Glycolic acid peels are one of the most popular family of exfoliants. They feature in many self-care products, from spas to stores.
Glycolic acids are ubiquitous in the beauty world. They form the structure of many popular products, including lotions, scrubs, and gelatos. They also are present in cosmetic foundations, but it is becoming more rare as it was once the norm.
The concentration of alpha hydroxy acids found in a peel is measured by its gel strength. A weak gel will not be effective enough to maintain its strength for a day or two, so manufacturers typically use higher concentrations of alpha hydroxy acid peel than they do with a typical peel.
Today, we will look at some ways to quickly neutralize an acute glycolic acid peel at home.
Mix some glycolic acid peel with water
This can be tricky at home. Many people make a mix of water and glycolic acid peel and try it for the first time. Many people find that just mixing the two ingredients together is enough to create a working mixture.
However, you should use very clean hands to do this. If your skin feels rough or gritty when applying the mixture to your face, then you have succeeded in creating a neutralizing solution!
Some people have had success using only water alone as a neutralizing solution. Both of these methods can be used at home! Just be careful not to let the solution dry out or get hard during storage. You do not want it breaking down into glycolic acid and coming off your skin, thus causing damage.
Apply mixture to skin
When the time is right, remove the peel by running warm water over skin for a few minutes or by resting a piece of cloth under the peel for the same amount of time.
This may be difficult or impossible to do while the peel is in place. If you have a rosehip left over from another application, try applying it under the peel as an alternative!
If you have difficulty removing the gel or powder mixture alone, try using one of the following products: dish soap, alcohol, citrus fruit oils such as orange oil or grapefruit oil, and/or baking soda. Or use only warm water and no other preparations unless requested to do so by your doctor.
Leave on for 5-10 minutes
As noted earlier, glycolic acid is a powerful exfoliant. Most commercially available products contain either a large amount of oil in the formulation or have the oil contained in a gel or powder format.
Because of this, it can take some time for it to really work. Once it has started to dry, you can leave it on for even more time!
Some people notice their skin feeling tight and grainy as the acid works to remove dead cells, but other people do not notice anything at all.
Rinse off and moisturize
Once glycolic acid peel is treated, it is time to dry and moisturize. This includes removing any tear or Pull Blood trace amounts of water from the skin, gently patting in with a towel to thoroughly dry.
Many people stop at removing the 0.5% concentration of glycolic acid, but this is too little to treat all the skin under the chin and chest. If you have more than that, you should increase the amount used even more dramatically.
To prevent dry skin and burning during exfoliation, use a firm but gentle moisturizer that absorbed well.
Do this 1-2 times a week for best results
If you have a very sensitive skin type, you can try slightly less concentration glycolic acid peels. Lessening the amount of acid utilized during the peel process can reduce pain and increase adherence. Still effective though!
To prevent dryness during the peel, there are several options. Use a rich moisturizer, apply warm water to cover areas of skin immediately after the peel, and use a gentle exfoliant before sleeping.
Do not use any sugar or salt during or after the peel as these contain nutritional value that could stimulate dry skin. Instead, use gentle cream products or coconut oil to protect the skin from cold water removal.
Can result in clearer, more hydrating skin
Glycolic acid peels can result in clearer, more hydrating skin. It can also cause pain or discomfort if not done properly.
How it works is by breaking down the cells inside the skin and releasing a liquid that floats to the surface. This liquid is called glycolic acid.
When this liquid lands on the cells, it re-structures the cells and boosts cell growth. This may result in brighter, more luminous skin. Though scientific evidence is still shaky, we think of this effect as a guarantee that your skin will look smoother and brighter when you apply it.
Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Glycolic acid peels can be very irritating. However, if you are able to avoid it, it can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It has a semi-permanent effect on the skin, making the surface look smoother and more even. This also increases collagen production, which improves the overall look of your skin.
To prevent this peel from happening, you must use a thick enough base layer of cream to prevent transfer. Also, do not apply the glycolic acid right before bedtime or you may wake up with slightly red skin.
It is recommended that you do not use toner or a moisturizer after this peel because of possible dehydration.
Helps reduce acne scars and dark spots
Glycolic acid peels reduce the amount of oil and water present in the skin, which reduces the growth of oil and dry out the skin. This is good for acne scars and places less pressure on other parts of the body to heal.
It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles, due to increased collagen. Collagen is a strong natural material that holds together many parts of your body, including your skin.
This can be very beneficial when applied properly, so do not run out and try this today. You can do this at home, even if you do not have very mild acne. Many people find it helpful after they have had children because of the increased exposure of their skin to the harsh chemicals used during care.
If you have very severe acne, you may want to look into alternatives such as glycolic acid or less harsh ones like salicylic acid instead.