After the excitement of having a tweakment, it can be tempting to sit back and just wait for your results to appear. But just like the importance of pre-tweakment skincare, what you use after your appointment can be just as important as finding the right practitioner for you. Read on to discover our expert guide to post-tweakment skincare, including the dos and don’ts to ensure you maximise your results and minimise downtime.
Why is post-tweakment skincare important?
‘Following most aesthetic treatments, the skin’s barrier will have been disrupted in some way,’ explains Dr Christine Hall, an aesthetic doctor at the Taktouk Clinic. ‘Whether that is minimally through a few injection points from toxin injections or dermal fillers or much more from a resurfacing treatment like CO2 laser, the skin’s barrier will be weakened and more susceptible to damage and infection. It is during this healing stage that it is vital that the correct products are used to maximise results, to minimise downtime, and to reduce the risk of complications such as infection, scarring and hyperpigmentation.’
‘Many tweakments involve some degree of injury to the skin that requires wound healing, so using the right skincare products post-tweakment can help reduce inflammation, soothe skin, and speed up the healing process,’ agrees the consultant dermatologist Dr Catriona Maybury. ‘It’s also important not to add insult to injury and avoid any products that may cause further inflammation in the immediate few days after a procedure.”
How can post-tweakment skincare improve your results?
‘Your skin is a huge part of the treatment plan for optimum results, but it is often forgotten about,” continues the head of injectables at Thérapie Clinic, Nicky Ruebsaman. ‘The patients that look after their skin will accelerate their treatment results because products today have the ability not only to clean the skin but also increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin, and suppress pigmentation. If patients do not use excellent quality products, then they are only doing half the job.’
What type of skincare is recommended after tweakments?
‘The focus should be on products that will calm and soothe the skin,’ says Dr Hall. Luckily, ‘more and more products are being designed specifically for use post-procedure. These are often formulated with antimicrobials to avoid infection, arnica to help with bruising, lipopeptides to restore the skin barrier, and potent actives to boost your results.’
‘To make sure you’re using gentle products that won’t irritate or harm your skin after your procedure, you can also look for skincare products labelled as non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, and fragrance-free,’ says Dr Maybury. ‘These formulas will be gentlest on sensitive, post-tweakment skin while still providing nourishment and hydration as it heals.’
How to build a post-tweakment skincare routine
Step one: healing balms
Take inspiration from what your practitioner uses in clinic to help prevent bruising and reduce inflammation. ‘At the Taktouk clinic, we always apply Teoxane Post-Procedure Balm – a product specifically developed for use after aesthetic treatments,’ reveals Dr Hall.
The at-home option is Teoxane’s The Deep Repair Balm, which contains arnica to help with bruising, and a patented form of hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrates the skin. Teoxane 3D Lip is also recommended after lip fillers by Dr Saleena Zimri, a doctor at Skin Doctor Clinics, as it keeps lips soft and reduces the risk of lumps.
Step two: gentle cleansers and mists
Using a gentle cleanser after your tweakment will avoid any further disruption of your skin barrier. This is especially important after a resurfacing procedure, such as laser, microdermabrasion or microneedling, ‘as in the weeks following procedures which strip the top layer of the skin, your skin is more sensitive than usual,’ says Dr Maybury. She recommends a glycerin or squalene-based cleanser to really hydrate your face, such Dermatica’s Caring Squalane Cream Cleanser.
Another great option for post-tweakment is an antimicrobial face-cleansing spray, such as Clinisoothe, as recommended by Dr Hall. The multi-tasking product protects against bacteria and pollutants, helps soothe acne and rosacea-prone skin, and comes in a spray to limit how much you need to touch your face as it heals.
Step three: nourishing moisturisers
‘Locking in skin hydration can help accelerate wound healing,’ says Dr Maryam Zamani, and ‘for those who have undergone resurfacing treatments like CO2 laser especially, the skin may feel very dry and tight, so you will want to moisturise often,’ agrees Dr Hall.
Depending on the consistency you prefer, both doctors recommend Cicaplast B5 by La Roche Posay, as well as Eucerin Aquaphor, which are excellent emollients. Dr Hall also loves Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair to promote healing, and Dr Zamani recommends her MZ Skin The Rich Moisturiser for a really replenishing skin treat. Ingredients-wise, also look out for B5, which has hydrating, and wound-healing properties. You can find it in Dermatica’s Hydrating Hyaluronic acid + Vit B5 serum.
Step four: Sunscreen
‘SPF is an extremely important part of all skincare routines, and in particular after treatments when the skin barrier has been compromised,” reveals Dr Zamani. ‘If SPF is not used appropriately and diligently, there is risk of hyperpigmentation post-treatment.’ Considering this could be even tricker than your initial concern to treat, invest in one of our experts’ favourite SPFs. Dr Zamani recommends Heliocare SPF 50 or EltaMD’s Sunscreen, while Dr Hall loves La Roche Posay Anthelios Age Defence SPF 50 or, as a mineral option, Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF 50. For an SPF tested specifically post-procedure, try Skinceuticals’ Advanced Brightening UV Defence.
Step five: tinted day creams
You may be asked not to wear lots of make up after your procedure, but there are options out there, especially after injectable-treatments, if you don’t like stepping out sans-coverage. In particular, try the Skin Theory Antioxidant Tinted Day Cream with SPF 30, recommended by Ruebsaman, or Oxygentix’s Oxygenating Foundation, which aim to soothe your skin, not clog your pores.
What about skincare products to avoid?
There are also certain products you may want to cut out your routine to avoid worsening downtime. That includes ‘potential irritants, including AHAs, BHAs (salicylic acid) and fragrances, which could cause stinging and dryness on post-tweakment skin,’ advises Dr Maybury. Actives such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and ascorbic acid (potent vitamin C) should also be stopped, especially following fractional or fully ablative lasers like Moxi, Halo, Morpheus8 and CO2 devices, to reduce the risk of pigmentation and erythema issues. And, you’ll want to limit your use of facial massage, to reduce irritation, and, in the case of filler or toxin, stop injectables moving within your face.
How long to avoid them depends on the treatment: ‘Post-filler and Toxin injections you should be able to return to your normal skincare regime after 24 hours but with other treatments such as laser you need to cut back for much longer – sometimes a few weeks,’ says Dr Hall. During that time, focus on our experts’ skin-soothing recommendations instead.
For more advice and to book in, head to our practitioner guide to find the right expert for you.
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