How to Perform Glycolic Acid Peels at Home

Glycolic acid is famous for renewing and refining skin as it acts a a stimulant for collagen production and exfoliation. It is also perfect for acne sufferers in sebum control and oil production as well as getting rid of post acne scars fast. Glycolic acid also makes a good anti-wrinkle treatment when used in a period of a few months.

Glycolic treatments can be done easily at the leisure of your own home and can be purchased at the drugstores or higher percentage peels (30%-70%) online. Glycolic acid peels at stronger percentages are ideal for post acne scarring as they have stronger exfoliating properties. People who are new to Glycolic acid should start with lower percentages such as 10%-20% and work their way up to higher percentages gradually. Jumping into higher concentrations can do more harm than good to your skin as your skin needs to time to adjust to the higher percentages of acidity.

To do a glycolic peel at home, just follow these 5 easy steps:

  • First cleanse your face thoroughly.
  • Take a few drops of glycolic acid and drop it on a cotton pad. Pat the acid-laced pad onto your face gently in fast dabbing motion. Try not to rub it into your skin. There will be a tingling sensation when it is first applied.
  • Set a timer accordingly to peel manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure not to over exceed the time limit, as you should build skin tolerance gradually.
  • When the time is up, wash your face with a neutralizer or you can make you own beforehand with water and baking soda.
  • Pat your face dry and follow up with a fragrance-free moisturizer. Skip the toner after a home peel as toners usually have astringent or mildly irritating properties. Or use your own homemade rosewater toner.

Important Note: Remember to use a sunscreen of 35 SPF or higher in the daytime and reapply the sunscreen if you are outdoors for longer periods of time.

Sun protection is crucial as blocking out the UV rays will prevent your newly exposed layer of skin from sun damage. Beware that there might be skin reactions such as stinging, scabbing, irritation and red patches during the course of the peel. Be sure to use a mild and non-irritating toner and moisturizer a few days before and after a peel is done. Store your glycolic acid in a cool, dry area away from the sun as the sun will oxidize the solution.

Oily and acne prone skin types will greatly benefit from 30-70% strength non-buffered glycolic acid. However, do take note such peels might not be good for darker skin types. Be sure to consult a physician or a dermatologist if you have darker skin tone before trying the peels out. There should be a wait time of 1 week (for milder peels such as 20-30%). There is a longer down time of a month for harsher peels (50- 70%) for the first try. Do a series of 4-6 treatments and you will see a remarkable difference in skin texture, pore size, scar color and wrinkles. Just remember to lather sunscreen in the daytime!