I’ve always been big on exfoliating and believe it plays a major roll in the skin cell turnover rate. I try to exfoliate at least once a week to help my skin looking and feeling smooth and bright. There are many types of exfoliation methods and I’ve covered one here and here on my previous posts. Another type of exfoliation that I feel is very quick and efficient is the glycolic acid peel. It actually sounds more harsh than the treatment itself. When patients think of a chemical peel, they believe that their skin will “shed” and leave them looking raw and red, but it really does not do that. Glycolic acid is actually a very mild peel and is safer for the skin than most other acid peels.
Glycolic acid works by breaking down the top layers of the skin, encouraging the dead skin to slough off faster. This treatment will then reveal smoother, brighter and firmer looking skin right after the treatment. Depending on a patient’s needs, it is recommended that the treatment is done once every month. This treatment is for superficial flaws of the skin and is a good choice for those looking for a quick skin refresher that will help diminish minor scars, blemishes and fine lines.
The peel that I use is a glycolic acid peel which is a mild chemical peel with a 70% strength. The face needs to be clean prior to the treatment and the solution is applied with a cotton gauze. Usually a tingling and burning sensation will be felt while the solution is applied to the face. Depending on the patients’ skin type, the solution sets for a couple minutes or less. The longer the solution settles the higher risk of the skin burning. After the achieved time is reached, the solution is neutralized and rinsed thoroughly with water. The skin may look a little pink and flushed and feel tight after the treatment. Cortisone can be applied to calm the reaction down and sunscreen is applied to protect it from the sun and recovery time is about one week.
This may seem like a simple peel, but it can be dangerous if people do this on their own and do not apply it correctly or use the correct solution. A 70% solution may be too harsh for some people and a lower percentage may be needed initially. I recommend going to a professional first and getting all the info prior to doing self treatments.
I like to alternate different types of exfoliation treatments on my skin depending on my laziness and time factor. Any treatment is better than no treatment is what I think! Hope this is good 411 for you all! Happy exfoliating!