How to Care for Your Skin After a Medical Grade Chemical Peel

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just had a chemical peel or if you’re thinking about getting one, it’s important to know how to care for your skin afterward. It’s best to know what while your skin is shedding so you can avoid any mishaps and enjoy the fantastic benefits of this time-tested skin rejuvenation treatment.

A medical-grade chemical peel can transform your sun-damaged skin into an even-toned, radiant skin presence. The treatment may also reduce hyperpigmentation while leaving the skin visibly smoother and brighter. After a chemical peel, it’s critical to have an excellent after-treatment plan to achieve the best results possible. Here are some tips to follow for safe and effective results.

Hands Off

The goal of a chemical peel is to remove aged and damaged skin and reveal the fresh, radiant underlying tissue. After the dead skin begins to peel, you shouldn’t touch, pick, or scratch off dying skin but let it shed naturally. If you attempt to remove the skin with your fingers, it could lead to scarring.

Pull Back

Keep your hair off your face by pulling it back with a hair tie or band. This practice will allow your skin to peel on its own without contact with your hair as you manage it. If soiled hair or skin contacts the new skin layer while it’s healing, breakouts may occur. If breakouts do happen, don’t self-treat but contact us or leave it alone.


A chemical peel will cause a controlled burn to your skin to initiate peeling. Afterward, the skin will become sensitive. This effect will require you to change your skin care regimen in the treatment area. We offer optimal medical-grade skin products to use for post-chemical peel care. These products will include sunscreen and a moisturizer.

We will recommend a neutral moisturizer for the first few days after treatment and then a moisturizer like Skin Medica’s Dermal Repair Cream.

During application, be careful not to rub or scrub the product on but gently apply a thick layer to the treated skin multiple times each day. Once the peeling process is complete (about a week after a chemical peel), you can return to your regular skincare routine.

Protect Against the Sun

Now that you’ve removed the damaged skin make sure you protect the new skin layer with an active sunscreen. It’s a good practice to wear sunscreen whether it’s sunny outside or not. Also, if you think you will be indoors most of the day, the sun can affect your skin just as much through a window at your office or in your car.

We recommend an SPF 30 or higher; Skin Medica’s Total Defense plus Repair Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is a great product to ensure total protection for overly sensitive skin.

Don’t Exfoliate

Do not remove any dead skin with any exfoliation while your skin is peeling. Avoid all cleansing brushes, acids, and facial scrubs until your skin stops shedding, about a week after the procedure.

Lighten Up

Because dead skin is more visible on dark clothing, you may want to lighten your clothing choices to save embarrassment. Whites and light colors camouflage your shed skin better than those dark suits and blouses.

Let ‘em Know

Let people you will see regularly know about your decision to have a chemical peel. This transparency will let them know why your skin is flaking and save you explaining afterward. They will also get an advanced alert to expect to a bright, glowing skin presence.

To learn more about proper chemical peel aftercare, contact us or call 847-367-8815.


Skincare Habits to Adopt in the New Year for a Glowing 2019

Adopting better habits can be hard, but changing how you look after your skin has never been easier. Over the last decade, a number of cosmetic treatments have been developed to treat acne, sun damage, and the signs of aging—without discomfort or downtime. We also know more about how the skin works than ever before, so we can develop targeted, effective skincare habits. For radiant skin throughout 2019, check out the tips below:

Three Essential Skincare Tips for 2019

1. Diet Matters

When it comes to cultivating glowing skin, what you put into your body matters as much as the external treatments you choose. Though it’s a myth that specific foods (like chocolate) cause breakouts, research has shown that eating a diet high in processed foods and low in essential nutrients degrades overall skin health. A bad diet increases inflammation, which can in turn worsen acne. Likewise, when the skin is deprived of vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids, it can’t repair itself as effectively. This allows UV damage and environmental stress to accumulate, causing premature aging. To keep your glow gorgeous, eat a diet rich in whole foods, especially plant-based whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

2. Professional Exfoliation is a Must

We now know that exfoliating at home can, unfortunately, do more harm than good. Home-based exfoliation techniques, like scrubbing with abrasive crystals or cloths, can create tiny tears in the skin, allowing acne-causing bacteria to do more damage. These methods also tend to dry out the skin, without replenishing vital oils and nutrients. To really get the full benefits of exfoliation, you’ll need to try a professional treatment like the HydraFacial. The HydraFacial system uses hydrating serums and a special vortex extraction system to vacuum away dead skin cells without damaging the skin. Then, a series of nourishing serums are applied to the skin. These serums contain a number of antioxidants designed to help the skin repair itself and resist the effects of UV radiation and environmental toxins.

3. Schedule Regular Laser Treatments

Laser skin rejuvenation treatments, like the BBL laser, use targeted pulses of light to painlessly dissolve skin cells. The laser essentially “peels away” the uppermost layer of the skin—much like a chemical peel does, but without the same potential for flaking, redness, or discomfort. Over a series of treatments, this process gradually smooths out lines and wrinkles while fading sun spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
Laser skin treatments also stimulate the production of collagen, a protein that’s necessary to build strong, healthy skin cells. Because declining collagen levels are to blame for many of the visible signs of aging, having laser treatments repeated each year can potentially delay the need for facelift surgery.

With winter in full swing, many of us are experiencing a range of skin woes, from dryness and dullness to acne (and everything in between). If you’re ready to take charge of your skin health, let us help you make 2019 a glowing year. Contact us today to arrange a consultation with our team of certified skincare experts.

Not Ready for a Facelift? A Silhouette InstaLift May be for You

Decision-making is a delicate process: You should never make a life-changing choice before you feel ready, but at the same time, no one wants to delay their goals indefinitely. This makes compromise essential, especially where plastic surgery is concerned: Today, a number of minimally invasive procedures are giving patients the ability to delay facelift surgery while still treating the visible signs of aging. Out of all of these procedures, the Silhouette InstaLift is one of the safest and most convenient ways to erase wrinkles and lift loose skin.

What is the Silhouette InstaLift?

The Silhouette InstaLift is a thread-based procedure that combines the best of surgical and non-surgical technology. The Silhouette InstaLift raises the tissues that support the face, creating long-lasting results that mimic those of a mini facelift. At the same time, like many non-surgical procedures, the InstaLift creates long-term improvements in skin condition by stimulating the production of collagen.

No incisions are made during a Silhouette InstaLift, so there’s no risk of scarring associated with this procedure. Recovery is typically very rapid (taking place over just 24-48 hours), making the InstaLift perfect for busy professionals and parents. To lift facial skin and connective tissue, surgeons performing this procedure insert specialized suspension sutures into the cheeks near the hairline. These sutures, which are designed to gradually dissolve over time, subtly lift the cheeks and jawline. Doing this restores the natural curvature of the cheeks and elevates the jowls, eliminating sagging. Wrinkles and facial creases are also smoothed out during this process.

To create gradual improvements in skin tone and tightness, Silhouette InstaLift sutures are fitted with tiny cones that stimulate the fibroblasts within the skin. By activating these fibroblasts, the InstaLift catalyzes the production of type one and type three collagen, unlocking their powerful anti-aging properties. Over the course of about 18 months, the skin becomes stronger and more able to support itself even after the sutures have dissolved.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for the Silhouette InstaLift?

The Silhouette InstaLift is ideal for younger patients (those between the ages of 35-50) who don’t feel ready for a surgical facelift. This procedure is designed to treat the early signs of mid-face aging—like sagging cheeks and visible jowls—without creating an overly “tight” look. The Silhouette InstaLift won’t raise drooping brows or eyelids, nor will it correct advanced skin laxity, so it’s not intended to serve as a complete replacement for conventional facelift surgery. Instead, it’s the perfect “intermediary procedure” for patients who require a long-lasting alternative to injectable treatments while they wait for the right age to have facelift surgery.

To assess whether or not the Silhouette InstaLift is right for you, you’ll need to arrange a personal consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. If you’re near Vernon Hills, Illinois, Dr. Lu and Dr. Ritacca can help you develop a comprehensive anti-aging plan that will achieve your aesthetic goals with minimal downtime. To get started, contact us online or by phone at: 847-367-8815.

How Young is Too Young for a Facelift?

Facelift surgery is the most effective, long-lasting solution for pronounced skin laxity. This procedure can eliminate deep creases, lift sagging jowls, and adjust the cheeks to a more youthful position. Still, not all of these changes are necessary for every patient; younger patients, and thin patients with good skin elasticity, can sometimes forego facelift surgery in favor of a less invasive treatment.

What is the Right Age to have a Facelift?

There is no exact age where facelift surgery becomes the right choice. A patient who has lost a significant amount of weight in the past, or who has a history of smoking or sunbathing, may need a facelift as early as age 40. Conversely, a patient with excellent genetics who has always been slim and who has never smoked can potentially delay facelift surgery until her 60s. The only way to accurately assess whether or not you need a facelift is to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon for a consultation.

With that in mind, there are some general guidelines you can use if you’re contemplating having plastic surgery in the future. We usually recommend a modified facelift procedure, the Silhouette Instalift, for patients between the ages of 35-50. Patients in this age group don’t tend to have visibly loose, hanging skin around their jaw or neck. They also have relatively firm eyelids and their brows have not yet fallen substantially. For these patients, the visible signs of aging are usually limited to subtle sagging in the mid-face region: Their cheeks have started to fall and they often see creases forming along their nasolabial folds.

The Silhouette Instalift uses specialized self-dissolving sutures to lift the muscles that support the cheeks. This raises the mid-face area and eliminates many of the early signs of aging. No skin is removed during this procedure, so it requires very little downtime.

In many cases, our surgeons will pair the Silhouette Instalift with injectable treatments, like BOTOX® and dermal fillers, to uniformly minimize the visible signs of aging. BOTOX® relaxes crow’s feet and forehead lines, while fillers can fill in deep wrinkles and augment areas that have been affected by age-related facial fat loss.

Learn More About Facelift Surgery

Middle age is an important transitional period. Many people in this age group overhaul their lives to better align with their goals and preferences. If you’re thinking of revitalizing your appearance so that it reflects who you are inside, we can help. Contact Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery today to arrange a one-on-one consultation. Our doctors will be happy to help you learn mo

Say Hello to Halo and Your Best Skin Ever

Blemishes can distract from even the most beautiful bone structure. That’s why we recommend incorporating medical skincare into your long-term beauty plan, even if you’re also planning to have cosmetic surgery. Procedures like Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Therapy can correct many stubborn skin problems that topical treatments can’t touch—safely, effectively, and with little downtime.

What is Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Therapy?

Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Therapy is the first laser skin treatment that blends ablative and non-ablative technology. Ablative lasers are used to exfoliate the skin; they create very tiny perforations in the skin’s surface, removing damaged cells and speeding up the rate of cellular renewal. Ablative lasers cause the skin cells that make up superficial blemishes, like age spots and fine lines, to evaporate. Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, use light energy to gently heat up the water molecules inside skin cells. This stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that keeps our skin strong and healthy, without causing targeted skin cells to evaporate.

Combining these two technologies is advantageous because it permits extensive collagen synthesis and deep blemish removal while limiting downtime. Patients who have conventional ablative laser therapy often notice symptoms of redness and swelling for up to five days. After Halo laser therapy, these symptoms typically abate within just one to three days. Blending ablative and non-ablative lasers also cuts down on the amount of treatments patients need in order to create optimal results. Most patients need between six and eight non-ablative laser treatments to achieve the same results as just two Halo laser treatments.

What Conditions can the Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Treat?

The Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser can be used by adults of all ages to improve the overall tone, firmness, and smoothness of the skin. At the Ritacca Laser Center, we use the Halo laser to treat all of the following skin conditions:

-Wrinkles, fine lines, and areas of loose skin. By increasing the production of collagen, the Halo laser makes the skin stronger, fuller, and more supple. This erases signs of aging associated with collagen loss; it also makes the skin more wrinkle-resistant.

-Sun damage. The Halo laser can remove most of the visible symptoms of UV damage, such as brown spots, freckles, and areas of rough, leathery skin. Laser treatments can also remove pre-cancerous cells, potentially reducing the patient’s risk of skin cancer.

Halo laser therapy is suitable for use on a wide range of skin types and tones. If you would like to assess whether or not you’re a good candidate for this innovative skin rejuvenation procedure, contact the Ritacca Laser Center to arrange a personal consultation. Our team of experienced, certified skincare experts will help you get the best skin of your life—without unwanted side-effects.

Last Minute Spa Treatments to Help You Wow This Holiday Season

The holidays are just around the corner, and we all want to look our best for parties, family dinners, and drinks with faraway friends we don’t see nearly enough. Though it may seem like the holidays will be here before you know it, there is still time to book some last-minute spa treatments that will help you look and feel your best no matter where your celebration takes you! The professional staff at Vernon Hills-based Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & MedSpa offers a number of treatments that are non-invasive, involve little to no recovery, and will ensure you wow everyone you see this Thanksgiving holiday. Here are just a few of the services offered that can be performed before the holiday season hits full steam.


You’ve probably spent many holidays smiling and laughing with friends and family members. While you’d never want to give up those moments, you might want to give up the subsequent expression lines that are the result. With injectables such as BOTOX®, Dysport, and Xeomin®, you can! These anti-aging procedures involve a simple injection into the muscles that are responsible for expressions such as smiling and frowning. The injections prevent the muscles from contracting, resulting in a smoother appearance and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and forehead. Though BOTOX® has been blamed for lending patients a ‘frozen’ look, new techniques have made these injectables more effective and natural-looking.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are an excellent choice if you want to smooth out wrinkles or scars or enhance your lips with virtually no downtime. These injectable substances can plump the skin and lend you a more youthful, glowing look that will impress all those you encounter. Dermal fillers are long-lasting and safe as they are eventually absorbed by your body with no lingering residue. The staff at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & MedSpa offers a number of different dermal fillers including Juvéderm®, Radiesse®, Restylane®, Sculptra®, and Belotero Balance, each with slightly different chemical makeups and results. During your consultation, the best dermal filler will be chosen to provide you with your desired outcome.

Sculpting and Tightening Treatments

Every holiday season is a joy, but each year that passes also has an effect on your skin tone and elasticity. If you want to fight the signs of aging this holiday season, you might be interested in a sculpting or tightening treatment on either your face or your body—or both! We offer a number of different treatments that can target excess fat deposits, sagging skin, or loss of volume that make you look older and less vibrant. Here are just a few of our many treatments:


Oh, the dreaded double chin! Whether you’ve developed new fat deposits under the chin this year or you’ve been dealing with them your entire life, now is the time to do something about it. Kybella® is a revolutionary new treatment that, when injected into the chin area, dissolves unwanted fat and makes for a more streamlined, youthful appearance. Kybella® is safe, virtually painless, and has been impressing patients since it was first introduced.


Want to look especially lovely in your holiday dress this year? Consider a CoolSculpting treatment to permanently remove stubborn fat. This procedure involves freezing fat off in hour-long treatment sessions and provides amazing results with no downtime or invasive surgery. If you have a trouble area such as love handles, bra bulge, or upper arm fat, CoolSculpting can create outstanding results.

The holidays are brighter when you feel good about your appearance. It’s not too late to book a spa treatment before the holidays hit so you can wow the whole family. If you’re interested in one of these or another treatment to boost your holiday spirit, contact the professional staff at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & MedSpa for a consultation.









Show Off Smooth, Vein-Free Legs this Holiday Season with Sclerotherapy

Are you going to avoid wearing your favorite dresses this holiday season because you are embarrassed about unsightly leg veins? Spider or varicose veins can be unattractive or even downright painful and can put a damper on your seasonal gatherings with friends and family. Fortunately, vein problems are not something you have to live with as a normal part of aging. The talented team at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa can perform a treatment called sclerotherapy that reduces the appearance and symptoms of spider and varicose veins in the legs. If you want to have smooth, vein-free legs just in time for the holidays, you should consider sclerotherapy.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a minor, non-invasive procedure that involves injecting a salt solution directly into the vein that the patient wants to treat with a very fine needle. The solution works by irritating the lining of the blood vessel, which then causes it to collapse and the blood inside it to clot. The vessel then turns into scar tissue that will eventually fade to the point where it is nearly invisible. The procedure may cause mild cramping or discomfort in the area of injection for a few minutes, though it is usually not painful. The treatment, which takes place in our specialist’s office, generally takes around fifteen minutes to half an hour to perform. Multiple veins can be treated in one procedure. The number treated and follow-up treatments will be determined by the specialist during the consultation.

Recovery time is minor after a sclerotherapy procedure. The patient will usually be told to take it easy and not engage in vigorous activity for a few days after treatment, but most return to their normal lifestyles within a week.

Who are Good Candidates for Sclerotherapy?

Those with unsightly or painful spider or varicose veins are good candidates for sclerotherapy. Spider veins usually appear as small red, blue, or purple veins while varicose veins are normally ropy, large, and bulging. Varicose veins are usually the types of veins that cause pain in most patients. Vein issues can be a normal symptom of aging, and they can be worsened by obesity, sitting or standing too much, childbirth, a history of blood clots, or genetics. Those who experience swelling, leg cramps, pinching sensations, or ulcers in their legs are particularly good candidates for sclerotherapy as they will experience physical relief as well as an improved appearance.

If you are pregnant, take birth control pills, or have had a history of blood clots, you may not make a good candidate for sclerotherapy. Our specialist will perform a complete health history check during your consultation to determine general health and identify any possible complications before you are approved for the treatment.

What is the Recovery Time for Sclerotherapy?

You may experience mild discomfort such as cramping or pinching during your sclerotherapy treatment. You may also have more symptoms for the day or two after your treatment that can include itching or irritation near the injection sites. These symptoms should disappear within a few days, though bruising near the injection site could last for several weeks. Most of those who have sclerotherapy can return to normal activity shortly after their procedure.

You can expect to see results after the first treatment, though most experience the best results after several therapies performed over the period of several months. This means you can show off your improved look at your holiday parties and have smooth, vein-free legs for the new year.

How do I Choose the Right Doctor to Perform My Sclerotherapy?

It’s important to choose a qualified specialist to perform your sclerotherapy treatment. If you live in the Chicago area, visit Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa. Drs. Leonard Lu and Daniel Ritacca specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins and have successfully performed hundreds of these treatments. Once they determine that sclerotherapy is a viable option, they will walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you have before scheduling the treatment.

Don’t let varicose or spider veins dampen your holiday celebrations! Show off your vein-free legs and alleviate nagging pain this year with a professional vein treatment. Schedule a consultation to determine if sclerotherapy is right for you.
































Can You Benefit from Blepharoplasty?

The eyes are the focal point of a person’s face, and sagging upper eyelids or puffy lower eyelids can truly show someone’s age. Blepharoplasty, commonly called the “eyelid lift”, is a plastic surgery procedure that can effectively produce a more refreshed facial appearance. Read our infographic below to find out if you can benefit from blepharoplasty.

If you’re interested in blepharoplasty, contact us today.

Join us for our Fall Open House!

Are you interested in learning more about plastic surgery, but don’t feel ready to book a personal consultation yet? If so, our upcoming Open House may be exactly the opportunity you’re looking for. On Thursday, November 8th, Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa will be hosting an evening of education and entertainment from 4:00-7:00PM.

What to Expect at our Fall Open House

Our Fall Open House allows prospective patients to get to know our team and our practice in a relaxed, informal setting—all while contributing to a good cause. The $10 price of admission is directly donated to the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, a non-profit organization that assists the victims of sexual assault.

During our Open House, you’ll be able to ask board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Leonard Lu any questions you have about our various surgical and non-surgical procedures. You can learn about the latest advances in injectable compounds and explore lesser-known areas of aesthetic medicine, like eyelash extension and platelet-rich plasma injections. Dr. Leonard Lu will also host an informative seminar intended to give attendees insight into how cosmetic surgery can improve both one’s appearance and one’s health.

Our Open House is a great time to arrange a consultation, too. If you discover a procedure that you feel might meet your needs, you’ll be able to benefit from our exclusive one-night-only discounts…And the excitement doesn’t end there: For the price of admission, you’ll be entered into our raffle, which includes over $12,000 in prizes.

Throughout this relaxed evening, light refreshments will be served, and guests will be encouraged to exchange their own personal insights and cosmetic success stories. As the event winds to a close, you’ll receive a gift bag and be treated to a complimentary mini-makeover carried out by one of our professional estheticians. Consider this our way of introducing you to the personalized, attentive care we pride ourselves on providing to all of our patients.

For more information, contact us at 847-367-8815 or use our RSVP form to secure a spot at this exclusive event. We look forward to seeing you at our Fall Open House!