Prepping for Peel Season


In short, a chemical peel is a procedure administered by a skin health professional that provides strong exfoliation of the top layer of the skin to enable skin’s natural process of healing and restoration. Healed skin becomes stronger, tighter and smoother. Peels can treat a range of skin health concerns, such as excess pigmentation, lines and wrinkles, breakouts, and texture issues.

Peels come in the form of an acid-based solution, consisting of ingredients like beta hydroxy acids and alpha hydroxy acids. The acid concentrations determine the peel’s strength and benefits.

Peels are available in varying strengths depending on the desired depth of skin penetration and desired results.  Peels can be more superficial with no to minimal healing time, or they can be more aggressive and require a longer recovery.


The best way is to discuss your skin health concerns and goals with your skin health professional. They can present options and make suggestions based on your skin and its unique needs, leading you to the best type of peel for you.

So, with your peel scheduled, what’s next?

Precondition your skin. Your skin health professional may recommend that you precondition your skin prior to your chemical peel. Preconditioning promotes skin’s renewal process, which can help your skin become more receptive to the peel’s acid penetration. A typical preconditioning regimen starts several weeks before your peel. Pre-conditioning also helps to minimize complications and enhance overall results. 

Cleanse, exfoliate and tone should be an important part of your preconditioning regimen. Getting Skin Ready® not only helps to maintain skin health, but it minimizes excess oil and removes dead skin cells, which improves peel absorption. If you do not have a GSR® regimen, talk to your provider or take our Regimen Finder quiz here.

Retinol is also a great option for preconditioning, since it supports skin restoration, which can help your skin become more tolerant to the peel and may even minimize recovery time. Wrinkle + Texture Repair is a high-potency retinol formulated with a micro-emulsion delivery system. It supports skin’s natural replenishment of hyaluronic acid and helps to visibly improve the appearance of wrinkles and skin texture.

Have your provider provide instructions pre-peel. Depending on the strength of the peel, your skin health professional may advise you to stop usage of the more aggressive skincare products in your regimen a few days before your peel. Follow your provider’s instructions to ensure your peel experience goes beautifully.

Avoid the sun. Both leading up to and following your peel, you want to minimize your sun exposure. Wear clothes that cover your skin, reduce your time outdoors if possible and of course, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. All ZO® sunscreens are formulated with Triple-Spectrum Protection® which guard your skin against sun and light damage. 

Follow up with the right post-procedure care. Taking care of your skin after your peel is just as important as the preparation for it. 

Consider a treatment add-on. There are numerous add-ons available to amplify your peel results. ZO® Accelerated Serums can be incorporated into your home care after superficial peels. They are available with several varieties, formulated with specific skin concerns in mind. If looking to address skin sagging and laxity, Firming Serum Accelerated supercharges the skin’s rejuvenation process and offers intense hydration benefits to further elevate post treatment results.


Still curious about peels? For more information about chemical peels or how to prepare for your upcoming peel appointment, consult with your ZO® authorized physician or find one near you here.

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