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Glycolic Peel Treatment and My Personal Experience
Hi Dear IMBB-ians, When my marriage was fixed, I suddenly found that there were a lot of things to be taken care of with respect to the Big Day and one of my major concerns was the extremely and unevenly tanned skin I had thanks to the hot Chennai climate. I was too impatient to try the traditional but very effective anti-tanning methods like applying curd and turmeric, so I researched a bit about this and found that glycolic peel is supposed to help a lot. I tried it all, clinic, parlor and products. I hope this article will help ladies who are interested in trying out peels and wondering on how to go about it.
What is Glycolic Peel?
Glycolic peel is a type of chemical peel used to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to soften and eventually peel off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. There are several types of chemical peels like Alpha and Beta hydroxy acid peels, Jessner’s peel, Retinoic acid peel etc. Glycolic peel is again a type of Alpha hydroxy acid peel [AHA] which are are naturally occurring carboxylic acids.
AHAs are derived from fruits and are basically of 5 different types: Citric acids (citrus-derived), glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (although derived from milk, this is still considered a “fruit acid”), malic acid (derived from apples) and tartaric acid (derived from grapes). AHA is the mildest of the peel formulas and is used for treatment of mild wrinkles, dryness, pigmentation and acne.
Glycolic acid is a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk and tomato juice. This acid creates a mild exfoliating action and works by loosening and exfoliating the top layer.
I guess that’s enough about the scientific aspect of it. Now, coming to my own experience undergoing the glycolic peel, read on:
My Experience with Glycolic Peels:
Consulting a Dermatologist:
Always remember to visit a good dermatologist (emphasis on good) before you start on peels. I have had both bad and good experiences, thankfully, the final one was good. I am listing an ideal scenario here based on my experience with two doctors. For a peel, the doctor ideally cleanses your face with a mild cleanser like Cetaphil and then applies acid all over face with a sponge. Based on the skin type, it is left for 15-20 minutes and then a neutralizer is applied before washing the face with water.
No soap or cream other than a prescribed sunscreen should be used on the skin for at least 48 hours. After the peel, the skin should not be exposed to sun for at least 2-3 days, so plan accordingly and believe me, umbrellas and sunscreens don’t help if you go out in sun after the peel. So, plan to stay at home and avoid soap for 2-3 days.
Make sure you visit a reputed doctor for the peel. Ask around, Google, and if you are in a place where you have no contacts, visit the best hospital there. In my honest opinion, a good doctor is not someone who immediately starts applying things on your face but one who will test your skin, check your diet and lifestyle, your medical history and then advise you a treatment course with minimal side effects.
Tell the doctor everything you consider as reasons for pigmentation and if you have any reactions, allergies, etc. Research enough before you visit a doctor, so that you can ask informed questions. I had uneven pigmentation on my neck and the first doctor (the bad one) applied a heavier dosage there resulting in high irritation on my neck. The second doctor (the good one) asked me to test for thyroid irregularities and thyroid was the culprit after all! I then wished that I should have Googled on possible causes of neck pigmentation and ruled out this possibility. Before you start on any chemical process on your skin, make sure all other factors like lifestyle, diet, internal health, etc., are taken care of.
Ask the doctor as many questions as possible about the process, what is to be expected and what is not to be done. With my first doctor, I didn’t ask many questions and I didn’t receive much information, so I ended up going out in hot March Chennai sun immediately after the peel and my skin reacted badly and turned 2-3 shades darker!
Parlors and Salons:
Okay, I visited 3-4 parlors for peels but I was totally disappointed by the results that I went to see the dermatologist. I went to two reputed salon chains offering derma peels and the cost was also exorbitant. I tried two sittings each and couldn’t see any good result except a hole in my purse and a temporary glow from after-peel services. I later learnt that the effectiveness of peel is based on the % of glycolic acid administered and apparently only registered doctors can use the higher dosages which gives better results.
Lesson learnt? Visiting a dermatologist is better for both skin and purse!
The doctor I was consulting was in Chennai and when I went home for my marriage, I didn’t want to try another doctor, so I asked her for home remedies. She asked me to try and buy any one of the two products, so I went and got both the items, L’Oreal ReNoviste Anti-Aging Glycolic Peel Kit and Nature’s Essence Glycolic Peel Kit. I got the L’oreal one from Strawberry.net for 800 rupees and the Nature’s Essence one for 700 bucks. I don’t have them with me anymore.
Of the two, I liked Loreal better as it gave more positive and better visible results. The kit had a glycolic acid peel (the 3rd bottle from left in grey color) which was measured using a small bottle given with the pack (check the left end of the picture).
The acid was filled in the bottle till the red line marked and then was applied on face as described in the pack and was left for 15 minutes. After that, I applied the neutralizer (white bottle, second from left) using a sponge and after 5 minutes washed my face with mildly warm water. I applied the cream (last from left) at night. In two days, I could see that my skin was looking much better and clearer. The sagging skin around my neck looked firmer and tighter and my facial skin also looked younger. I couldn’t see much difference on my face regarding the tan but my face looked much brighter and that was all I wanted. This pack can be used for 4-5 times (the peel can be done only once a week, but the cream is to be applied daily at night).
Nature’s Essence pack was much more difficult to use with a 4 step process, cleaning with cleansing gel, applying the peel (in powder form) mixed with an AHA serum provided and washing it off, followed by a cream massaged over face till absorbed and then a green tea pack applied over the creamed face. My facial skin definitely tightened and gave a healthy look but I couldn’t detect any anti-mark properties, but then again, it may work differently for different people, because my friend tried this and found this working very well for her.
One fact I found was that there was absolutely no skin reactions or breakouts or irritations of any kind with both the products I had tried. I did not step into sun after the peel and applied sun creen and avoided soap like plague and found that this was working well enough for me.
For anyone planning to get peels done, I suggest the following steps:
- Research very well, consult a good doctor on your skin type and if peels are advisable (not advisable for sensitive skin, so make sure you don’t skip this part).
- Doctors and salon stylists always will suggest high dosage of acid to get fast and visible results. Though no permanent damage will happen if any reactions set in, I would suggest you ask for a mild dosage like 5-10% glycolic peel to start with to see how this works for you.
- If you have time and patience, try out the home peel kits before you visit a salon or doctor as this is definitely safer and you can see how this peel can work for you.
Hope this was useful to you all.
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