Why Can't I Apply Makeup After a TCA Peel?

Doctor Answers 2

Application of MakeUp after Skin Resurfacing (Chemical Peel, Dermabrasion or Laser Resurfacing)

All skin resurfacing is based on the principal that we remove a variable thickness of the skin surface hoping that once the exposed deeper layer is healed it would be smoother, tighter and free of pigmentation.

As an aside, injecting pigment deep into the skin results in permanent pigmentation. Tattooing can be intentional (the kind people do as personal decoration) or traumatic (as is seen in explosions or accident when powder or dirt are driven deep into the skin)).

As the skin is raw and healing after resurfacing, the LAST thing you want to do is apply a pigment (makeup etc) which may then be trapped and permanently tattoo that area. In addition, makeup is not sterile and placing potentially contaminated pigment on a raw wound make cause an infection.

I would strongly advise you NOT to apply anything except moisturizing cream to your face until the skin is healed and its protective keratin shield is up. The period of vulnerability varies with the depth of resurfacing and I would check with your doctor.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

It risks infection

Of course, I always defer to your treating dermatologist on specific advice. There can be wide variation on post peel protocols. There is a big difference between a 10% and a 35% TCA as well. In general, makeup can pose an infection risk and should be avoided for a week with medium and heavy peels and 2-3 days after light peels.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.