Glycolic acid peeling – Experiences and results

A glycolic acid peel is mainly used in beauty institutes. That’s because it is not an ordinary peeling. A glycolic acid peel is quite strong and literally burns away the top layer of skin. However, a glycolic acid peel is not painful and you will see results after three treatments. Below you will find our experiences and results.

What is a glycolic acid peel?

Glycolic acid is extracted from sugar beets. It removes the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing a new layer of skin that has a softer structure and looks fresher. This peeling is indicated for reducing and fading fine lines, wrinkles, skin discolorations, age spots, scars and stretch marks. There are little to no side effects and the treatment is virtually painless. Usually one starts with a fairly low AHA concentration of 25% to 30% and then moves up to a concentration of 50%. Regular AHA-based cosmetics generally contain only 3 to a maximum of 10% AHA.

Experiences with a glycolic acid peel

Course of a treatment

A glycolic acid peel always proceeds in the same way. First, the skin is thoroughly cleansed and the corners of the nose, mouth and eyes are protected against the AHA acids. The beautician then applies the glycolic acid with a brush and gives the product time to absorb. How long the product remains on the skin depends on the sensitivity of the skin and the number of treatments you have already had. The better your skin can withstand the glycolic acid peeling and the more treatments you have already had, the longer the AHA can do its work.
After the glycolic acid peeling has done its work, the product is removed with a damp cloth. Afterwards, the beautician will apply a hydrating mask and you can relax for ten minutes. You can go home or go to work immediately after the treatment.
Ideally, you should follow a course of five glycolic acid peels, each two weeks apart. It is recommended to avoid the sun and tanning beds during the treatment. If you do go outside, protect your skin with a sunscreen with a high protection factor.

25% AHA concentration

For a first treatment with a glycolic acid peel, a low AHA concentration of 25% is always chosen. That is safer, because you never know in advance how your skin will react. Skin that responds well to a glycolic acid peel shows little to no side effects. The treated skin will become extremely dry for a while, but these are normal reactions to the glycolic acid peeling that can be resolved with a good moisturizing cream. Please note that you will have to moisturize your skin several times a day for several days. If you don’t do this, it may start to flake. If you are very sensitive to a glycolic acid peel, your skin may also become slightly red.

50% AHA concentration

As soon as your skin gets used to the 25% AHA concentration, the beautician will switch to an AHA concentration of 50%. For people who tolerate the glycolic acid peeling well, this can be done from the second treatment. On the other hand, if you have suffered a lot from side effects, you will first have to undergo a few glycolic acid peels with an AHA concentration of 25%. Normally your skin should not become redder or flaky more than with a glycolic acid peel%. If your skin does this anyway, this indicates extra sensitive skin.

Painful or painless?

Most people experience a glycolic acid peel as completely painless. However, it is possible that your skin will become more sensitive after five glycolic acid peels and may therefore sting more, especially when the glycolic acid peel is washed off with water. However, normally it should be possible to undergo several treatments without feeling any irritation.

Results of a glycolic acid peel

A glycolic acid peeling provides visible results after just two to three treatments: fine lines fade, wrinkles become a little less deep, the skin is strengthened by the production of new collagen, the facial contours are lifted, skin discolorations disappear and the skin looks a lot more radiant. These are great results for a treatment that does not cost much (about 40 euros) and is completely painless. A glycolic acid peel is not as efficient as botox and hyaluronic acid, but it is a lot better than most other beauty treatments. Highly recommended.

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