After getting a dermatological treatment, you'll have the task of tending to your ultra-sensitive post-treatment skin. Downtime following a skin treatment can mean any number of things. Sure, after something as serious as a facelift, you'll be taking serious painkillers and time off. But a number of less drastic treatment options exist that can still leave you with sensitive, red, irritated skin for anywhere from hours, to days, to weeks.
Swelling from things like fillers, injectables, and non-invasive in-office treatments will usually go down in a number of hours. Something like micro-needling typically only requires a day or two max for residual pinkness to go away, whereas chemical peels can require downtime, or just make you peel for a number of days. The tips below, especially the coconut vinegar concoction, are great following any resurfacing treatment or peel that will leave your skin sensitive, exposed, or flaking.
As for my recent foray into a trio of skin-perfecting treatments — a peel, IPL + PDT — which takes a little more time to recover (1-2 weeks), this post-treatment regimen, given to me by the CEO and founder of the healthiest beauty products around, is solid beauty gold.
Example of Post-Treatment Swelling^^
To recap the state my skin was in when I used this regimen, this particular instance fell somewhere between an "aggressive exfoliation" and a "mellow resurfacing."
While my first two rounds required a week or more of meticulous care, avoiding sunlight for days, and a lengthy healing process, my recovery was so much easier and faster by the third round. Similar to how a Fraxel laser resurfacing treatment requires post-procedure wound-care, some intensive resurfacing took place the first two times. By the third and final treatment, recovery was honestly a breeze because my skin had fewer problem areas to target.
That doesn't change the fact that my post-treatment skin — and post-treatment skin in general — is the most sensitive skin ever. When your skin grows back, treat it like a baby because it's 100% brand-new.
This regimen is amazing to use following resurfacing treatments of any intensity, including deep peels and laser resurfacing.
(Photo via Grand Central Tech)
The Expert: Tina Hedges.
Tina Hedges is a beauty industry mogul whose expertise is unparalleled. While my claim to fame is getting recruited to work in sales at Bloomingdale's on 59th/Lexington, her boss lady know-how comes from the giants of the beauty industry, places like The Estée Lauder Companies and L'Oreal. Recently, she started her own beauty company that is "stirring things up" in the beauty industry: LOLI Beauty.
This all-natural, earth-friendly start-up is her answer to everything that the beauty industry has gotten wrong. A few major ways the beauty industry has failed us? Potency, purity, transparency, and ingredient quality.
Our beauty products are often diluted with fillers, empty ingredients that do nothing for our skin, and made of up mostly of water. Not to mention, preservatives — which keep them "fresh" for longer — speak to the fact that they aren't exactly fresh at all. If you're wondering if this matters for your skin, the answer is yes.
Tina isn't the only one who believes that fresh, food-grade ingredients are the most potent way to nourish the skin. Adina Grigore, the author of Skin Cleanse and founder of skincare company S.W. Basics, is another proponent of food-grade beauty. Celebrity esthetician and skincare line founder, Joanna Vargas, has also mentioned that she loves making face masks using ingredients from the kitchen. Not to mention, Cara Delevingne and Zoey Kravitz’s facialist, Dayle Breault-Hagag, provided me with the exact probiotic-powered DIY recipe she once helped Cara concoct over Skype.
The point is: food-grade skin-food does the trick.
The very same way that organic foodies notice that raw food imparts a little extra oomph in energy, the same can be said for LOLI's ingredients. It’s like they’re supercharged.
Here is what I love about LOLI: they're the freshest — purest — beauty products on the market.
LOLI's products are raw, organic, and as fresh as they come, because you stir up the ingredients yourself. This ensures that you're getting nature's most powerful actives and giving your skin the nourishment it most desperately wants.
And to be honest, never in my life did I expect to fall hard for a DIY beauty company. I am lazy, first of all, and a shameless skincare snob slash lover of extravagant facials! But when one such facial resulted in a skincare disaster — fate intervened. Following my Vegas facial gone awry, LOLI's Anti-Redness Remedy Mask literally saved my life (ok, face) in THREE days.
In 72-hours, my face went from being covered in hives, unresponsive to Benadryl and cortisone cream, to normal.
It's safe to say that was the moment I became a LOLI believer.
Tina's Post-Treatment Line-Up
Tina's Post-PDT Skin Cure:
After LOLI healed my face, I was ecstatic and totally blown away by the fast-acting results. So when Tina offered me her very own post-treatment skincare protocol for post-PDT recovery, I was fully on board. Anything to speed up the grueling and painful post-treatment process is a must.
Below you'll find the invaluable info she passed along to me.
(1) Stop using retinol, as well as glycolic or acid peels for days to a week prior to treatment.
(2) Take Arnica homeopathic pills, like Boiron Arnica Montana ($11), for several days .
(3) You can even buy an Arnica ointment or gel, like Boiron Arnica Gel ($8).
(4) To assist with skin peeling and flaking, you can use the brand's naturally anti-bacterial Coconut Vinegar to whip up this at-home concoction:
- Using tepid water — 2 Tbsp vinegar to 3/4 cup of water — apply to your face using sterile cotton for a few minutes, before wiping off gently. If you use an organic cotton round and dip it into the mixture, you'll have a neat little soaked compress for easy application.
(5) Slather on the LOLI Date Nut Brûlée ($68), in the place of Aquafor, afterwards.
Note: I highly, highly prefer the date nut brûlée to Aquafor! When your skin is resurfacing, even exposure to air feels gross — it gets that weird, weepy feeling. Putting on Aquafor as a barrier keeps it moist and protected, but it's literally the least you can do.
The brand Epionce at least infuses barrier-repairing ceramides into their products, which makes them feel — and work — a million times better than Aquafor. But in the same way, LOLI's Date Nut Brûlée blows even Epionce's fantastic soothing blends out of the water.
Because it's a balm, it doesn't sting, it stays put, and once it's on, it feels like velvet on your post-treatment skin.
(6) Once your skin has resurfaced, Tina recommends the healing powers of LOLI Sea Buckthorn Oil ($58). Why? It stimulates collagen production to expedite the continued healing of your skin. This makes it fab for healing wounds, treating scars, and restoring your complexion.
Hint: You can also use the hydrating LOLI Plum Elixir ($78) because it's great for sensitive skin!
One Final Tip.
The last thing I'd like to point out is that a facial ice pack rocks. My most recent round of PDT was very mellow, but I still enjoyed using this bad boy for the next couple days post-treatment: Therapearl Face Mask ($13).
Keep it in the freezer so that once you get home, it's cool and ready to go. When your skin starts peeling and leaves exposed areas, you'll definitely want to use a washcloth or towel as a barrier between it and your face. Exposed skin does not want anything touching it and the overuse of goopy balms will just make a mess.
What's your regimen for post-treatment skin? Tell me if you have any tips!
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