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Thursday, 05 January 2012 00:00

From Kelly: I love how peels make my skin look, but a few days after my skin peels I experience breakouts. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

Peels are great for renewing the skin, but there are several reasons why your skin may be breaking out afterwards. All or one of the following may be contributing to the problem:

1. The strength of the peel, most often determined by the percentage of peeling agent (for instance, glycolic or salicylic acid) in the mix may be too stimulating for your skin. In this case, a lighter peel may be more suited to your skin.
2. Manipulation of the skin can stimulate the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands and promote breakouts. If extractions are being done or if the skin is massaged at the time of the peel, this may actually be causing the breakouts. Over-stimulation of the glands may also result from rubbing the skin as you remove flaking from the peel.
3. If you are susceptible to breakouts anyway, you might be experiencing a normal purging reaction as a result of the peel. However, you may want to try a lighter peel in this instance too, and work up to a stronger peel over time.
4. Just after a peel, the skin is more vulnerable to environmental pollutants, so remember to protect the skin with a light, oil-free moisturizer and keep the pH normalized by using a gentle toner after cleansing. Drink plenty of water and keep your diet healthy with lots of fruits and veggies.
5. Because of the flaking of the skin after a peel, some people will over-moisturize the skin, and this can cause break-outs. Avoid anything heavy and go with moisturizers that are light and more hydrating.
6. Remember that while microdermabrasion can be great for the skin, it may not be a good choice for acne-prone skin. You’ll do better with topically applied peels.

Hope this helps!

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dr barbour

Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon,
Sarasota, Florida

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