Even during your post-operative recovery from a cosmetic surgery procedure, you want to look and feel your best — and that generally includes your favorite perfumed lotion or signature lipstick color. But, will your favorite cosmetics hinder your recovery?
The short answer is: It all depends on your procedure.
Lotions and Perfumes After Breast Augmentation
Patients who undergo breast augmentation surgery can expect to be able to wear their favorite lotions soon after their procedures — so long as they are careful not to get any product on the healing areas of the skin.
“We place tape over the incision area, so our patients can begin using lotions after surgery, so long as they are careful of the tape,” says Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, a spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “If we go through the armpit area, we generally ask them to use roll-on deodorant for a week after the procedure.”
Additionally, says Alan Matarasso, MD, FACS, another spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, many patients are given an ointment for the scar once the stitches are removed, which generally happens about a week after surgery.
“Once the scar starts to mature,” he says, “you can treat it like the skin around it.”
Makeup After Facial Procedures
Facelifts, eyelid lifts, rhinoplasty and injections are among the most common procedures that patients request from their facial plastic surgeons. These surgeries are common for patients who simply want a fresher look, or a look that more closely represents how they feel inside.
Naturally, patients who undergo these procedures want to be able to enjoy their new looks — and continue to apply their favorite cosmetics — as quickly as possible after surgery. They want to get back to their active lives and look more like they feel.
After a rhinoplasty procedure, patients may be able to quickly go back to using regular cosmetics, especially if they can avoid the treatment area. However, facelift patients should ask their plastic surgeon how long they can expect to wait after the procedure before they can begin wearing cosmetics again. Recovery times can vary based on factors ranging from age to overall health.
For non-invasive procedures such as injections, patients can generally go about their daily habits without changing their cosmetic routines at all. In some cases, patients can have injections performed over a lunch break and then go back into the office looking refreshed and ready to get back to work.
However, patients who undergo intensive laser procedures or chemical peels generally need to wait a little longer to apply cosmetics to the facial areas. Those procedures can irritate the skin, and the skin should be given sufficient time to heal after they’ve been completed. You should talk with your cosmetic surgeon after a chemical peel to see when it’s safe for your skin to begin wearing cosmetics again.
Camouflaging Bruising After Cosmetic Surgery
Some patients wish to be able to camouflage minor bruising after plastic surgery. While it’s perfectly normal to want to hide unattractive bruising from a procedure, it should always be done with caution and care.
The best way to ensure the camouflaging makeup you select will not be damaging to your recovery process is to ask your cosmetic surgeon which products she would recommend specifically for patients undergoing your selected procedure. In most cases, the recommended makeup can be purchased from department or drugstores for a reasonable price.