I thought we would touch on the Glycolic Acid Peel (AHA: Alpha Hydroxy Acids) as I get lots of questions about it….What is it? How does it work? What should I expect? Will my skin “Peel”? How many treatments do I need to achieve my goals? Personally, I love it and I give myself the peel once or twice a month and I am seeing results. My skin is smoother and more vibrant.
Let’s begin our AHA 101…
What is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is pretty much the best-known group of chemicals called fruit acids or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA). It is derived from sugar cane and can be considered a natural product. Glycolic and lactic acid peels provide effective resurfacing & mild rejuvenation without the downtime of a more invasive peel. Citric acid from oranges and other citrus fruits also fall under the same classification as glycolic acid.
How does it work?
Well, this is the part that I find fascinating and I will explain it the best I can. AHA peels loosen or dissolve the glue like substance that holds the layers of cells to each other and to the underlying skin. These thick, piled up, clinging cells are responsible for the appearance of rough, dry, scaly and sun damaged skin. So, when the “glue” is loosened up the outer skin is shed away leaving the underlying skin with a smooth, moist and refined appearance. AHA’s affect deeper layers of the skin by regenerating collagen and elastin. With prolonged use of AHA peels it has been found to be beneficial for improving skin texture, treating age spots, decreasing fine lines and wrinkles.
What Should I expect?
Well, I’m not going to say it’s not uncomfortable. You may experience a ‘stinging’, ‘tingly’, ‘itchy’, or ‘hot’ sensation. This is normal when using AHA peels. You can also expect quick exfoliation of the surface layer of the skin and the removal of impurities from the pores.
Will my skin peel?
This is where the AHA’s can be a bit deceiving. They will not necessarily include a visible peel. Each person’s skin responds differently. I peel slightly however, exfoliation is at a cellular level and not always apparent to the naked eye. The peel will create a tighter and firmer complexion and appearance. Unfortunately there is no way to predict an individual’s skin physiology, hormones, environment and skin hydration. All of those factors play a role.
How many treatments do I need to achieve my goal?
Since AHA peels are a mild exfoliant there is little to no skin irritation and no down time. The amazing thing is they can provide the same results as a stronger “chemical” peel but have to be applied in a series as opposed to one intensive treatment. A series of 6-8 treatments will provide significant skin improvement.
*Your skin may be a little red, dry, tight 1-3 days after the peel, this is normal and will fade. You will see the results of the peel develop over the next few days as the skin sheds off.
*Avoid sun exposure for at least 24 hours. I like try to avoid it for 3 days.
*Apply sunblock, you should be doing this anyway.
*Avoid exercise & sweating for a few hours after treatment.
*Apply non-comedogenic moisturizer 2x a day
*Try to wait 24 hours to apply make-up
*Avoid abrasive or exfoliating sponges, scrubs, etc. for 3 days.
*MOST IMPORTANT: DO NOT peel, pick, scrape or stretch the skin. No sun, tanning beds or sunlamps. No masks until skin has returned to normal condition.
I hope this info helped and if you have any questions feel free to ask. If you are interested in booking a peel we are running a special 3 Signature 60 Minute Facials with a Glycolic Acid Peel! Call us today to schedule a service with me, Beverly your Aesthetician wink emoticon (702)518-5546