What's the Best Moisturizing Cream to Use After Laser Resurfacing?

I had CO2 laser resurfacing 10 days ago. I love the new and emerging skin, however, I don't know what everyday moisturizing cream (with sunscreen) is recommended post surgery. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 7

Laser resurfacing post-op moisturizing cream

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We recommend our post laser patients to use Elta MD-UV Facial SPF 30+.  It is a light moisturizing cream that provides moisture and UVA/UVB protection.  It is for all skin types, especially moderate to dry.

Lexington Plastic Surgeon

Post Op Laser Skin Resurfacing

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Cetaphil Facial Wash Soap to wash with after laser skin resurfacing and we recommend using clean finger tips or gloved hands to keep any bacteria out.

Aquaphor is then applied in an even coat all over the treated area, much like a liquid bandage, until the skin has reepithelialization / closed / healed over the next 7-10 days.  Right after the procedure, the Aquaphor is used a bit thicker then less and less to a thin film as the healing goes on. Then spot treat the areas as needed.

2 weeks after the procedure, A daily moisturizer free of frangrance or irritants with a sunscreen of atleast 30+spf is recommended to keep the skin moist and protected.

When going out into brighter sunlight, a higher spf sunscreen that contains the ACTIVE ingredients Zinc or Titanium or both is recommended at all times during extreme sun exposure. 

Fashionable hats, visors and even scarves are popular for my healing patients as added protection during the first 2 weeks and beyond to protect the delicate, fragile skin.

Elta is good as well.


Fernando G. Serra, MD
Clermont Plastic Surgeon

Moisturizing creams post- CO2 laser

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There are various ones out there and each provider likely has there preference. When patients are still peeling, I like Aquaphor ointment or Elta MD laser balm. Both are thick emollients that keep things moist. Once all the skin has peeled/ sloughed off, we usually recommend Cetaphil moisturizer as it is gentle and safe with added ingredients that would irritate the skin; we also like Elta MD moisturizer and Epionce medical barrier cream .

Sapna A. Patel, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Best Moisturizing Cream to Use After Laser Resurfacing

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Each treating physician will have his or her preferences. I generally prefer to use Cicalfate or Aquaphor immediately post treatment depending on patient and the scope of the procedure. Cetaphil Facial Wash Soap is also useful to wash the face. Consult your treating physician as he or she understands the scope of the treatment and the specifics about you. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Post CO2 Laser Treatment

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For heavy ablative procedures, we typically recommend for our patients to apply a generous layer of Aquaphor to the treated areas for the first 5-10 days. Once the skin starts to heal, we transition them over to gentle cleansers that contain green tea and soothing properties and introduce gentle calming creams that contain low potency hydrocortisone and chemical free sunscreens that are oil free and non-comedongenic. These are products we typically have the patients purchase in the office and I would recommend to ask your provider for recommendations as he or she may have something in particular for you. Gentle over the counter moisturizers such as Cerave or Cetaphil are wonderful as they are great for new sensitive skin and are fragrance free/non-comedogenic.  They even contain broad spectrum sunscreens. Hope this helps. 

Diane Walder, MD
Miami Dermatologist

Moisturizing Opti-Ceramide cream after laser procedures

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Post laser we recommend an Opti-Ceramide moisturizing cream which hydrates the skin, helps retain deep moisture and reduce peeling. Elevase Moisture Booster is what we recommend to our patients. 

Elta, Cetaphil and Aquaphor are best moisturizing creams after laser resurfacing

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At 10 days after CO2 laser resurfacing your skin is very fragile. It is very important to avoid creams or ointments that contain harsh ingredients as they can irritate the new skin and cause break outs.

Aquaphor, Elta and cetaphil are all very gentle and safe topical creams/ointments that can be used after laser resurfacing. There are vmany many sunblocks but I would wait until 2-3 weeks to use sun block. Neutragena makes a non-comedogenic fragrance fee block that is safe

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.