People today seem to be more concerned about their skin than they used to a century ago. It may have something to do with the advent of new technologies, innovations, new scientific knowledge and research, as well as the expansion of the market of cosmetic products. There are many substances, compounds and ingredients that promise to restore tone, texture and glow to the tired and stressed skin, and glycolic acid is one of them.
About glycolic acid
Glycolic acid is an AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid. These acids can be found in many quality cosmetic products, some of which can be quite expensive. Used alone or together with other alpha-hydroxy acids, like lactic acid or citric acid, glycolic acid improves the appearance of the skin by enhancing the tone and the texture.
Glycolic acid is mainly used in anti-age products like creams and peels, as well as in antibacterial creams for those who suffer from acne. One of the reasons why skin changes and deteriorates over time is because it becomes less able to renew itself, due to damage it suffers from pollution, exposure to sun and other factors. Glycolic acid has the ability to gently exfoliate the skin, making it softer and smoother and at the same time more able to repair itself.
Glycolic acid peels
Unlike other peels, like dermabrasion or phenol peels, glycolic peels do not take up a lot of time and they are much less invasive. That does not make them any less effective, in fact glycolic acid is known for its ability to penetrate the deep layers in a relatively short time.
Glycolic peels are actually superficial peels and they cause no irritation, which is often the problem with other chemical peels. For that reason, glycolic peels can be done once a week, and they only take up to 10 minutes.
Glycolic acid is often combined with other skin-renewing agents, such as copper peptides. These peels range from ten percent to 70 percent concentrates, the lower ones are meant to be used in the beginning and the concentration can increase gradually over time.
These peels can be applied at home easily and safely. The solution containing glycolic acid is applied to the face using a piece of gauze or a cotton ball. It is spread all over the face, avoiding the area of the eyes and the mouth, and it is left on for 10 to 15 minutes. After it is rinsed off, glycolic acid may cause some stinging, mild burning and redness, but all that should subside within 24 hours. If it is necessary to leave the house during those 24 hours, it is important to wear sunscreen and maybe some make-up to cover the redness.
Lower concentrations of glycolic acid are safe for everyone, but higher ones could cause some issues in people with darker complexion.
Glycolic acid also comes in form of lotions and gels, which are left on for several hours and do not require rinsing. If they are used, it is recommended to use an anti-age cream too, because it will penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
Glycolic acid peels are a great solution for everyone who is looking for quick and effective skin rejuvenation, however it should be kept in mind that the concentrations of 50 percent and above should be handled with caution as they might irritate the skin.