Glycolic acid, along with some other vitamin C peels are the most commonly used rejuvenation treatments for facial skin care. Glycolic facial peels and other members of the Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) group like lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid peels are all chemically composed of carbon backbones. As naturally occurring chemicals, the AHA based treatments are one of the best categories of natural skin care products available in the market today.
Obtained from sugar cane, glycolic acid facial peels is the most popular and commonly used facial skin procedure among the AHA treatments.
Effects of glycolic acid peel
With time and exposure to sunlight, there is a gradual slowing down of the rate at which old cells are replaced by newer cells. The surface of the skin with old cells sticking to it provides an aged appearance to the skin.
A treatment with glycolic acid peels loosens the inter-cellular substances that hold the surface skin cells to each other. When the intracellular cement is loosened, it allows the dead skin to peel off readily. Shedding of the old, sun-damaged surface of the skin helps to encourage new growth of the cells in the skin underneath. The new growth of cells results in a fresher, healthier looking skin with more even color and texture.
Glycolic acid facial peels are generally known as superficial peels, because these peels penetrate only through the epidermis and papillary dermis to an average depth of 0.06mm. However, the repetitive use of glycolic acid facial peels has a profound effect on improving the texture of the skin.
The effect of glycolic acid facial peels on the deeper layers of the skin has also been observed with high concentration and long-term use. The deeper penetration of glycolic acid peels has been shown to help in collagen and elastin regeneration helping the fine lines of aging to disappear.
On the whole, the effects of glycolic acid facial peels on the skin can be listed as follows:
Smoothening of rough, dry skin
Exfoliation of the dead cells
Slowing down of the ageing process
Improving the texture of sun-damaged skin
Normalizing of oily, acne troubled skin
Control of acne
Glycolic acid peels can also be mixed with bleaching agents to correct pigment problems
Glycolic acid peels can be used as pre-treatment before a TCA peel
Histological effects of glycolic acid treatment are manifested by reduction of stratum corneum thickness, increased epidermal thickness, more orderly differentiation of skin cells and dispersal of melanin within the basal layer.
Candidates for the glycolic acid peel
The biggest advantage of glycolic acid facial peels is that they can be safely used for all skin types. The treatment with glycolic acid peels is useful for the people with:
Superficial wrinkles of the face, neck, upper chest and arms
Enlarged facial pores
Superficial acne scars on the face
Newly formed acne
Procedure for Treatment with Glycolic Acid Peel
Performing a glycolic acid peel just takes 15-20 minutes. Repeated peeling offers good anti-aging benefits to the skin.
The strength of glycolic acid has been found to affect the results. Generally the strength of each peel ranges from 20-70%, depending on skin sensitivity and the state of the skin at the start of the procedure.
After the face is cleansed thoroughly, the peel solution is applied for a few minutes or longer. The exact duration depends on the particular type of solution and its strength. The peel may sting mildly during the treatment.
The skin may be a little pink immediately after treatment. A little peeling may occur over the next few days. It can be disguised with moisturizer or normal make-up. Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is also important following these mild acid peels. Ask your doctor to recommend a sunblock with adequate UVA and UVB protection and use it every day.