If you’re interested in rejuvenating your skin, you might be wondering about the differences between microdermabrasion and glycolic peels. Both treatments will resurface and exfoliate the skin by removing the superficial outer layer. However, microdermabrasion and glycolic peels involve a different means of attaining the desired results and are recommended for different skin types and conditions.
What is microdermabrasion? This treatment involves spraying fine crystals onto the surface of the skin in order to remove the outermost dead skin cells. Microdermabrasion aims to improve superficial skin imperfections. This includes age spots, fine lines, mild acne scars, sun damage, and fine wrinkling around the eyes, mild acne scars, age spots or sun spots, enlarged or visible pores, and fine lines. Because microdermabrasion is a simple resurfacing of the top layer of the skin, it is not recommended for deep wrinkles, moderate to severe scars, or pigmentary problems. Microdermabrasion treatment offers an added benefit in that it stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin, creating a more vibrant appearance.
For clients in search of a simple skin-rejuvenating procedure with few side effects and minimal recovery time, microdermabrasion may be an ideal choice. Because surface skin cells are removed during the treatment, there is no peeling afterwards, and recovery time is minimal. However, clients with more prominent skin imperfections may wish to consider a glycolic peel.
A glycolic peel is a mild and effective skin peel that uses AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid). The treatment involves applying a glycolic acid solution to the skin. Glycolic acid breaks up the surface skin cells to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin, uncovering newer skin cells over time. A glycolic peel will address deeper skin conditions, such as acne, sun damage and wrinkling. Glycolic peels offer the advantage of penetrating into the pores to dissolve acne plugs, and glycolic acid is able to both draw out old skin and draw moisturizers into the skin. Recovery time is generally minimal.
How do the treatment processes differ? Microdermabrasion is painless and relatively quick –a facial treatment usually lasts about 30 minutes. Microdermabrasion does require several treatments to achieve the desired appearance – 10-12 treatments may be necessary, along with sessions every six to eight weeks to maintain results. A glycolicpeel usually takes 10-15 minutes for the peel itself, depending on the strength of the solution and the skin’s level of adaptation to the treatment. A series of treatments is recommended for optimal results, and treatments are delivered three to four weeks apart.
Check out Skin Rx Clinic’s comprehensive offerings of glycolic peel options and microdermabrasion kits for home use.
A chemical skin peel is an effective method used to rejuvenate the skin, treat acne, and improve the skin’s overall appearance. While glycolic facial peels and salicylic acid peels were at one time solely performed by dermatologists, physicians, or skin care professionals, there are now at home peels which are just as effective and yet much less expensive. When it comes to acne, these two common face peels both have their advantages.
Glycolic Acid Peels
The alpha-hydroxy acid, Glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane, is the smallest AHA molecule. Glycolic acid penetrates the skin quickly and easily to break up the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin. Newer skin cells are uncovered and with continued use, glycolic facial peels will increase skin cell turnover and boost collagen production. This same shedding of surface skin also clears the pores of blackheads and debris which results in an improvement of acne. Glycolic acid is one of the most effective acne treatments available and overall is considered to be relatively mild so as not to irritate the skin too badly.
Glycolic peels provide gradual improvement with continued used over a period of weeks. Glycolic facial peels are safe for nearly all skin types and come in varied strengths starting at 10%. This allows those who want to use at home peels to find the right glycolic acid peel best suited for their own skin.
Salicylic Acid Peels
Whereas glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which is derived from hearts of sweet bark & willow tree bark. In the skin care industry, salicylic acid products are used as a topical acne treatment and a chemical peel. Salicylic acid has been proven effective as an anti-inflammatory agent that also has the ability to dissolve and clear out sebum found in the pores. It is a bit stronger and involves a less gradual process than glycolic acid but for those with sensitive skin it can be used in lower strength concentrations in cases where glycolic acid peels are not well tolerated. As an added benefit when used regularly, salicylic acid products help protect skin from sun damage as it has the ability to absorb ultraviolet rays. Salicylic acid peels should not be used as often as the glycolic acid peels, as the peeling effects last a bit longer. When using salicylic acid peel products, it is recommended that you take a break in treatment after a period of use for best results.
As the Saint Louis University School of Medicine published in a study where glycolic acid and salicylic acid were compared in effectiveness at treating acne stated, “both types of treatments were similarly effective” for improving facial acne. If you have more sensitive skin, you can try a course of glycolic peels first and if you find you are not tolerating it well or are not happy with the results, move on to salicylic acid peels instead.
Are you thinking about trying a chemical skin peel and wondering where to start?
There are many different kinds of home face peels. One formula might be better suited for your skin than another - how do you know what to choose? One important factor in the differences in home face peels is the pH level.
Your skin is made up of several different components, including water, protein, lipids, minerals and chemicals. The protein in your skin is sensitive to the level of pH with which it comes in contact. When the skin's proteins react with an acid, they are broken down - and this is exactly what a chemical peel strives to do. Existing skin tissues are destroyed, and new tissue grows to replace the old.
Products with a low pH feature a stronger acid. This means that high pH products offer increased breaking down of old skin and growth of new skin tissues. Conversely, products with a high pH contain a weaker acid, resulting in a more gentle reaction with existing skin and slower growth of new skin tissues.
If you're trying a chemical peel for the first time, or if you have sensitive skin, you might want to start out by choosing a product with a higher pH. Skin Rx's 15% Glycolic Smoothing Gel features a pH of 3. Even if your skin is sensitive, 15% Glycolic Smoothing Gel can be used several times a week as a peel - simply apply to clean, dry skin and remove after 5-10 minutes. Those with less sensitive skin can leave it on for maximum results.
If you're ready for a stronger formula, try 30% Glycolic Acid. With a lower pH (1.9), our 30% Glycolic Acid offers a professional strength peel. Skin Rx's formula features pharmaceutical grade quality and is made from natural fruit acids (alpha hydroxy acids). Our Glycolic Acids are available in convenient kits, which include our Peel, Pre-Peel Prep, fan brush applicator, and dispensing dish, enclosed in a zippered bag for ease and convenience.
A question that many women ask during pregnancy is whether or not glycolic acid is safe to use while pregnant. The simple answer is “yes”. If you want to use glycolic acid, pregnancy is a perfectly safe time to use it. Glycolic peels for pregnant women are a great choice for those suffering acne during pregnancy.
Safe acne treatments during pregnancy are often researched due to the fact that anything which enters the mother’s body or skin could possibly affect the unborn baby as well. The great thing about glycolic acid products is that they contain naturally derived ingredients. Glycolic acid is an AHA, or Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid which are acids that occur naturally in fruits. It is also occurs naturally in the body when you ingest or eat certain fruits.
Glycolic acid products at concentrations 10% or less are not able to penetrate the skin deep enough to reach the blood stream, so it is 100% safe for acne during pregnancy. Even for higher concentrations of glycolic acid which can penetrate through the skin and possibly into the blood stream, it is said to be of no harm due to the fact that it’s an acid which is naturally occurring in the body anyway.
Experienced estheticians and dermatologists continue to use professional strength glycolic acid products to improve the skin from acne related conditions and skin discolorations from pregnancy. Skin Rx Clinic offers several high quality glycolic acid products that are safe to use for acne during pregnancy. Try Glycolic Facial Polish which contains 10% glycolic acid, anti-oxidants, and vitamins to exfoliate and smooth the skin. To improve the overall texture and condition of the skin from acne and other blemishes, fine lines, large pores, and sun damage, try 15% Glycolic Smoothing Gel.
If you suffer from acne, you know that it’s a problematic, ongoing, and even embarrassing condition of the skin. Often, acne is treated with glycolic acid products which have been proven to be quite effective. Glycolic acid is a fruit derived, natural Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Glycolic acne treatments work because the glycolic acid is able to penetrate the layers of the skin to peel away the top layers which results in new skin cell formation. Today, many over-the-counter glycolic acne treatments are available in the form of home glycolic peels and other glycolic acid products.
Glycolic acid for acne is a great choice for those who have tried everything else with no results. The best glycolic acid penetrates skin cells and stimulates the regeneration of healthy collagen and elastin to promote healing from the acne. Glycolic acid also works by exfoliating the skin of sebum and debris. Glycolic acne treatments can unclog the pores to prevent reoccurring acne breakouts.
Glycolic Acne TreatmentsGlycolic acid for acne is a great, natural way to treat the skin. Glycolic acid breaks apart the “glue” which bonds dead skin cells to the face and allows newer, revitalized skin to be revealed. The result is softer, acne-free skin which can be achieved with professional strength glycolic acid when used as directed. Using glycolic peels is a more effective and intense form of glycolic acne treatments. These chemical peel treatments work to renew the skin with just a few treatments and provide more dramatic and significant results compared to other glycolic acid products such as glycolic cleansers and creams. When glycolic peels are performed in regular increments, the damaged skin is renewed more effectively than when used sporadically.
If you have sensitive to normal skin, a 30% concentration of glycolic acid is our esthetician’s best recommendation which can be used until your skin is accustomed to the treatments. Later, you should be able use a higher concentration to provide even better results. Skin Rx recommends Glycolic Peel Kit #1 which includes 30% Glycolic Acid and everything you need to perform a professional strength glycolic acid peel at home.
Facial moisturizers are good for a couple of different things when it comes to skin care. Moisturizers help to regulate the hydration of the skin by controlling the amount of moisture that can penetrate to the dermis and they can move water into the skin cells from the epidermis. What this means to someone using a facial moisturizer is the moisturizer can either hydrate or dehydrate the skin to a natural level so as not to be too oily or too dry. The added benefit of a glycolic acid moisturizer is that it also acts as an effective skin exfoliator which can loosen dead cells found on the outer layer of the skin to speed up the cell regeneration process. If used regularly, glycolic acid moisturizers work on a daily basis to renew and revitalize skin cells. For personal skin care use, glycolic acid products have been proven effective and are widely available and affordable for the average person. Since using moisturizing products for the skin is considered to be part of a great skin care routine by skin care experts worldwide, it makes sense that combining these two elements can yield great results. The application of facial moisturizer works to form a barrier that protects your skin from the elements to help slow down the aging process which can keep your skin looking younger for longer. The protective barrier also helps to maintain healthy ph levels for your skin. When glycolic acid is combined with a moisturizer, it can easily penetrate the outer layer of skin cells to loosen and remove dead skin cells that cling to the surface. When the dead cells are “burned off” with the chemical compound, the moisturizing ingredients can get to the exfoliated layers of skin to rehydrate it. Glycolic acid is known for its ability to draw moisturizers into the skin. If you are looking for a more complete skin care regimen to regulate your skin’s hydration levels, slow down the aging process to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, and to maximize the benefits of moisturizing, a glycolic acid moisturizer may be the right choice for you. Skin Rx recommends Glycolic Face Creme which lightly hydrates the skin while also fighting fine lines and blemishes.
Out of all the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) used in skin care, glycolic acid products provide the most effective results in skin rejuvenation. AHA’s are excellent skin exfoliators, which work to remove dead skin cells gathered on the skin’s surface to uncover softer, smoother, and younger-looking skin. Additionally, glycolic facial peels are an effective anti-aging treatment which can also increase collagen production, improve elasticity, improve skin tone & texture, and decrease enlarged pores.
The amazing thing is that AHA’s are naturally derived from sugar cane, milk, or fruit. As far as anti-aging, continuous positive results since these types of products were introduced onto the market showing improvement in fine lines and wrinkles has proven that glycolic acid can stand the test of time. Even age spots or sun spots that can make a person look severely aged can be significantly improved with the use of glycolic acid products. Glycolic peels work to exfoliate and peel the top layer of skin, which gives it a smoother texture by encouraging the growth of healthy skin cells. When used in combination with a percentage of hydroquinone, age spots and other discolorations can be completely erased. As the glycolic acid removes the dead surface skin cells, the hydroquinone can better penetrate the skin so newer skin cells are not pigmented.
The bottom line is that glycolic acid products do make a difference. In a relatively short period of time, a noticeable improvement can be seen in skin texture and with continued use it can even prevent wrinkles from appearing prematurely. When used on a recommended schedule, glycolic acid is a proven way to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and produces significant improvement on sun damaged skin.
The best glycolic acid can now be used at home, even professional strength glycolic which was previously only available through a medical spa or dermatologist. Skin Rx offers glycolic acid products in strengths up to 40% for the home user. For the first time glycolic treatment users, Skin Rx Clinic recommends Glycolic Peel Kit #1 which has 30% glycolic acid. For experienced glycolic acid users, try the Glycolic Peel Kit # 3, a 40% glycolic treatment. In between each glycolic treatment, Skin Rx offers glycolic acid products including Glycolic Facial Lotion, Glycolic Facial Polish, and Glycolic Face Crème. Each of these professional strength glycolic acid products has anti-aging benefits and contains high quality ingredients for best results.
If you are scouring the internet for answers to your questions about glycolic facial peels, you have come to the right place. Keep reading to find out the answers to many frequently asked questions about glycolic acid.
Q: How many uses will I get out of Skin Rx Clinic glycolic acid products?
A: This answer will vary based on a few different factors including how often you use the products and what amount is used each time. If you use Skin Rx Clinic glycolic acid products as suggested, a standard 8 oz. supply of glycolic acid should last for about six months, or 25 – 30 peels.
Q: Can I use glycolic peels on parts of my body other than my face?
A: Yes. Skin Rx Clinic’s professional strength glycolic products are safe for other body parts such as the neck, knees and elbows, legs, hands, feet, and chest area. The best glycolic acid to start with is a 30% glycolic treatment if you plan to use it on other parts of your body.
Q: Do you recommend cleansing my face with regular soap before applying the glycolic acid exfoliating products?
A: No. Because soap is an alkali, it will almost certainly neutralize any effects of the glycolic treatment. It is best to use a mild facial cleanser such as Skin Rx Clinic’s Arnica Facial Wash. This will ensure you start with a fresh, clean surface with no soap residue left on the skin so that the Glycolic Facial Polish can provide optimal results.
Q: What is the reason that I should alternate between facial exfoliating moisturizers & non-exfoliating moisturizers?
A: Your facial skin is more sensitive than other parts of your body and therefore needs time to rest and renew its skin cells between glycolic acid exfoliation treatments. Skin Rx Clinic recommends alternating between the Glycolic Facial Polish and the Herbal Moisture Crème.
Q: Do glycolic acid exfoliating products produce immediate results?
A: After just one glycolic treatment, you are not likely to see any significant results. Even with our professional strength glycolic acid, it takes several uses. Our best advice is to be patient and stick with the glycolic treatment skin regimen to obtain the dramatic results you desire.
Q: Does the use of a glycolic acid peel produce skin color changes?
A: Glycolic facial peels will not usually change the color of your skin. A glycolic treatment is a light peel which just removes the dead, dull layers of skin cells and unclogs the pores. Glycolic peels can, however, even out your skin tone to make the color of your face more uniform in color overall.
Q: Will my face breakout if I use glycolic acid products?
A: As you begin to cleanse your skin properly with exfoliating products such as Skin Rx Clinic’s professional strength glycolic acid, you may experience a breakout in the early stages as you start to peel away clogged and dead layers of skin. This is due to hidden debris and bacteria which are now being released onto the skin’s surface. It is important to cleanse and exfoliate and keep up with your glycolic treatments to get rid of all those impurities to get to the beautiful, healthy skin underneath.
Q: What are the major differences between glycolic acid facial peels in concentrations of 30%, 40%, and 60%?
A: Concentration: Skin Rx Clinic’s 30% glycolic peel contains 30% professional strength glycolic acid. Likewise the 40% glycolic peel contains 40% professional strength glycolic acid. The higher the concentration, the shorter the leave on time will be for your glycolic treatment. Concentrations higher than 40% unbuffered glycolic acid should only be used by skin care professionals or dermatologists. Even with these mild concentrations, we guarantee that if used as recommended, you will achieve significant results due to our high quality ingredients.
Q: How long does a chemical peel take?
A: Glycolic peels should take no more than 15 minutes total from start to finish.
Q: After a chemical peel, how soon can I go back to work?
A: In most cases, there is no down time associated with having glycolic facial peels. Work activities can be resumed immediately.
Q: Is it painful to get a chemical peel on my face?
A: There is no pain associated with glycolic facial peels. Though you may feel a slight tingling sensation when the glycolic acid is applied to the skin, your face will feel refreshed, calm, and free of discomfort once the peel is neutralized and rinsed away.
Q: Am I allowed to go out in the sun after a facial chemical peel?
A: You can expose your face to the sun, however, Skin Rx recommends using a quality sunscreen for the first few days after a glycolic acid peel due to increased sensitivity to sun exposure.
Q: How often and how many chemical peels do I need to have for best results?
A: For best results, Skin Rx Clinic recommends doing a glycolic treatment about every four to six weeks. Glycolic acid peels can be used in combination with glycolic acid exfoliating and moisturizing products which can be used on a daily basis. The short term exposure of a higher concentration of glycolic acid on a periodic basis helps maintain skin health and appearance.
Q: How much improvement will I see in deep lines or wrinkles after having a chemical peel?
A: Glycolic facial peels do have their limits. A glycolic acid peel will provide improvement in skin’s texture, tone, smoothness and overall appearance but it will not remove deep lines or wrinkles. As long as you have realistic expectations, you will be very happy with the results of a glycolic acid skin care regimen.
True glycolic acid comes from the natural acids of fruit, also called alpha hydroxy acids. As a skin treatment, glycolic acid products are used to renew a person’s skin through peeling old, dead sun-damaged skin cells on the surface. Overall, glycolic acid is the most commonly used form of alpha-hydroxy-acid used for glycolic acid facial peels.
There are 5 common fruit acids used for facial peels: citric acid peels (derived from the citrus fruits), lactic acid peels (derived from sour milk, but it’s still considered a fruit acid), glycolic acid peels (derived from sugar cane), malic acid peels (derived from apples), and tartaric acid peels (derived from grapes).
Lactic Acid Peels - Lactic acid peels are a derivative of sour milk. Lactic acid is sometimes said to be a more mild chemical peel compared to a glycolic acid peel, though it is similar to how a glycolic facial peel works. People with super sensitive skin, such as those with Rosacea, sometimes prefer to try lactic acid peels first before moving on to glycolic acid products.
Citric Acid Peels - Citric acid peels are easy to use, minimally invasive, but take many treatments to see significant improvement on the skin.
Malic Acid Peels – Malic acid is used in the same way as a citric acid peel in that it is only mildly invasive and requires several treatments to get significant results. A malic acid peel is also used for acne treatments as it can open pores to allow the sebum to be cleared out which helps reduce blemishes.
Tartaric Acid Peels – Tartaric acid is a derivative of grape extract. This type of peel is very similar to all other fruit acid peels and works to improve the skin and reduce acne with repeated treatments over time.
Buffered Glycolic Acid - Buffered glycolic acid peels are neutralized to some degree to about a 2.1 on the pH scale. For the home user, a buffered glycolic acid product is considered safer.
Unbuffered Glycolic Acid - Unbuffered glycolic acid peels have a lower pH and are known to be more aggressively and to produce faster results when applied to the skin. Unbuffered glycolic acid products should only be applied by a skin care professional or dermatologist for best results.
Alpha-hydroxy-acids including the lactic acid, fruit acids, and glycolic acid, are a safe alternative to chemical peels which home users can use to obtain smoother, younger-looking and more even colored skin for those who do not want to or can not afford to get a peel from a physician or dermatologist. AHA facial peels can treat and improve the appearance of fine wrinkles, dryness, uneven skin color, and also acne. Different concentrations of an alpha-hydroxy-acid peel can be applied at regular intervals to achieve significant results.
Skin Rx Clinic offers the very best glycolic acid products with high quality ingredients formulated to give home users the same results that can be achieved from a doctor strength glycolic peel. Skin Rx Clinic has 15% Glycolic Acid, 30% Glycolic Acid, and 40% Glycolic Acid products and a variety of Glycolic Peel Kits for beginners and experienced glycolic facial peel users alike.
Glycolic acid peels are often used by people who want to improve their skin's appearance and overall condition. Glycolic acid renews the skin by removing old skin cells from the surface and allowing new skin to regenerate. Glycolic peels can also be used to help clear up acne by removing debris from clogged pores and to reduce hyper-pigmentation of the skin. Glycolic acid peels are often performed at spas but can become quite expensive after repeated treatments. Fortunately, a glycolic acid home peel can be easily purchased online and are now readily available. Glycolic acid home peels are much more affordable for the average person. As a precaution, anyone who will be performing a glycolic acid peel at home should be sure to perform a skin patch test beforehand to ensure no allergies to the product exist.
Step 1: Wash Your Face
With a mild cleanser, wash your entire face where the glycolic facial peel will be applied. Rinse thoroughly to remove all of the cleanser and then gently pat your face dry with a towel. Before applying any glycolic treatment to your face, you need to make sure you start with a clean surface to ensure the product penetrates the skin evenly.
Step 2: Apply a Toner
Apply a toner to your skin with a cotton pad or cotton ball and allow it to dry on your skin. This extra step will wipe away any dirt or residue which may have been left after cleansing your face. Do not rinse the toner off, as it contains ingredients to refresh and calm your skin before you apply your glycolic facial peel.
Step 3: Apply Glycolic Acid with Applicator Brush
Preferably using the applicator brush in the Glycolic Peel Kit, apply an even coat of the glycolic treatment to your face. Leave the peel on your face for the recommended time - no more and no less. Leaving glycolic acid products on your skin for too long can damage your skin and not leaving it on long enough will not produce the desired results. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Step 4: Rinse and Wash
Rinse the glycolic peel treatment off of your face thoroughly, and then apply a mild cleanser. Wash your face gently to ensure the glycolic facial peel is completely washed away from the skin so that irritation does not occur from any residue.
When applying a glycolic acid peel, keep the product about one quarter-inch away from the eye area and mucus membranes. If your skin becomes irritated after glycolic acid products are applied, immediately rinse your skin and consult with your personal doctor. Do not attempt to use glycolic peels on any open wounds or otherwise irritated or highly sensitive skin. Avoid being exposed to the sun for at least one full day after applying the glycolic treatment. Additionally, do not apply a glycolic facial peel to skin that has been shaved within 24 hours. When using a peel, it is normal to feel a slight stinging sensation but if it hurts too much or is extremely uncomfortable, rinse it off immediately. Your skin might be a bit red after using glycolic acid products, however, the redness will gradually fade away as your skin calms. Before you buy glycolic acid for home use, be sure to purchase from a reputable source that only sells high quality skin care products.