Did I Intensify my Lactic Peel when I Applied Moisturizer with Retinol?

I had a lactic chemical peel and accidentally applied my normal moisturizer the next morning (Neutrogena Healthy Skin with retinol). I believe this intensified the peel from superficial towards medium. I had swelling which is almost gone and am now on day 4 and starting to peel. Skin is redder than previous days and feels very tight. Is this normal? I was given a sage and citrus moisturizer to apply(plus other items). I want to apply a different moisturizer. What would be good?

Doctor Answers 3

Applying moisturizer with retinol

Retinol can peel and irritate the skin, especially after a lactic peel. I would avoid any active ingredient moisturizers after a peel or microdermabrasion for at least 1 week, and use something bland and non-fragranced, and definitely be diligent with a good sunblock.  ~ Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Single application of retinol probably didn't affect the peel

Redness and tightness, peeling around day 4... these are all normal steps to experience after a peel.  A single application of a moisturizer with retinol probably didn't affect the peel much at all, and it certainly didn't make it into a medium depth peel, so don't worry about that.  Rest easy.

A sage and citrus moisturizer, however, may be something that is irritating your skin further... or you could be having an allergic reaction to it.  I would recommend changing to a gentle, unscented moisturizer like Cetaphil, Vanicream, or Dove for best results.

Chad L. Prather, MD
Baton Rouge Dermatologic Surgeon

Intensify my lactic peel when I applied moisturizer with retinol

Most likely you caused a deepening of the peel. Follow your doctors recommendations not us over the net. We can not treat you.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

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