206-735-7588

3131 Western Ave #401
Seattle, WA 98121
Tel: (206) 735-7588

After-hours appointments are available upon request 6 days a week!

Regular Office Hours:
Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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