Chemical Peel: Before and After Care

Chemical Peels: What to Know Before and After Chemical Peel Treatment

At Smooth Synergy Medical Spa, NYC, we consider you an equal partner in the success of your treatment. In order to achieve optimal Chemical Peel results, please review our Pre and Post-Care Instructions for Chemical Peels:


Three Days Before

  • Avoid exfoliating agents like Retin-A, alpha or beta hydroxy acids, toners or any harsh creams, abrasives or acids on the treatment area.
  • Discontinue electrolysis, waxing, threading, tweezing, plucking and chemical epilation in the treatment area.
  • If you are prone to cold sores, notify the physician, who will prescribe a course of antiviral prophylactic treatment.
  • Arrive at your appointment with a clean, makeup free face. Otherwise, makeup wipes will be provided.

Chemical Peel Aftercare

  • Avoid water on the face for five hours following treatment.
  • After this timeframe, showering and cleansing the skin are allowed. A gentle cleanser should be used on the treatment area. Apply it to the fingertips with tepid water and use gentle, circular motions on the skin.
  • Refrain from use of Retin-A, retinoids or any other similar Vitamin-A infused topical skincare products. Avoid salicylic acid, bleaching creams, abrasive scrubs or harsh ingredients.
  • Apply a healing and soothing moisturizer for the duration of the peeling process.
  • Do not pick or scrub peeling skin, which could run the risk of causing pigment irregularities or scarring of the skin.
  • Avoid exercise or strenuous activity, as well as hot tubs and saunas until the peeling process starts or if the skin is irritated.
  • It’s best not to wear makeup. Mineral makeup (non oil, no talc, doesn’t clog pores) is recommended, if necessary.
  • Refrain from tanning or prolonged sun exposure for two weeks after the procedure. Apply sunscreen  to the treatment area for up to two weeks to avoid incidental sun exposure.


  • Comfort Measures
    • Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or Aleve are indicated for swelling or discomfort
    • Antihistamines, like Benadryl and Zyrtec, may be used for minor itching
    • Cold packs or ice can relieve minor discomfort and reduce swelling. Ice for a maximum of 20 minutes per hour.

Post-Treatment Expectations

  • You may return to normal activity immediately following your procedure.
  • Most side effects from the treatment should not be cause for alarm. Symptoms are usually minor and should subside in time, as a normal part of the healing process. They may be alleviated with simple over-the-counter measures, as described above.
  • Immediately following treatment, your skin may appear flushed or red and feel slightly sensitive, which usually subsides within several hours to two days.
  • The peeling or flaking process usually begins 2-3 days following treatment and will last anywhere from 3-7 days.
  • If you are concerned about any aspect of your post-treatment recovery, please call Smooth Synergy at 212-397-0111.

Chemical Peel Results

  • A chemical peel will immediately remove the superficial layer of dead skin cells, leaving you with instantly healthier and more radiant looking skin.
  • However, your skin will continue to improve and look better in 10 days than it does immediately following the treatment.
  • If you’re targeting a specific concern like hyperpigmentation or acne scarring, we recommend scheduling your next appointment for a chemical peel in a month to reach your skincare goals. For general skin turnover and general anti-aging, we recommend scheduling an appointment in 2-3 months to maintain results. Speak with your esthetician about an appropriate maintenance schedule for you.

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What Sets Smooth Synergy Apart?

  • Established in 2002, as one the first Medical Spas in NYC
  • Cutting-edge cosmetic services
  • Creators of beauty treatments like the Fanny Facial
  • True synergy including layering skincare modalities
  • Respect for your individual skincare goals (no judgments)
  • Experienced, licensed estheticians
  • Medical Director, Dr. George, on site, ready to meet your skincare needs
  • Real solutions and superior results

Nicole Contos, Founder and CEO, is here for you. All questions are welcome. No request is too small. Her aim? Total Beauty. All You!