How to Care for Your Skin Post Resurfacing
As we’ve mentioned before on the Monterey Laser beauty blog, CO2 laser resurfacing is a treatment that delivers amazing results—but it does require some understanding, and patience.
You’ll need to avoid direct sunlight, alcohol, chemicals, and exercise. You’ll have to keep your skin moist and cool. You’ll need to stay very hydrated. You’ll experience a sunburn-type feeling. You’ll need to be patient during the red, itchy, peeling-skin phase.
You’ll also need patience knowing that the entire healing process after CO2 laser resurfacing can take up to two weeks, and that you, as the patient, will need to be mindful of your at-home care during the recovery process.
So, what exactly is involved in this process, and what is the care you’ll need to give your skin to achieve the gorgeous results you see in before and after photos?
The Day Of
Immediately following your CO2 laser treatment, you’ll need to keep the treated skin covered with the cream that your specialist has directed you to use, as well as apply compresses to cool down the inflammation. (Warning: don’t use ice directly or towels on the skin.) Your first night may be a bit uncomfortable. Be sure to sleep with your head elevated and you might want to protect your pillowcase from any cream to avoid staining. Your skin may swell and ooze for up to 48 hours post treatment. Don’t worry, this is a normal part of the rejuvenation process.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
We cannot emphasize enough that it’s very important to keep the treated area moist. The best way to do this is with a layer of petroleum applied on the skin for about five days after with cleansing with room-temperature water. Continue using cool compresses. After 5-7 days, begin using a quality moisturizer.
Don’t scrub too hard during while washing your face. Be gentle and don’t pick at your skin. Around day 4 post CO2 treatment, you can be a bit more aggressive (with your fingertips only) during face washing to start exfoliation—but be very careful. When you go outside, still avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, and be sure to wear a non-irritating sunblock on the treated area. Also, around day 4, you can apply makeup for the first time. Only use mineral powder: nothing too harsh.
After day 7, you’ll need to continue using plenty of moisturizer until your skin has fully recovered. Don’t use any exfoliating masks or scrubs for four weeks and continue avoiding excessive sun exposure during this time. Keep that sunblock on as long as you need it, and don’t use heavy foundations or skin-irritating makeup.
The main thing to remember is to be gentle with your skin as it heals and contact your specialist if anything alarms you, such as extreme swelling. Although this sounds like a lot of work, the final results are very worth it. Radiant, smoother, healthier skin!
At Monterey Laser, we specialize in CO2 laser resurfacing, and our clients are in love with their new skin. If you’re interested in a consultation about how this treatment can improve your skin, please don’t hesitate to contact us!