A Guide to Post-Procedure Skin Care


Skin care after the procedure can be a little overwhelming.

Maybe you just had a resurfacing laser treatment, a chemical peel, or a microneedling appointment.

How do you care for your skin afterwards to speed healing and ensure your skin looks its best?


We have ten tips for you. But first, let’s look at what happens to the skin after a procedure.

Why is skin care after the procedure important?

Your skin needs additional care after a cosmetic procedure. In most cases, it was wounded in some way. While treatment is likely to result in improved appearance in the future, the immediate results are likely to be inflammation, redness, swelling, sensitivity, irritation, and a compromised skin barrier.


If you’re not careful at this stage, you can damage the skin, which can result in permanent scars and discoloration.

Your doctor will likely provide you with some guidance on how to treat your skin after treatment to promote healing and prevent damage. Follow these instructions carefully and be patient. Your skin will need time to heal.

10 tips for skin care after the procedure

1. Avoid the sun

This is an absolute must after any type of cosmetic procedure. The skin’s compromised outer barrier is extremely vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. If you expose such sensitive skin to the sun, you risk permanently damaging it and your skin could look worse than before the treatment.


Play it safe by avoiding the sun completely until your skin begins to heal. Stay indoors and use hats and umbrellas if you must go out. When your skin is ready, continue to be careful by using a physical sunscreen (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) every day until it’s fully healed.

Skin care after the procedure 2. Be gentle

While you want to keep skin clean after a procedure, you need to be super gentle during recovery. That means avoiding harsh detergents or even those with acids like salicylic or glycolic acid. Use only the most gentle, creamy cleanser until your skin returns to normal. Then pat – do not rub – dry.

3. Use cold compresses

If your skin is red, irritated, and swollen, apply cold compresses or frozen vegetables to the area for 10 minutes at a time. This can help reduce swelling while relieving any pain or irritation you may be feeling.

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4. Avoid spicy ingredients

There are many ingredients in skin care products that can be too harsh after a cosmetic procedure. It’s best to avoid all of these while your skin is healing. Check ingredient labels and only use the gentlest products.

  • retinols
  • Acids (glycolic, salicylic, malic, lactic and others)
  • benzoic acid
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • Preservatives (parabens, ureas)
  • fragrances
  • Chemical sunscreens (oxybenzone, avobenzone)
  • Astringents (or products with alcohol)

Post-Procedure Skin Care 5: Soothe and soothe the skin

A soothing or cooling mask or mist can soothe the aftercare, but be careful what you use. Make sure the ingredients are gentle and safe.

If skin is too tender and irritated to touch, we recommend starting with our Rescue + Relief Spray. With ingredients that tame inflammation and redness while providing a cooling and soothing effect, it brings instant cooling relief to stressed skin.


A slight moisturizing effect also stimulates skin healing and supports optimal healing and treatment results.

6. Moisturize regularly

What your skin needs most after the treatment is moisture. A lack of moisture can delay the healing process and cause additional dryness, flaking and scabbing in certain areas.

Again, you have to be careful. Make sure the moisturizer you use doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients. We recommend our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion. Formulated and approved for medicated skin, both are designed to hydrate and promote healing.

Natural moisturizing oils are easily absorbed into the skin, nourishing and rebuilding the skin’s protective barrier and supporting the production of new, healthy elastin and collagen, helping to maintain the results of your treatment.

Both also have protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients that help calm redness and peeling while relieving inflammation and irritation from the after-effects of a treatment.

dr Claire Wolinksy, board-certified dermatologist at Berkowitz Dermatology in NYC (and clinical educator at Mount Sinai Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital) says:

“CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture is a patient favorite and my personal go-to post-procedure lotion to soothe inflamed and irritated skin. After microneedling and lasers, this lightweight yet hydrating lotion instantly soothes and restores newly treated skin. The experience of using this lotion is unique as you will feel its soothing properties as soon as you apply it. I also recommend it to patients just starting out on retinoid or retinol products.”

7. Limit or avoid makeup

Check with your doctor. Depending on the treatment you received, it may be best to avoid makeup entirely for at least a few days. You can still use makeup for some milder treatments, but it’s best to limit your use to a few simple products.

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Think tinted moisturizer, some mascara (unless you’ve treated your eyes), and a lip gloss. Check the ingredients in all of them — especially the tinted moisturizer — to make sure they’re safe for the skin.

You can try mixing your regular liquid foundation with our Calming Moisture to create your own safe tinted moisturizer.

Skin care after the procedure 8. Avoid picking at your skin

As your skin begins to heal, you may notice itching or scabbing. Be sure to avoid picking or scratching! If it bothers you, use cold compresses, ice packs, or an anti-itch cream to treat the irritation.

Depending on the procedure, your doctor may recommend a product to help lock in moisture. Our Restorative Skin Balm not only creates a protective moisture barrier (to lock in moisture), but is packed with healing ingredients that restore and support cell renewal while dramatically accelerating the healing process. It’s also petroleum-free and 100% natural.

Apply our Restorative Skin Balm to any areas that need extra care and moisture. This extra rich healing ointment works fast to speed healing and reduce redness and bruising.

In general, it’s best not to touch your face with your fingers unless you’ve just washed them. Your fingers have oils and bacteria that you could transfer to your face, which could increase your risk of infection. So hands off!

9. Avoid exfoliation

This may go without saying, but don’t exfoliate your skin. Your procedure has likely removed any dead skin cells on the surface, so you won’t need to exfoliate for a while. Exfoliating too early can damage the skin.

This also means avoiding using skin brushes or sharp washcloths, which could have a slight exfoliating effect. Only use clean fingers.

10. Rebuild the skin’s barrier

Since any cosmetic procedure is likely to compromise the skin’s outer barrier, you can help the skin recover by restoring that barrier. This helps protect the skin from bacteria and other environmental irritants that can interfere with the healing process.

To do this, continue to follow a normal twice-daily skincare routine of gently cleansing, toning (with our Rescue + Relief Spray) and moisturizing. Stay away from anti-aging serums and other products with harsher ingredients for a while, and avoid moisturizers with petrolatum in them. They can retain redness and heat in the skin.

Once your skin begins to heal, you can get back to your other products.

How to care for your skin after a cosmetic procedure?


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