Glycolic Acid Peel
Over the last ten years, the glycolic peel has become a very popular skin treatment. In fact, the glycolic peel is one of the most commonly used chemical peels today. Using low concentration glycolic acid peels usually leave no side effects and is relatively safe to use.
The process of using the peel is quite simple. A chemical solution, made up of glycolic acid and other components is applied to your skin. This skin treatment causes your outer layer of skin to eventually blister and fall off, revealing the fresh and regenerated skin below. After using a glycolic peel, your skin may turn reddish and become more sensitive to sunlight so it is advisable to stay indoors until the skin completely heals. After a brief period of time, however, you can go out in the sun just as you were accustomed to.
Glycolic acid peels are usually available in concentrations from 10% to 90%. The higher the concentration, the more the skin peels. Picking the right concentration depends on many things such as what the peel is used for, skin type and general responsiveness towards peel and therefore it is best to consult a specialist first.
Benefits of a Glycolic Peel
Because glycolic acid is one of the weaker acids in its class, it provides you with a very light peel that can help you deal with acne, dry skin, wrinkles and sun damage. Because of its classification as a “low grade peel”, it can usually be self-applied and is therefore popular amongst teenagers today. In addition to being relatively quick, easy and non-invasive, a glycolic peel is also very effective. Rather than changing or damaging your skin, it merely facilitates the process of removing dead skin cells. As a result, collagen and elastin production is stimulated. These two components are two of the leading contributors to healthy, young-looking skin.
Diminish Scarring – Depending on the depth of your scarring, glycolic peels can be very beneficial in diminishing or even eliminating the visible signs of scars.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines – There are a variety of options when it comes to treating fine lines and wrinkles with a glycolic peel. You can choose treatments ranging from superficial to deep in order to help reduce the visibility of these signs of age.
Reduce Pigmentation and Sun Damage – Whether your skin has recently been damaged by sun, or you have freckles or other undesired pigmentation, you can benefit from a glycolic peel. That being said, the effectiveness in this area depends on factors such as skin color and skin type. People with darker skin usually need to use the peel several times with a few weeks break in between to achieve noticeable results
Glycolic Peel Side Effects
Although a glycolic peel is widely regarded as safe, there are some side effects that are experienced, depending on the frequency of usage and the concentration of the peel used. Depending on your situation, you may experience some of the following side effects:
Redness – Redness is typically experienced in people who have light colored skin. This usually only lasts a couple days, and is not long term.
Discomfort – One of the most common side effects of a glycolic peel is stinging. This is completely normal, and should not be a cause for alarm. There may also be light swelling. This should all diminish in a few days.
Flaky Skin – Flaking skin is perfectly normal, and can actually be seen as a sign that the peel is working. After all, the purpose of a glycolic peel is to remove the outer layer of dead skin.
Dry Skin – If you have dry skin after a peel, do not be alarmed. This very common side effect can be managed by applying a light moisturizer to help reduce any discomfort that you may have.
Scarring – Although it is not very common, it is possible to scar as a result of a glycolic peel. Because a glycolic peel is one of the mildest chemical peels available, this is not likely. If you feel that you have any visible scarring, talk with your provider immediately.
To be safe, always have a glycolic peel administered by someone with extensive experience with chemical peels. A low concentration glycolic peel can be performed by an esthetician whereas higher concentrations must always be performed by a physician.
There is a reason that the glycolic peel has become so popular over the last several years. Because it can provide quick, convenient and completely non-invasive improvements to your physical appearance, it has become a favorite amongst many.