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.
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.
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.