Glycolic Acid peels are medically endorsed as a viable alternative to more invasive chemical peels. Glycolic acid will gently encourage dead thickened layers to gently lift away. The skin will appear smoother, more translucent, softer and firmer. Glycolic acid peels are used to treat sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged follicles, coarse texture, pigmentation and acne.
Glycolic acid works to strengthen deep layers of your skin, which helps to soften fine lines and gives your face a fresh, more plump appearance.
Glycolic acid is a chemical element that occurs naturally in most sugar canes, but can also be created synthetically in labs. It carries the chemical formula C2H4O3. The acid, which is sometimes also referred to as hydroxyacetic acid on labels and product packaging, has a number of important uses in industry. Food manufacturers sometimes use it as a preservative, and textilers and those in large-scale fabric and upholstery sales sometimes apply it as a means of sealing in colors and dyes. In skin care, it’s predominantly used as an exfoliant and a means to clean and polish the skin almost from the inside out.
The acid works to buff or peel away the topmost layer of skin. Technically it will work on any skin anywhere on the body, but skin care experts usually focus on the face because this is where people often have the most problems with oil and dirt build-up, as well as where wrinkles and fine lines are the most apparent. Almost anyone can benefit from a glycolic treatment, but those who are transitioning into middle age, who have mild to moderate sun damage, or other skin tone issues often see the most profound effects. If the glycolic treatment is added in with a bleaching agent, the facial can also remove some age spots and blotchiness.
The peel itself helps the body remove dead tissue, allowing it to be replaced with new, fresh skin. This often has the effect of making the face appear younger and tighter. The acid is usually combined with a milder scrub or cream to help it adhere, but the main idea is that the acid itself penetrates beneath the surface and forces the younger skin below to rise to the top. Older skin on the surface basically peels away, which is where the “peel” part of the treatment name comes from.
Glycolic treatments typically include both pre-procedure and post-procedure routines. Before getting the actual glycolic facial treatment, for instance, a person should typically not use any masks, scrubs, or other exfoliating creams on the face. Use of self-tanners, facial waxing, or vitamin A compounds should also be avoided for the two days prior to the facial. These compounds can weaken the skin and can enable the acid to penetrate deeper than it should or more harshly than it normally would, which can lead to damage and irritation. In most cases no one who is taking the prescription drug Accutane®, who has cold sores and fever blisters, or who is sunburned should undergo the treatment, either. Conditions like these can similarly make the acid treatment harsher than it normally would be.
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