Just had a chemical peel, will any brand of sunblock be good for my face?

Doctor Answers 3


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I'm glad to hear that you realize the importance of sunblock after a chemical peel!

Sunblock ingredients come in 2 main categories:  chemical sunblocks and physical sunblocks.  I usually use the second group, early after the peel.  Look for a sunscreen that uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  Now, new manufacturing techniques have made them much more cosmetically appealing.

There are now some new chemical sun-blocking agents that are on the market in the USA (finally!).  So, we have better choices for sunscreens now than ever before.

Sunscreen after chemical peel

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Sun protection after a chemical peel is extremely important for an optimal outcome. 
The sunscreen brand is not as important as the fact that the product needs to have zinc oxide or titanium. This will give you a sun block and allow your skin to heal. It's also very important to reapply the sunscreen over the course of the day.

Marcelo Antunes, MD
Marietta Facial Plastic Surgeon

Will any brand of sunblock be good for my face?

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Not necessarily.  

I would seek a sunscreen that has one or both of the following ingredients within them: titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.  Zinc oxide has a wider range of coverage and is preferred.  The ingredients help protect against UVA and UVB sun rays.

Remember the SPF rating system is only for UVB rays and does not include the all important UVA rays.  Moreover, most ingredients in sunscreens (not containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are chemical filters and breakdown as they absorb the UVB and UVA rays.  Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (in particular) are longer lasting physical filters, providing superior protection and are typically better for sensitive skin, which is ideal for skin healing from a chemical peel.

I hope this helps.

Timothy R. Miller, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 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.