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.


Ever wanted a Hand Augmentation? Radiesse® Injectable could be the answer!

Radiesse®, and injectable filler from Merz Aesthetics, has received approval from the FDA for hand augmentation to eliminate the look of aging due to fat loss/volume loss in the hands. Radiesse® can last for up to a year, and provides an immediate volumizing effect that reduces the prominence of tendons and veins in the hands. This new treatment will provide a natural-looking result and make your hands look years younger!

Merz is proud to be able to provide patients and physicians with the first and only dermal filler approved by the FDA for use in the hands,” said Jim Hartman, vice president and head of U.S. Aesthetics/OTC for Merz North America. “Market research tells us that attention to the aesthetic appearance of hands has increased in recent years, particularly among individuals who have undergone facial rejuvenation procedures. This new indication for Radiesse® is a result of our focus on meeting unmet needs in the U.S. aesthetics market, and we are excited to provide our physician customers with this new option” says Hartman.

In clinical trials, Radiesse® improved the appearance of hands in 75% of treated patients after 3 months. Most adverse events were injection site reactions such as swelling, redness, pain and bruising, which were usually mild to moderate, short in duration (lasting about one week) and require no additional treatment.

How Do Chemical Peels Work?

Chemical peels are used to reduce the appearance of acne scars, hyper-pigmentation, lines, and wrinkles. When your skin care specialist starts your chemical peel they apply the product to your face, neck, and d\u00e9collet\u00e9. A chemical peel is true to its name; it really does peel away the top layer of your skin (and many blemishes that reside therein).

Your epidermis has many layers of skin. The outermost layer contains the oldest skin cells that need exfoliation from a peel to expose the newer and more vibrant cells. When you apply a chemical peel, you distress the outer layer of skin and speed up natural exfoliation.

As you remove your chemical peel, your oldest skin cells slough off. When this is complete (which may take one to several days) you’ll expose your new, healthy skin cells that were underneath those old cells. These cells heal quickly and expose a younger, healthier skin to the outer world. Your skin will appear smoother, healthier, and younger to the outside observer.

There are many chemical peels available to you. Please consult your dermatologist/skin care professional to see which product is right for your skin type, desired results, and lifestyle.

Copyright 2012. As licensed to Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa. All rights reserved

Free Glycolic Peel & Color Matching on Feb. 22nd!

Join us Friday for Go ‘N’ GLOW, Feb. 22nd, an Exclusive Event for Renew Advantage Members. Are you interested in becoming a member?
Renew Advantage members receive an ongoing 10% off on all services including botox, facial fillers, lasers, cosmetic surgery and skin care products!  Sign up at GO’N’Glow!
Call to schedule your free peel & color match from 9:00a – 4:00p.  Light refreshments will be served along with a raffle.
Call today while spots are limited: 847-367-8815

Which peel is best for YOUR skin?

Are you considering a peel but don’t know where to start? Then you are like most people. Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa will provide you with a breakdown of peels for the ultinate rejuvenation for your skin.

Glycolic Acid: Best for fine lines, sun damage, discoloration and oily skin. This peel is one of the most commonly performed at our center. This peel effectively lifts dead skin cells and deeply penetrates into the pores for an increased texture and tone of the skin. Glycolic peels or AHA’s, are suitable for all skin types.

Salicyclic Acid: Best for oily skin, acne (blackheads/whiteheads), enlarged pores. Salicyclic helps purge pores and declogs follicles of oil and bacteria. This beta-hydroxy acid is good for senstive skin beacuse it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.

Lactic Acid: Hydrating & anti-aging. This peel may be best suitable for the most senstive skin type as it nourishes and hydrates the skin. This peel can be great for delicate areas around the mouth and eyes for gentle rejuvenation.

Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medpsa welcomes new and established patients for a free consultation to speak with an educated patient coordinator to customize your peel or skin rejuvenation package for you.

Are you planning a wedding this summer? Be prepared and follow these bridal beauty tips!

Wedding Skincare Solutions

Preparing for your wedding day can feel like training for a marathon – hours
and hours of work for just one day. But as any bride (or marathoner) would
attest preparation is key to a successful day or run – and every minute is
worth it! One of the key items on your wedding to-do list should be beauty
prep. Implementing a skincare routine several months ahead of time will ensure
you get that gorgeous bridal glow. Here are some key tips:
Be Gentle:
Stick with a gentle, non-drying, sulfate-free cleanser with an alcohol-free
toner and moisturizer as part of your daily regimen. Anything too abrasive will
actually have the opposite effect on your skin. Start your cleansing program
approximately 6 months ahead of the big day and your skin will thank you.
Up the
Antioxidants: Beautiful
skin starts deep on the inside. Adding foods high in antioxidants into your
diet can help you achieve that great complexion. Citrus fruits such as
cantaloupe, berries, and dark grapes are all loaded with vitamins, minerals and
age-defying antioxidants and are perfect additions to your daily routine.

Plan Ahead: If
you are considering an aesthetic procedure to address wrinkles and fine lines
you will need to start the process a few months ahead of time. Injectables like
BOTOX® and
have little to no downtime. But if you are considering a more invasive
procedure such as an IPL (intense pulsed light) or microdermabrasion treatment
to address discolored skin, you will need to factor in both prep, procedure and
recovery time. Make sure you ask your aesthetic practitioner about special post
procedure creams that can shorten the healing time.
Don’t Be Adventurous: Not
all skin is the same
Different products and treatments impact people differently. We
recommend you start testing new skincare products well ahead of time. For
aesthetic procedures it’s important that you see a trained professional who can
guide you through the benefits, side-effects and recovery time for each


We now introduce the Ultimate Photofacial!

Photofacials, also known as BBL or IPL, are laser skin rejuvenation facials that decrease hyperpigmentation from sun spots, age spots, freckles, rosacea and more.  The most typical areas treated are the face, hands, neck and decollete.

Lead aesthetician, Susie of Ritacca Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Center, has experienced fabulous results with our patients by evening out skin tone and texture with our BBL (BroadBand Light).  However, there is always room for improvement for results ( I think our patients would agree). 

The Ultimate Photofacial was designed to leave your skin exfoliated, cleansed and re-textured in just ONE treatment! How?  First, a dermasweep is performed.  A dermasweep safely exfoliates the dead skin that lies on our surface of our skin leaving a dull appearance.  Second, a propeelMD or chemical peel is applied for deep cleansing in the pores.  Lastly, a photofacial is performed for pigment correction and decreased fine lines – who doesn’t need the Ultimate Photofacial!?

Are you interested? Call Ritacca Laser Center today to schedule your appointment and learn how you can achieve amazing skin before summer!

What is the best way to treat melasma?

There are several ways that you can successfully improve melasma; topically with physician prescribed skin care products as well as more aggressive treatments, such as chemical peels.

The “Gold Standard” for treating melasma topically is a combination of 4% hydroquinone bleaching cream and retinoic acids, as well as a dedicated use of broad spectrum sunscreens.

A comprehensive skin care regimen should be incorporated for optimal results. Active, physician-dispensed skin care products should include a glycolic acid facial wash to exfoliate the skin, and an antioxidant serum to help correct damaged cells.

Incorporating regular chemical peels can also help minimize the appearance of melasma. The Melanage Peel is a more aggressive peel that has been very successful in helping melasma patients achieve their goals faster. There are several days of down-time but the results have been amazing. The Melanage Peel is suitable for all skin types.

Additionally, because UVA light will stimulate pigment, avoiding direct sun exposure is crucial in attempting to improve melasma, as well as in maintaining results.

-Susan Carey, L.E.

Will chemical peels help treat acne?

Light chemical peels are very common in treating mild acne and are the most superficial of all chemical peels. A chemical peel rapidly exfoliates the skin, allowing the dead skin cells to shed more efficiently, resulting in rejuvenated, glowing skin. This will also help keep the dead skin and oil from clogging pores and thus acne can be greatly reduced.

Chemical peels are also used to even out skin texture and discoloration from acne scars, as well as to soften fine lines and wrinkles.

-Lauren Thompson, L.E.

I am interested in coming in for a chemical peel but I am African American and am concerned about side effects. What peel would be good for my skin type? -Michelle

We offer a variety of very safe, effective peels for every skin type.  Jessners peels are especially good for skin types 3 or higher.  This specific peel is recommended for darker skin and will help to minimize pore size, help to even out skin tone and texture, and also help to clear up acne.  Feel free to come in for a free consultation and I can provide a more customized recommendation.
-Gina Sepke, L.E.