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What is a Glycolic Acid Peel?

Chemical Facial Peel

A glycolic peel is an alpha-hydroxy-acid peel that permeates and removes the top layers of skin. This will cause a huge increase in collagen and elastin as the skin heals. This can help remove wrinkles, sun damage, acne scarring, and other imperfections found on the top layers of the epidermis.

The Glycolic acid peel is classified as a medium strength peel, and causes sloughing, or the shedding of dead skin, about 4-5 days after. Following are the issues related to a Glycolic chemical peel. A series of 3 glycolic peels placed one month apart will yield far greater effects than a single treatment. As a glycolic peel is considered medium strength, they should only be done at a dermatologists or licensed medical spa.

Process of a Glycolic Acid Peel

The esthetician will first clean the face of dirt, oil, and makeup before applying the chemical solution to the face for duration of 4-6 minutes. The glycolic acid peel comes in varying strengths, with 30-40% being the strength most often used for peel treatments. The acid permeates the skin, reaching the desired number of layers before being removed and neutralized by the esthetician.

Several days later, the skin will flake off. During the few days before flaking, and in the week after flaking, it is extremely important that the client stay out of the sun. High SPF Sunblock and protective hats and eye wear must be worn because the “new” skin is especially susceptible to sun damage and sunburn. Glycolic acid peels may burn significantly because they penetrate and remove a deeper layer of skin than weaker “superficial” peels.

Results of a Glycolic Acid Peel

The deeper effects of this peel means that the results will be more significant that light peels, such as a lactic or salicylic acid peel. This type of peel, however, still does not compare to the skin rejuvenating effects of a deep peel. This peel however, especially when done repeatedly, will aid in fixing a number of skin problems. Small wrinkles, dark spots, and acne post-hyperpigmentation are some of the skin conditions found on the layers of skin that this treatment is applied to. The freshly revealed skin is tighter and more elastic- it is also smoother in texture.

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