Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How To Neutralize A Chemical Peel With Baking Soda

Chemical peels are a popular cosmetic treatment used to improve the appearance of the skin. They work by applying a chemical solution to the skin, which causes the outermost layers to peel off, revealing fresh, new skin underneath. While chemical peels can be highly effective in treating various skin concerns, it is essential to know how to neutralize them properly to avoid any adverse effects. In this article, we will explore different methods to neutralize a chemical peel at home and provide insights into the recovery process.

Before delving into the process of neutralizing a chemical peel, let’s briefly understand what chemical peels are and why they are used. Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, typically the face, to remove dead skin cells, reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and address pigmentation issues. They come in different strengths, including superficial, medium, and deep peels, each targeting specific skin concerns.

Why baking soda shouldn’t be used to wash your face

There are quite a few reasons baking soda should never be put on your face. Including:

Too basic

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is most commonly used to relieve heartburn because it’s a basic chemical that helps to neutralize acid. This can happen on the skin as well. While dermatologists sometimes use baking soda to neutralize a chemical peel in the office, it’s generally too basic for an overall wash, especially if used frequently.

Healthy skin is slightly acidic. This acid mantle helps form a protective barrier, and it’s important for overall skin health. Washing with baking soda can remove the skin’s protective oil barrier, alter its pH, and disrupt the natural bacteria on the surface that help to prevent infection and acne. This can leave you with stripped skin that’s prone to infection and breakouts.


While it’s generally not harmful, baking soda can irritate the skin. Most people don’t know they are sensitive to baking soda until they start applying it directly to their skin. It’s notorious for causing armpit rashes, redness, and burning for some people when used in homemade or natural deodorants.

If you do react to baking soda, avoid baking soda products and use a fragrance-free moisturizing lotion until the irritation clears.

Overly exfoliating

Proper exfoliation can even out skin tone and make your skin look better, but it’s also very easy to get too much of a good thing. Over-exfoliating can cause redness, breakouts, burning, and dry skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends giving your skin plenty of time between exfoliation treatments to prevent irritation or avoiding it altogether if you have sensitive skin.

Much like a salt or sugar scrub, baking soda acts as a physical exfoliator when made into a paste or not fully dissolved in water. Exfoliating can be useful, but exfoliating day and night, like you would if you washed with baking soda, isn’t recommended.

How Do You Neutralize a Chemical Peel at Home?

Neutralizing a chemical peel is crucial to ensure the treatment does not overstay its welcome on your skin. The chemical solution used in peels is acidic and designed to exfoliate the skin. If left on for too long, it can lead to skin irritation, redness, and even burns. Neutralization stops the peel’s activity and restores the skin’s pH balance, minimizing the risk of any adverse reactions.

Neutralizing a chemical peel at home is a simple process that requires specific ingredients and careful application. Let’s explore some effective methods for neutralizing a chemical peel:

1. Baking Soda and Water

One popular method for neutralizing a chemical peel at home is by using a mixture of baking soda and water. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline substance that helps balance the skin’s pH level.

How to neutralize a chemical peel with baking soda:

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup of cool water.
  2. Gently apply the mixture to your skin using a soft cloth or cotton pad.
  3. Leave it on for a few minutes to allow the baking soda to neutralize the peel.
  4. Rinse your face with cool water and pat it dry with a clean towel.

2. Neutralizing Solution

Many professional-grade chemical peels come with a neutralizing solution. This solution is specifically formulated to stop the peel’s action and restore the skin’s pH balance. If you have undergone a chemical peel treatment at home using a professional-grade product, follow the instructions provided and apply the neutralizing solution as directed.

3. Cold Water Rinse

In the absence of baking soda or a neutralizing solution, a simple cold water rinse can also help neutralize a chemical peel. Cold water helps soothe the skin and close the pores, providing relief and minimizing the peel’s effects.

How to neutralize a chemical peel with a cold water rinse:

  1. Splash your face with cold water immediately after the peel application.
  2. Continue rinsing your face with cold water for several minutes.
  3. Pat your skin dry gently with a clean towel.

Remember, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided with your specific chemical peel product or consult a dermatologist for personalized guidance on neutralization.

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What Is the Most Common Neutralizer?

After a chemical peel, a neutralizer is used to balance the pH of the skin and stop the peeling process. The most common neutralizer used in chemical peels is sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate helps neutralize the acidic solution applied during the peel and restores the skin’s natural pH level.

The duration for which the neutralizer should stay on varies depending on the type and depth of the chemical peel. Typically, it is recommended to leave the neutralizer on the skin for around 2-5 minutes. However, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by your dermatologist or skincare professional, as they may suggest a different time frame based on your specific peel.

The most commonly used neutralizer in chemical peels is a solution containing sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline compound that helps counteract the acidity of the chemical peel solution. By restoring the skin’s natural pH, the neutralizer promotes healing and soothes the skin after the peel.

The main ingredient in a neutralizer used for chemical peels is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). This compound, commonly known as baking soda, is a white crystalline powder that acts as a buffer to neutralize the acidity of the chemical peel solution. Sodium bicarbonate is widely used in various skincare products due to its gentle nature and pH-balancing properties.

What Two Important Functions Are Performed by the Neutralization Process?

The neutralization process in chemical peels serves two crucial functions:

  1. pH Balancing: The neutralizer helps restore the skin’s natural pH level, which may have been altered by the acidic chemical peel solution. Balancing the pH is essential for skin health and proper functioning.
  2. Stopping the Peeling Process: The neutralizer stops the peeling process initiated by the chemical peel solution. It prevents overexfoliation and allows the skin to begin the healing and regeneration process.

How Do You Calm Down a Chemical Peel?

After undergoing a chemical peel, it is common to experience some discomfort, redness, and sensitivity. Here are some tips to help calm down a chemical peel and promote healing:

1. Apply a Soothing Moisturizer

Using a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer can help calm and hydrate your skin after a chemical peel. Look for products that contain soothing ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile.

2. Avoid Sun Exposure

Protecting your skin from the sun is crucial after a chemical peel. The newly revealed skin is more susceptible to damage from UV rays. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and limit your sun exposure, especially during peak hours.

3. Avoid Harsh Skincare Products

During the recovery phase, avoid using harsh skincare products that may irritate your skin further. Opt for gentle cleansers, avoid exfoliating products, and refrain from using retinol or acidic ingredients until your skin has fully healed.

4. Apply Cold Compresses

If you experience significant redness or discomfort, applying cold compresses can provide relief. Wrap an ice pack or a clean, damp cloth in a plastic bag and apply it gently to the affected areas for short intervals.

What Is the Neutralizing Agent for Chemical Peels?

The neutralizing agent for chemical peels depends on the type of peel and the brand of the product being used. Many professional-grade chemical peels come with a specifically formulated neutralizing solution. These solutions are designed to stop the peel’s action and restore the skin’s pH balance effectively.

When using a chemical peel at home, always follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer. If a neutralizing agent is recommended or included, ensure you use it as directed to neutralize the peel effectively.

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Can Water Neutralize a Chemical Peel?

Water alone may not be sufficient to neutralize a chemical peel effectively. The chemical solution used in peels is usually acidic, and water alone may not be able to balance the skin’s pH level adequately.

However, rinsing your skin with cold water can help soothe the skin and provide temporary relief after a peel. It is essential to follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer and use the recommended neutralizing agent or method for optimal results.

If you don’t use a neutralizer after a chemical peel, the chemical solution will continue to penetrate and exfoliate the skin. This prolonged exposure can lead to skin irritation, redness, and potential burns.

Using a neutralizer is crucial to stop the peel’s activity and restore the skin’s pH balance. Neutralization minimizes the risk of adverse reactions and promotes a safe and effective treatment.

The duration of a chemical peel depends on various factors, including the type of peel, its strength, and individual skin characteristics. Superficial peels may stop within a few minutes, while deeper peels can take up to an hour or longer.

It is essential to follow the instructions provided with the specific chemical peel product you are using. The instructions will guide you on how long to leave the peel on before neutralizing or rinsing it off.

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