What is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is from the family of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from a number of sources and have been in use for centuries. Other AHA’s are lactic acid derived from sour milk, Citric acid from fruit and Tartaric acid from grapes. Cleopatra bathed in sour milk to soften her skin, and women from the French courts used to rub wine into their faces to improve the condition of their skin.
Where does it come from?
Glycolic acid is synthetically derived.
What does glycolic do for my skin?
Exfoliates the skin stimulating skin cell renewal, which in turn stimulates collagen production, keeping a fresher younger looking skin. By keeping the skin exfoliated, this prevents the build up of dead skin cells that block & clog the pores causing blackheads & breakouts therefore glycolic is good for oily congested skins for prevention purposes.
Why do I need to exfoliate my skin?
Our skin sheds millions of skin cells a day, but as we get older this natural exfoliation slows down, so instead of these cells sloughing /falling off our skin, they build up & leave skin dull looking. The outer most layer our skin comprises of flattened dead skin cells which is 15 layers thick when we’re born, but as we age, this layer can become up to 60 layers thick & in much older sun damaged skin up to 90 layers thick, which accentuates wrinkles, blocks pores causing blackheads & congestion. Excessive dead skin cells absorbs excess product (i.e. moisturiser), therefore can waste an expensive moisturiser so by using glycolic which allows shedding of these excess skin cells allows greater penetration of products and less waste so is economical. Glycolic helps retain moisture in the skin preventing dehydration although it’s not a moisturiser.
What are the main benefits of glycolic peels?
Acne breakouts can be greatly reduced by the deep pore cleansing action of the peels. Basic steam & extraction facials cannot clean out pores as well as glycolic can, because the glycolic solution can soak into the pores & dissolve the congestion there, removing even the tiniest of blackheads.
Lines & wrinkles can be reduces due to the stimulation of collagen production. Any brown pigmentation marks on the skin can be reduced, due to skin cell renewal.
Skin feels super smooth & soft, so make up application is easier & absorption of skin creams easier.
What should I do prepare my skin for glycolic?
A glycolic product may be used at home for about 1-2 weeks prior to a glycolic peel, to acclimatize the skin to the glycolic product, which reduces the stinging sensation of the professional peel.
How many peels are necessary & how regularly must I have them?
A course of six fortnightly peels is usually recommended. Courses start with a low intensity peel & each week a stronger peel is applied. However it is possible to leave a gap of 2 week intervals.
Will my skin worsen before it improves?
Because glycolic deep cleanses the pores & draws out impurities from deep within the skin, a breakout is a good sign of the skin clearing itself out & these breakouts would have occurred at a later stage anyway. Breakouts will only affect clients prone to acne breakouts.
What maintenance is required after I finish my course of peels?
Peels are recommended monthly to maintain results & use of glycolic or AHA homecare products must be continued to maintain results.
Are there any considerations while using glycolic?
Because glycolic dissolves pore clogging dead skin cells that protect our skin from the suns damaging rays, it is important to replace this protection with a daily sunscreen. By having professional glycolic facial peels, the effectiveness of your homecare product increases by 50%.
Are there any side effects to glycolic peels?
Skin can sometimes appear flaky & dry in small areas, as skin cells shed. Skin can sometimes appear tight & dry as the course of peels progresses; this can be addressed with daily application of oil free hydrating serums.