Glycolic Acid Peels are not a spa luxury as much as they are health treatment for skin. Fine lines, dry spots, and brown marks appear as a natural sign of the body’s aging, but can be helped to achieve the skin’s natural cycle.

If an individual’s skin breaks-out with acne, it may indicate dead skin cells build-up and should be taken care of to keep the skin healthy. Someone with these signs might want to use Glycolic Acid Peels. They can be applied by a professional, but at-home kits are also available that are easy to use and have results that are satisfying.

Glycolic Acid comes from alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) that are found in natural fruits, although Glycolic Acid is derived from the sugar cane. It is known to encourage the shedding of old skin, and so offers younger looking skin to any user.

As a person gets older, their skin’s rate of natural skin cell loss and replacement slows down, the old cells gathering on the surface and causing dark or dry spots. Glycolic Acid peels dissolve the glue-like substance that keeps those dead cells stuck together and adhering to the skin’s surface. Those dead skin cells can then peel off, leaving the skin with a fresh, healthier look, and providing a more even texture and color.

There are different types of Glycolic Acid peels, ranging from 10% to 70% percentage Glycolic. Different skin types handle different amounts of acid variously, and only a dermatologist will know the best peel to start with for an individual.

Glycolic Acid peels can also be combined with other types of peel such as Salicylic Acid peels, which combat the signs of oily skin. There are also different types of Glycolic Acid peels depending on how it will be applied. The Mechanical peel treats the skin with a rotating electrical instrument that scours the skin’s surface. The Chemical peel concentrates on the superficial skin surface without the aid of a device. Also available are Glycolic Acid lotions, toners, creams and syrums.

Glycolic Acid peels work over the course of a few months of regular use, takes about 15 – 20 minutes to apply and wash, and is typically done at one to two week intervals. The strength of each peel ranges from 10 – 70% glycolic, depending on skin sensitivity and starting dosage.

Consulting a dermatologist about which of the Glycolic Acid peels to use, and at what strength glycolic to start with, is highly suggested for the individual result that is desired. During treatment, the face is first cleansed thoroughly and then the Glycolic Acid peel is applied for three minutes. It stings mildly, but that is natural and an expected part of the process. The solution is then washed off to leave a healthy, clean layer of new skin.

Treated skin may be a little pink immediately after Glycolic Acid peels. A little peeling of skin may occur over the next few days. Moisturizer or make-up can help with this initial condition. After the Glycolic Acid peel has done its revitalizing work, the result will be worth the time and effort that was put into it.

Looking for glycolic peels gone wrong, horror stories and problems? You may have read a couple of people’s bad experiences with glycolic acid facials but there’s a problem when it comes to these isolated instances. Tens of thousands of people have used glycolic acid peels without any problems and over the years I’ve come to understand why a handful of people are ranting about how a glycolic acid peel destroyed their faces when they are really over-reacting in the first place.

Many of the glycolic peel horror stories I’ve read all mentioned the same thing without fail: a redness of skin and a rawness where it hurts a little when you touch it or stretch your skin. Some complain about brown-ish blotches or scabs. Many over-react and claimed that their glycolic facial has gone really wrong. First of all, it’s important to understand the glycolic acid side effects before you go into a panic.

You WILL get red skin and brown-ish scabs or blotches. It IS a natural part of a glycolic acid peel especially if you are using a higher concentration of glycolic acid. This is inevitable because the top layers of your skin are shedding to reveal the pink-ish new skin underneath. Don’t you want new, fresh glowy skin? Then, don’t panic. Take a breath and relax, because the redness will pass with time.

Pay extra attention to these post glycolic peel tips because you want to make sure that your skin is not prevented from healing. Many people do glycolic peels and then get direct sun exposure without sunblock or they use glycolic products or makeup soon after the peel… no wonder their skin doesn’t recover and look better!

A glycolic acid peel is really quite a safe beauty procedure because its not a deep peel. Glycolic acid doesn’t penetrate deeply into the skin and the side-effects of redness are often temporary. Can one be allergic to glycolic acid? Yes, but this is quite rare. In any case there are 2 simple steps you can take to absolutely make sure that nothing will ever go wrong.

1. Do a spot test. Take a drop or two of the glycolic acid solution and apply it to one side of your cheeks, near the jawline. Just apply it on a small spot, not the whole cheek. This isn’t a highly visible area but it allows you to see how your skin will react to glycolic acid. Wait a few minutes according to the peel’s concentration and then remove the peel. Observe how your skin performs over the next 48 hours. If all is fine, you can proceed with the full glycolic facial peel.

2. Use a weaker glycolic acid concentration. If you are new to glycolic acid peels, don’t jump right in and start using glycolic peels of 50 to 70%. Your skin isn’t ready for such a high concentration. Start low at around 15% and then slowly build up resistance. Your skin will thank you for your caution.

If you follow these two steps, there’s literally no chance that you will have a horrible experience with glycolic peels. To be absolutely honest, glycolic acid peels are extremely safe even when you do them at home by your self. But if you still do not feel confident with doing at home glycolic peels, you can visit a qualified and well-rated dermatologist. Just bear in mind that its likely to be a lot more costlier.

To sum up, glycolic peel horror stories are mostly over-reactions by first-timer peelers and in the rare case that a glycolic peel does cause adverse reactions, it’s because of an inherent hyper-sensitivity to glycolic acid. This is something you can avoid with a spot test and weaker glycolic acid concentration.

So fear not and don’t worry about using glycolic acid peels!

After you’ve performed a glycolic peel, you want to take care of your skin because its especially fragile at the moment. The old skin has been burned by the chemicals and are in the process of shedding to remove a new layer of fresh skin. How you look after your complexion at this stage is very important not only for post-peel recovery but for getting the maximum effects of your glycolic peel.

Here are some of the common recommendations often given by professional dermatologists when it comes to post glycolic peel care:

  • Avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen. For 48 hours after a peel, try to avoid direct exposure to the sun as much as possible. And always use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher if you’re heading outdoors and one that’s SPF 15+ if you’re staying indoors.
  • Don’t use make-up immediately after a peel. You don’t want to add layers of foundation or powder on your skin right after you’ve done a peel. Give it some rest and if you have to, apply light make-up a day after the peel. This is why for deep peels, its recommended to do them at night or near the weekends so you have time to rest your skin.
  • Don’t sweat or exercise for 12 hours after a peel. This is commonly recommended because excessive sweating may cause itchiness of your skin and you don’t want to over-stress your skin by getting it dirty and sweaty through exercise. After 12 hours, exercise should not be a problem.
  • Avoid using AHA/BHA or Retinol products. For at least a day after a glycolic peel, you should not use any glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid creams/lotions. Don’t use any retinoid based treatments like Retin-A, Differin, Tazorac as well. You should also avoid using topical acne medication like benzoyl peroxide if possible. You can resume your treatments after 24 hours or longer if you feel as if your skin is still raw and needs more rest.
  • Don’t shave. Don’t shave any area where a peel has been applied at least until 24 hours has passed. You don’t want to irritate the skin, especially when the old layers of skin are hardening to drop off from your body or face. You can resuming shaving afterwards but be very gentle.
  • Moisturize. To avoid excessive flakiness and dryness of the skin after a glycolic peel, you may want to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer. A botanical healing oil like arghan, emu, jojoba or rosehip oil are what some other people to use as moisturizers although they may not be appropriate if you have acne prone skin. It’s best to use a simple moisturizer with no added fragrance. Cetaphil is a brand that offers dermatologist-approved moisturizers.

If you follow all these tips, your skin should heal quite well after a glycolic peel and you’ll definitely see great results. As always, if you have any other concerns, you may want to consult a qualified professional like a dermatologist or physician.

Post glycolic peel care is pretty simple, just make sure that you really abide by all the rules mentioned above!

Why do we get dark circles under our eyes? They are a result of several causes such as excessive pigmentation which may be hereditary or it may be a case of melasma, which is particularly prominent in pregnant women and women who take oral contraceptives or undergo hormone replacement therapy The reduction in the amount of soft tissue may also result in dark eye shadows.

Will glycolic acid peels help dark eye circles? It really depends on your skin. If your dark eye shadows are the result of sun-exposure or melasma, glycolic acid and salicylic acid may be used to treat the under-eye area. A Jessner’s peel (which is a mixture of glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid) may also be used.

They will help to reduce the amount of pigmentation and improve the rate of collagen production. However this should be used alongside common practices like getting sufficient rest, using the right moisturizers and using sun protection, especially sunscreen with elements like titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide.

The under eye area is rather sensitive because your skin tends to be much thinner there. As a result you are not advised to use high concentration glycolic peels or chemical peels for dark eye circle treatment. This also depends on your overall skin tone. If you have dark skin, it is not advised that you use glycolic peels for undereye circles as it may cause hyperpigmentation problems.

Generally, you might want to consider using glycolic lotions or creams specifically designed for dark eye rings instead. This is a much less invasive attempt to get rid of dark eye rings and may work better in the long run.

Stretch marks are caused by a rapid stretching of your skin and is often the result of rapid growth, pregnancy weight gain or weight loss. There are two main types of stretch marks: the reddish or purple lines or the common white-ish marks, which are old stretch marks.

Stretch marks are developed in the dermis, the middle layer of your skin and many people recommend the use of moisturizers and oils such as vitamin E. Cocoa butter is also a good moisturizer that may work. However, not many studies have shown that they really work to remove stretchmarks. And even if they do help, they generally take a very long time to show positive effects.

Can glycolic acid peels work for stretch marks? The answer is yes, they can help a great deal in removing stretch marks because they exfoliate your layer of skin and encourage the production of new collagen. However, you should know that glycolic peels for stretch marks work best when your stretch marks are new.

This means they work most effectively when your stretch marks are red or purple. After three or four peels you will notice a change in their color and shape or length. It’s quite useful to combine this with an over-the-counter glycolic creams or lotions like the Neostrata glycolic creams. The Ultra Smoothing lotion with 8% glycolic acid and 2% citric acid is a popular option that works.

Using glycolic peels for stretch marks can be rather costly in the long run because you need to perform repeated treatments. However, you can greatly minimize the cost by performing these glycolic peels at home yourself. Just buy a bottle of glycolic peel solution that’s 35% or more and apply the peel yourself on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Generally you can use a stronger concentration of glycolic peels for your stretch marks because the skin on your body is tougher and less sensitive. However if you have dark skin it is advisable to not use a deep or high-level glycolic peel because it may cause hyperpigmentation problems. You may want to stick to glycolic creams and lotions if this is the case.

How about old white stretch marks on your body? They can be removed with a combination of glycolic acid peels and a topical retinoid. The retinol can be used at night and the glycolic peel in the daytime. You can also combine a glycolic acid peel with copper peptides which are excellent for remodeling your skin. A simple regime of glycolic peels with copper peptides can even remove stretch marks that are over 10 years old.

But don’t expect immediate results. You may see slight improvements from day to day but to completely get rid of stretch marks involves a beauty regime of at least 6 months to a few years. If you want a much faster but more invasive/expensive remedy, you may consider laser treatment for stretch marks.

All in all, glycolic peels can be used effectively to eliminate stretch marks when combined with other skin care treatments like moisturizing oils and retinoids/copper peptides. Good luck!

Can glycolic acid peels heal acne scars and prevent new acne from arising? That’s a common question asked and you can easily find a lot of articles online promoting the use of glycolic acid peels for acne. But not many of these articles actually cite information from verified tests by researchers.

We did a little research and found a controlled study on the use of both AHA peels (glycolic peels) and BHA peels (salicylic acid peels) on people with moderate to severe facial acne. Here are the results:

The study involved 20 patients with moderate to severe facial acne. Their average age was 24 years; 13 were women. Each was treated with a chemical peel every other week for six weeks…

The study found that both types of chemical peels significantly reduced acne lesions within two weeks of the first treatment… 81 percent of the sides of the face treated with beta-hydroxy acid still showed good or fair improvement in acne lesions, compared with 75 percent of the sides of the face treated with alpha-hydroxy acid.

Peels using beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA) had slightly fewer side effects and results that lasted a bit longer than did peels using alpha-hydroxy acid (or AHA), the study found. But overall, both types of treatments were similarly effective in reducing lesions caused by acne vulgaris.

Basically, this suggests that salicylic acid peels may be a better option to deal with live acne lesions because it has fewer side effects and longer lasting effects. But bear in mind that there are many factors involved which influence this test. The researchers didn’t mention this but as everyone knows, acne is caused by a wide variety of factors such as diet, lifestyle, hormones, hygiene and stress levels. Several of these factors may have contributed to the occurrence of acne in several test subjects. It is also useful to note that glycolic peel side effects are roughly the same as salicylic acid, both induce redness and peeling.

But generally, the recommendation given is sound and goes along with the popular experiences of thousands of individuals who have done both BHA and AHA peels. Our recommendation is simple: if you have acne bumps and lesions on your face right now, you should use a salicylic acid peel to unclog your pores and heal the acne lesions faster.

If your skin is generally smooth or flat but you have acne marks or scars, you should use a glycolic acid peel to remove the top layers of your skin and promote new skin renewal. Glycolic acid peels are best used when you don’t have any live acne or pimples on your skin and all you have are scars or hyperpigmentation marks that you want to get rid of.

Glycolic acid penetrates the epidermis much more than salicylic acid and is a great way to remove acne scars especially if they are new and fresh. High levels glycolic peels of 50 to 70% can really make a huge difference in your skin tone but remember, you need to work up to them slowly. If you’re interested in getting rid of acne marks or scars, glycolic peels are a great place to start. Start doing them regularly on a weekly or fortnightly basis and you’ll definitely see results.

Most general dermatologists and physicians do not recommend doing glycolic acid peels during pregnancy because of possible negative effects on the embryo. The issue of main concern is that the chemicals may be absorbed through your skin and will affect the growth of your baby.

There also has not been any tests on pregnant women so it is difficult to ascertain if glycolic peels are harmless during pregnancy. However, there are some doctors who have said that glycolic or other AHA peels like lactic acid are relatively harmless and can be used during pregnancy. However, you should not do a deep glycolic peel and must only stick to low level concentrations. BHA peels like salicylic acid should however, be avoided.

During pregnancy, it is normal for many women to develop acne or the so-called ‘mask of pregnancy’ where the melanocytes in the skin are activated, thus causing melasma, which is a tan or skin discoloration with dark irregular patches. This melasma actually increases the risk of inflammatory hyperpigmentation after one does a glycolic peel, which is another reason why it is recommended to avoid glycolic peels during pregnancy or just use very low-level glycolic peels for a general skin refresher.

You want to avoid having any hyperpigmentation problems during pregnancy because you will be unable to use bleaching agents like hydroquinone to heal rapidly. You can only use these chemicals after birth, which may be a few months later. Generally, try avoiding high-concentration glycolic peels. If you must do them, do a low-level peel (20% maximum) once every 2 weeks or so.

Or you may want to stick to less harsh products like glycolic lotions and glycolic creams. Some of the Neostrata glycolic lotions are very light-weight and not strong enough to cause any negative issues.

Do glycolic acid peels really work? And to what extent do they help to change your skin’s appearance? These glycolic peel before and after pictures will give you a rough idea of how much glycolic acid peels can help you. Do bear in mind that some of the people in these pictures may have done several sessions of glycolic peels regularly or have underwent glycolic peels of higher concentrations. General peels that are 50% and above will give you faster and more noticeable results although low-level peels of 20% every week can solve most superficial skin problems. High level glycolic acid peels should be used for more severe problems like long-time acne scars or marks.

Without further ago, here are the before and after photos of people who have underwent glycolic acid peels.

This first picture shows the effects of a 40% glycolic acid peel.





And lastly, the effects of glycolic peels on aging skin and melasma/hyperpigmentation can be seen in the before and after picture below.



When we come across any more glycolic peels before and after pictures, we’ll be sure to post them on this page. We hope this proves to you the power and abilities of glycolic peels for rejuvenating your skin. If you’re still in doubt, you should try them for yourself. The benefits are often visible instantenously and you’ll love your new skin!

What are the side effects of glycolic acid peels? This is something you know well before you proceed to do your first peel. Glycolic acid side effects are in fact rather minimal. The only obvious side effect you’ll notice is a redness of the skin and prominent peeling. Certain spots on your face may turn brown for a few days and your skin may feel scaly or rough. This is normal and the brown spots are just dead skin waiting to drop off your face. They will go away as your skin peels naturally over the course of a few days to a week and new, pinkish skin will take their place.

Can someone be allergic to glycolic acid? And if so, how can you tell if you are allergic? Glycolic acid is not a very harsh chemical agent but in very rare cases, some people will not see good results with it. It is well documented that people with darker brown to black skin may suffer from hyper-pigmentation problems when using high concentrations of glycolic acid. This means that after the peel, they will notice a lighter skin tone or shade on certain areas of their skin but not the whole face. This may eventually go away over time although it may be an embarrassing problem.

If you don’t have dark skin, it is quite unlikely that you will see a negative side effect from glycolic acid, unless you are using a really strong glycolic peel (50% and above). You need to gradually get used to glycolic acid peels by starting with a low concentration and slowly working up. Dryness of skin may eventually result if you are doing glycolic peels too frequently, such as on a daily basis.

Glycolic peels at low concentrations can be done once a week and high concentration glycolic peels (50% and above) can be done once a fortnight for a series of 6 peels and then once a month for overall skin maintenance. DO NOT overdo glycolic acid peels. You need to let the skin rest as much as possible after a peel. Avoid putting any new makeup or facial products that you haven’t tried and tested before after a peel as this might aggravate your skin as well.

All in all, I highly recommend that you do a spot test on your neck or a side of your cheek before doing a full glycolic peel. This will easily help determine how the peels may work for you and avoid any unnecessary complications. When in doubt, visit a trained doctor and have him/her administer the peel for you. While glycolic acid peels side effects are nothing serious, its always better to be safe than sorry!

Neostrata is Canada’s leading dermatological line that offers the best of science and nature to combat signs of aging and treat problematic skin. Available in drugstores, they are the only brand that carries the highest percentage of glycolic acid peel (20%) that you can get over the counter. Neostrata also has a whole line of glycolic acid products from lotions to moisturizers for many different skin types and concentrations.

NeoStrata’s Skin Renewal Peel Solution is a home chemical peel is a entry level range of glycolic acid at 20%. With this product, you can see the results within 2-3 session. Skin is refined and acne scars begins to fade faster as well. When used regularly, it can help stop wrinkles from forming and reduced the significance of existing ones. There isn’t a need for a neutralizer for this gentle peel. Just rinse off and follow up with a light moisturizer such as Neostrata’s moisture infusion cream made specifically for sensitive skin types.

Neostrata’s Exfoliating Line has their trademark Amphoteric System™ which time-releases the glycolic acid for maximum comfort. The Exfoliating line consists of levels 1, 2 and 3. Level 1 is for beginners of glycolic acid or with sensitive skin (with glycolic acid 4%). Level 2 is for people with some experience of glycolic acid with a slightly higher concentration (with glycolic acid 8%). Level 3 is for advanced users with the highest concentration or people of combination or oily skin types (with glycolic acid 10%).

It is recommended that users of glycolic acid proceed in a step by step manner in order to let your skin to get accustomed to higher levels of exfoliation, thus minimizing irritation and redness. Their Daytime Smoothing Cream is made specifically for all skin types to help even out and brighten skin tone with their and SPF 15 for some sun protection during the day. There is also an Oil-Free version of the Daytime Smoothing Cream for oily skin types. Smoothing Cream Levels 1, 2, 3 are to without SPF as they are made for night time usage.

Within the Neostrata Exfoliating Line is the eye cream, mask and body lotion. Their Eye Contour Smoothing Cream boosts moisturizing and exfoliating agents such as 4% gluconolactone to gently exfoliate the eye area. Smoothing Cleansing Mask has a high concentration of 10% glycolic acid to improve skin tone and elasticity as it unclogs pores and while it deep cleanses. NeoStrata’s Body Smoothing Lotion has a high concentration of glycolic acid at 10% to provide maximum exfoliating results for large patches of skin all throughout your body. This lotion minimizes unsightly in-grown hair and makes skin softer, smoother and more supple.

Neostrata’s Acne Care line consists of Toning Solution Level 1 and 2 as well as their moisturizer and blemish spot gel. This whole line is formulated with glycolic acid with tested consistency and produces brilliant results for controlling acne as well as minimizing pore size and loosening blackheads. Unlike the 20% home peel, these products are mend to be left on the skin for a long period of time (about 6-8 hours) for treatment of acne-prone skin.

Acne Care Toning Solution Level 1 has a concentration of 8% glycolic acid which provides a basic level of exfoliation. Toning Solution Level 2 has a heady mix of both AHA and BHA worlds with 10% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid. The combination of glycolic acid and salicylic acid supports one another as they each penetrate different levels of the skin shaft. This gives the added benefit of glycolic acid which stimulates collagen growth for scar healing while salicylic acid targets blackheads and live acne on the outer skin layer.

Acne Care Toning Solution Level 1 is perfect for new users of glycolic acid and people with mild acne. Once beginners have built their skin tolerance up a notch, or if they find they would like a stronger exfoliating process, they can move on to Level 2. Toning Solution Level 2 is an immaculate match for people with a moderate to bad acne or with suffering from both acne and blackheads as it has additional salicylic acid.

Neostrata’s Blemish Spot Gel has a more coagulant consistency to treat targeted acne spots as it is applied. It has 5% glycolic acid plus 2% salicylic acid. This solution is best applied after the toning solution has been absorbed on live acne or pimples. The added layer of glycolic and salicylic acid will provide further exfoliation and prevent pore from clogging up again on those troubled areas. This gel is also a good way to keep the oilies at bay, especially at the T-zone for people with combination skin.

Neostrata is a trusted brand name with high quality products. These products not only help with troubled skin, they also take a few years off your age as glycolic acid effectively exfoliates and renews your skin. Try their impressive range of products in accordance to their recommended skin-care regime for layering products religiously. You will definitely see spectacular results within weeks of use.

Salicylic Acid Peels – How Do They Work?

June 18, 2010

Salicylic acid peels are made with a high concentration of beta hydroxy acid is biosythesized from the amino acid phenylalanine, a compound found within the bark of the willow tree…

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