The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Skin After Injectable Treatments

7 minutes
October 24, 2023

Whether you've decided your skin could use a touch of plumping, via a filler like Restylane, or some slight relaxing with a neuromodulator such as Botox, the first thing you'll want to do is make sure you're going to a trusted, board-certified provider to ensure you get great results and minimize your risk of complications.

Injectables have become the go-to treatment for reversing signs of aging; however, they're also notorious for leaving their temporary mark. Proper before and aftercare can help reduce telltale side effects like swelling, redness, and bruising and prolong the results of your treatment. So if you're looking to skip over those pesky post-injection blues and go straight to youthful, smooth skin, you'd be wise to follow our advice below.

What to know about injectables before you go

Anything that thins the blood, whether it’s a prescription medication or not, can make you more prone to bruising. Consult with your doctor in advance, but generally speaking, it’s a good idea to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and supplements like fish oil, vitamin E, ginger, ginseng, garlic, or St. John’s wort in the week before your procedure. Also, alcohol — so hold on the evening nightcap for a few days prior. It’s also wise to avoid these ingredients for at least 48 hours after your injections. (But again, consult with your doctor about your individual medication plan.)

How do you take care of your skin right after your appointment?

Once your dermatologist has finished your injections and you’re happy with the results, here’s what to do next:

1) Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling

You never want to put ice directly on your skin (freezer burn is real). 

2) Otherwise, keep your hands off the injection site

Unless your derm gives you specific instructions, avoid touching or massaging the area you’ve had treated for at least three days because you don’t want the material to spread into unwanted places. This means no facials, no waxing, no chemical peels, no microdermabrasion, and no other skin treatments, like microcurrent, needling, or laser hair removal. Also, assuming you’ve had your face injected, try sleeping on your back for a couple of days.

3) Don’t get overheated

Blood rushing to your face is another way to mess up your injectables. Avoid activities that will cause you to overheat for at least 24 hours post-injection. That means steering clear of strenuous workouts, saunas, steamy showers, and direct sunlight, as heat will just exacerbate swelling. 

4) Break up with makeup

Not forever – just long enough to give skin time to adjust (so, around 24 hours). 

What skincare is OK to use after injectable treatments?

Gentle is the name of the game here. The last thing you want to do is irritate already sensitive tissue because that diverts skin’s self-healing focus from your injection sites to the areas that are now inflamed by your skincare selections. That means:

  • Arnica gel: This plant has long been used topically to reduce bruising. Apply a gel formulation up to three times daily for seven days on injected areas to help minimize the chance of any bruise development.

  • Reparative serums: Right now, your skin needs topical treatments that help hydrate and nurture it while boosting its ability to self-heal. Our Dr. Dennis Gross DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum is formulated with four molecular weights of hyaluronic acid for hydration throughout skin’s different layers, plus antioxidant ectoin, which calms irritation. And our new Dr. Dennis Gross DermInfusions Plump + Repair Lip Treatment contains those same ingredients, plus additional skin-soothing antioxidants bisabolol and centella asiatica for even more repair and protection.

What skincare should you avoid after injectable treatments?

Anything described as “active.” The last thing you want to do is give your skin more work to do by exposing it to stimulating ingredients. So skip retinols, alpha or beta hydroxy acids, and vitamin C for at least four days after your in-office injections. Same goes for skincare tools, like jade or quartz rollers and gua sha stones.

Learn More About Skincare From Dr. Dennis Gross

For more skincare tips from the experts at Dr. Dennis Gross, check out our blog’s newest content today. Shop the collection of Dr. Dennis Gross bestselling skincare, including our new DermInfusions technology now available.

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