Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is the most beneficial of the Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA). A glycolic acid peel will even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles and promote a brighter complexion. Glycolic acid has also been found to be beneficial for those that suffer with psoriasis and dry itchy skin.
"Studies have shown that use of glycolic acids result in collagen growth in the upper dermis," says Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a nonsurgical skincare specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland.
How it works-this type of acid peel works on the outer layers of skin. It is really a skin resurfacing as it destroys the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together, thus these dead skin are washed away and a new skin surface is exposed.
Selecting the right product:
If the product indicates that it is 10 percent or less glycolic acid, then they are not worth the money.
The acid peel should contain a full set of instructions, pH prep, a neutralizer and an acid reducer. These provisions will ensure that you have a safe and gentle peel.
For your first home peel, start off with a 20 percent solution with a pH of 2.8-3.0. Until you know how you skin will react it is recommended to start off with a milder solution.
Lastly, look for products that are formulated n an FDA-registered laboratory that are certified/registered for 99 percent purity. Additionally the glycolic percentages and pH levels should be listed.
Tips before your peel:
A week prior to using your peel discontinue potentially skin irritating products such as Retin-A.
Always do a patch test prior to your peel. Test on your forearm to ensure you have no allergic reaction.
A facial scrub should be applied 24 hours before using a peel. Additionally a pH prep solution should be applied to prepare your skin.
When you are ready for you peel, apply to less sensitive areas first, such as the forehead, chin, and cheeks, and then to the nose, lower eyelids, and neck.
It is best advised to watch your skin rather than the clock. When the skin starts to turn pink it is time to neutralize the acid, starting with the most sensitive areas first.
Lastly, follow the manufacturer's labels to the T.
So are you ready to give yourself a chemical peel and brighten up that dull complexion? I am personally considering doing one myself but I would love to hear from anyone that has done an at home chemical peel and what products they have used!
Amazon.com has quite a few glycolic acid peels, has anyone tried any of these?
Carol Belanger, a Yahoo! Shine Beauty Guru and author of 300+ Skin Care Recipes. Check out my skin care and hair care posts on my Shine Blog or visit Complete Skin Care Therapy for some simple and fun skin care recipes, hair care recipes and informative articles.