Glycolic Acid Peel in 4 Easy Steps

by Nasreen R.

Hello ladies!!

This is my first post for IMBB and I am very very excited. I have been following this site for over a year now as my referral site for buying my beauty products.

We all experience acne at some point in our lives. Those are really blessed who have an acne free clear complexion. As for me, I happen to have acne concentrated mainly on my forehead, which is worse as it is clearly and most distinctly visible. I also have PCOS, which makes my condition more pathetic. I also have this habit of picking my acne and I so hate this.

glycolic acid peel method

I consulted a few dermatologists who prescribed me tablets and ointments. They were effective. They did reduce the scars, but the ointments were very tacky. As for the pills, taking lots of them makes me feel nauseous. And as soon as I stopped using them, pimples and ultimately scars would resurface. So after much research I thought to give aesthetic beauty treatments a try. I tried a Multispecialty Clinic. But, they were too overpriced. They charged me approximately RS.2600 for one session. So, I researched further and here I am today with my post on doing chemical peel at home.

Fruit Acid Peels or Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels:

There are many types of chemical peels available in the market like malic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid etc…. The one I am going to describe is glycolic acid peel. This is one of the most common and easy to do peels at home for clear skin and even complexion unless you are thinking of spending a fortune at the doctor’s clinic. They also generally don’t have any side effect.

glycolic acid peel method

“Glycolic acid is a part of Alpha Hydroxy Acids also known as AHAs. α-Hydroxy acids, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), are a class of chemical compounds that consist of a carboxylicacid substituted with a hydroxylgroup on the adjacent carbon. They may be either naturally occurring or synthetic. AHAs are well known for their use in the cosmetics industry. They are often found in products claiming to reduce wrinkles or the signs of aging, and improve the overall look and feel of the skin. They are also used as chemical peels.

AHAs are a group of organic carboxylic compounds. AHAs most commonly used in cosmetic applications are typically derived from food products including glycolicacid (from sugar cane), lacticacid (from sour milk), malicacid (from apples), citricacid (from citrus fruits) and tartaricacid (from grape wine). For any topical compound to be effective, including AHA, it must penetrate into the skin where it can act on living cells. Bioavailability (influenced primarily by small molecular size) is an important factor in a compound’s ability to penetrate the top layer of the skin. Glycolic acid, having the smallest molecular size, is the AHA with greatest bioavailability and penetrates the skin most easily; this largely accounts for the popularity of this product in cosmetic applications.” (ref. Wikipedia)

For understanding the effect of peeling, we must first understand that it is nothing but the removal of the outer dead and dull layer of skin. The acid basically ‘burns’, yes burns out the outer layer mildly, so that it starts shedding. And a new youthful skin appears. And that’s the reason for the reduction of age spots, fine lines and acne scars. Obviously, deeper scars have to be treated a more number of times.

glycolic acid peel method

Method Of Peeling:

I am going to tell you the method for using a 40% glycolic acid for peeling. This is of standard strength. Anything less than 30% becomes considerably less effective. Also, anything more than 50% is a high concentration, which will require to be diluted in order to be used and then it would become clumsy. So 40% is an ideal choice. 30% is also decent. I use one from Skin Obsession USA of 40% strength without diluting.

  1. Start off by cleaning your skin with an alcohol free cleanser. It is very important that you use an alcohol-free cleanser, as alcohol tends to dry out the skin.
  2. Apply a layer of the glycolic acid on your facial skin evenly using an applicator brush. You can use your normal foundation applicator. Make sure that you do not take too much time in this application process. You need to be fast. Leave this on your skin for approximately 7-10 minutes. It is highly useful that you do a patch test on your chin or on back of your ear lobe before application to decide your ideal time duration as every skin is unique. It will sting a bit, but nothing major. You can use ice bags if it irritates more. Do not keep it on for more than 10 minutes.
  3. Use a preparation of baking powder in water to remove this acid. This will neutralise the acid. Use this mixture twice to make sure that the acid is completely neutralised.
  4. Now pat dry your skin softly and apply sunscreen. Sunscreen is very important to be used regularly and more so after peeling as your new cells that will come up are more vulnerable to sun burn. So apply a high SPF sunscreen twice to thrice a day and try to minimize your sun exposure. I use Suncross Aqua gel. It is a medicated one and is sweat and water resistant and non-greasy too. Perfect for the weather of Kolkata.

This is it. Your peel is done.

glycolic acid peel method

Some Tips:

  1. Now you just need to take care of your skin.
  2. You should not use anything greasy for atleast 2 days.
  3. Don’t wash your face with facewash for at least 24 hours. Just wash it with water. Your skin may appear reddish after the peel, but it will subside in a few hours as will the stinging.
  4.  For better skin response to the peel, take vitamin C tablets. I take ENER C 1000 and it just tastes like orange juice.
  5. Your skin will tend to peel and be dry, so moisturize it as much as you can. But, remember to use a light non-greasy moisturizer, so that your pores don’t get clogged. I use Acnemoist moisturizer. You can get it from a medical store.
  6. Drink lots and lots of water. And as you know your skin is what you eat. So eat healthy.
  7. Use a mild face wash, which doesn’t dry out your skin. I use Ahaglow Facewash.

I do this peel once every 2 weeks and my skin has really improved over time. Less acne, less scars and a brighter even toned skin. It is actually very simple and helpful. Plus it is cheaper.

Hope you liked my post.

I hope to review my Skin Obsession’s 40% Glycolic Acid in my next post.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.

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11 thoughts on “Glycolic Acid Peel in 4 Easy Steps

  1. i don’t really have a problem with acne … but can it be used to remove tan?? i have a really stubborn tan(4 years old) that refuses to vanish…

  2. Thanks for the info. Would like to know where to get the glycolic solution and in the long run will there be any side effects?

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