Glycolic peels to the smallest detail: reveal the secret of their popularity – Cosmetology, plastic surgery and diets

Glycolic peels to the smallest detail: reveal the secret of their popularity

Glycol peeling is the most popular type of acid exfoliation. The softness of its effect, combined with high efficiency, captivated patients of cosmetic clinics and beauty salons. Peeling with glycolic acid is indicated at any age (from 16 to 80 years) and is suitable for combating acne, post-acne, pigmentation and age-related skin changes.

What is this peeling?

Glycolic peeling involves exposure to the skin with a concentrated solution of glycolic (hydroxyacetic) acid. This acid belongs to the category of alpha-hydro acids (known as AHA acids, fruit acids). Under the influence of glycolic acid, the production of fibroblasts and own collagen is activated, the metabolism in the cells improves, the skin is cleaned of dead, dysfunctional cells and filled with young and elastic.

Glycolic peeling improves the quality of the skin, returns lost tone and skin turgor, refreshes and partially whitens the face. After a peeling course, patients look 5 years younger, the process of aging of the skin and wrinkles slows down.

Glycolic acid gently affects the skin, but this does not prevent the desired effect. It is recommended to conduct this type of exfoliation in courses, this will provide a more pronounced and lasting final result.

facial peeling

Glycolic face peeling is indicated at any age, but not younger than 15 years. In each case, it will be useful, will positively affect the quality and condition of the skin, will prevent the appearance and complication of skin problems.

From the history of glycol cleansing

The first rudiments of glycolic peeling are found in ancient Egypt. Then, sugar cane juice was used to cleanse and preserve youthful skin. It is noted that glycolic acid is also found in unripe grapes and beets.

Science and cosmetology developed, and in the 70-ies of the XX century, for the first time learned about glycolic acid. In the course of these studies, scientists learned that glycolic acid molecules actively act on keratinized layers, weaken bonds between dead cells and accelerate neocollagenesis (the formation of new collagen molecules).

In 1996, a glycolic acid concentrate was first tested on human skin, its result determined what glycol peeling is and the principle of its action. An 41 patient of various ages with skin problems participated in the experiment. Its essence was the regular exposure of the chemical ingredient to the skin, once a week the brush and half of the patient’s face were treated with 50% glycolic acid solution.

After 4 weeks, scientists noted noticeable changes in the condition of the skin: an increase in the active living cells of the epidermis, a decrease in horny layers and photosensitivity of the skin, and small wrinkles completely disappeared. This result was observed in 90% of people, which made it possible to use the glycol composition with confidence in beauty salons.

Glycolic Acid Properties and Skin Benefits

For glycolic peeling, glycolic (hydroxyacetic) acid is used. You can get it without problems from natural products (sugar cane, grape fruit and beets).

Oxyacetic acid is involved in the rejuvenation and cleansing of the skin, in its treatment and improvement, thanks to such properties:

  • anti-aging effect – acid penetrates the skin and stimulates the active synthesis of collagen and fibroblasts. As a result of this activity, the epidermis turgor rises, the skin relief is smoothed, deep and medium wrinkles are less noticeable, and small ones disappear altogether;
  • deep penetration and purification – the molecule of oxyacetic acid has a very small molecular weight in comparison with other fruit acids, so it penetrates deeper. The exfoliant reaches the deeper layers, where it actively acts, destroys the bonds between dead cells, struggles with keratinization;
  • provides a lifting effect – after exposure to hydroxy acetic acid on the cells and intercellular space, they swell. Thus, the elasticity of soft tissues increases, smoothing of the relief and a reduction in the depth of wrinkles are observed;
  • anti-inflammatory – glycolic peeling is used medicinally for acne and acne. The exfoliant prevents the development of the disease, reduces inflammatory processes, which leads to the extinction of infected foci on the face;
  • moisturizing – after exfoliation with glycolic acid, the skin becomes soft and moisturized. The acid ingredient normalizes the pH balance of the epidermis, enhances the metabolic processes and the work of the sebaceous glands, which positively affects the general condition of the skin.
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Ease of penetration and effectiveness of exposure are the main features of glycolic acid. In a short time you can embellish the skin, heal problem acne, refresh your face and whiten age spots, freckles.

Chemical peeling with glycolic acid very rarely causes an allergic reaction in a patient. The main component of the drug is easily perceived by the epidermal cells and adjust their work without complications and unpleasant consequences.

Types of acid exposure in the cabin and at home

Glycolic acid based peeling can be of different types. It depends on the percentage of the main ingredient. Modern beauty salons offer customers to perform chemical face peeling in the following options:

  • Surface peeling – assumes a concentration of glycolic acid up to 40%, while the pH level varies between 2,4 – 4,5. Superficial glycolic peeling has an effect on the upper layers of the epidermis, has an active exfoliating effect. After the procedure, the skin texture is smoothed out, the complexion is smoothed out, it becomes fresh and brightened, a healthy glow appears. Glycolic peeling 25% is recommended to be performed at a young age to correct minor skin problems or to combat increased oily epidermis.
  • Median peeling – characterized by a high concentration of acidic ingredient (up to 70%). 50 – 70% glycol peeling is performed to solve age-related skin defects, therefore it is recommended for the category of patients after 35 years. With it, you will get rid of residual traces of acne and acne, smooth out the surface of the epidermis and activate the process of skin regeneration.

70 Percent Glycol Peeling is the deepest and most effective form of chemical exposure. It triggers neocollagenesis in the deeper layers of the skin, guarantees the removal of dead particles collected in keratinized layers. Be prepared, such a chemical effect is accompanied by active peeling and the formation of a crust on the surface of the face, the development of erythema and will be quite painful.

If you are unable to perform glycolic peeling in the salon, you can do it at home. For this, the minimum concentration of acid is used – 10%. Cosmetic companies offer a fairly extensive selection of such products for home peeling. If you follow the exfoliation protocol and the manufacturer’s recommendations correctly, the effect will definitely please.

the effect of peeling on the face

10% glycolic peeling will refresh your face, give it a healthy glow, relieve comedones and clogged pores, partially smooth out the relief and post-acne. For wrinkles, deep traces after acne and other complex defects, such a cleaning will be useless.

Regardless of the selected glycolic acid concentration, it is important to complete a full course of procedures. This will consolidate and enhance the achieved effect. Compliance with the recommendations of specialists in the post-peeling period is also important, their violation threatens additional troubles.

Indications for conduction

Glycol peels are not capable of dramatic changes in appearance and the solution of complex defects with the skin. This type of exfoliation has a delicate effect. For glycol peeling, the indications are as follows:

  • non-systemic hyperpigmentation caused by pregnancy or as a response of the skin to sunlight;
  • comedones and sebaceous plugs in the pores;
  • dryness, peeling of the epidermis;
  • thickening of the stratum corneum of the epidermis (hyperkeratosis);
  • residual traces of acne, acne;
  • Shallow stretch marks (striae);
  • seborrhea, increased oily skin, impaired sebaceous glands;
  • first signs of skin aging;
  • a network of fine wrinkles on the face;
  • decreased skin tone and turgor.

Exfoliation with oxyacetic acid is done to prevent early skin aging. In some cases, the procedure is allowed. As a preparatory stage, before surgery, to enhance the effect of laser therapy or mechanical resurfacing of the epidermis.


Chemical peeling is a responsible and serious process, regardless of the acid concentration used. Violation of the technology of the procedure, improper care during the recovery period can significantly harm the skin and give unnecessary trouble and problems. It is equally important to study the contraindications to peeling, neglect of this item threatens complications and a protracted post-peeling period.

Glycol peeling has the following contraindications:

  • foci of inflammation in the treated area;
  • allergies and hypersensitivity to the drug used, its components separately;
  • the presence of wounds, abrasions, scratches;
  • herpes in acute form;
  • warts and various types of neoplasms on the skin;
  • fresh tan;
  • chronic diseases;
  • high level of photosensitivity of the skin;
  • patients with mongoloid, negroid skin type (peeling can provoke hyperpigmentation, the worked out and untouched area on the face will differ in color);
  • recent hair removal, eyebrow correction (small wounds could form in this area).
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Contraindications of chemical exfoliation apply to pregnant and lactating patients. However, in the case of a light surface peeling with a concentration of glycolic acid 10%, this is a moot point. In such an amount, the acid cannot affect the condition of the fetus or get into the mother’s milk, but the effect may be unexpected; it is not known how the patient’s changed hormonal background will react to the chemical process. In any case, consult a beautician, because the health of you and your baby depends on this.

If you are taking retinoids (drugs with vitamin A and its derivatives), you also need to be careful. Retinol has the ability to enhance the effect of chemical exposure, and for sensitive skin, this fact will not be reflected in the best way.

When is it best to perform

For glycolic peeling, as well as for most dry facial cleansers, the best time of the year is winter and late autumn. During this period, solar activity is somewhat underestimated and the chances of developing hyperpigmentation after glycolic peeling are minimal.

If you decide to do a cleansing procedure in the spring, be prepared to constantly use sunscreens with the highest level of UV protection.

Stages of purification

Facial peeling using glycolic acid is performed in a strict sequence of actions. Deviation from the protocol of the procedure, exceeding the set exposure time or, conversely, the reduction is unacceptable.

This type of cleansing involves 3 main stages: preparation, direct peeling and rehabilitation period. We will analyze in detail each of the stages of exfoliation.

Exfoliation Preparation

A preparatory step for purification with hydroxyacetic acid is required. It involves the gradual addition of a small percentage of the active acid to cosmetic skin care products.

It is necessary to begin preparation of the skin in advance, 1 – 1,5 weeks before exfoliation. To do this, add glycolic acid preparations to the care (its content in the composition of the product should vary between 5 – 10%). It is important to monitor the pH level of such cosmetics, it should be within 3 – 5. The use of such cosmetic products will even out the water-alkaline balance of the skin, have a softening effect on the epidermis and adapt it to the chemical component.

soothing mask after peeling

Beauticians have developed a scheme for using acid-containing preparations in the preparatory period, depending on your type of epidermis:

  • oily, combination skin – during the first 7 days it is enough to apply such cosmetics 1 once a day, after 7 days double the number of receptions (during the morning toilet and in the evening);
  • dry – it is enough to use such 1 products once a day throughout the preparatory phase;
  • normal – it is recommended to apply products containing 2 oxyacetic acid once a day (preferably in the morning and evening). If dryness occurs, reduce the sessions to one time.

48 hours before acid exfoliation, apply a small amount of glycol peeling to the inner fold of the elbow. Follow the reaction. Swelling, itching, or severe burning are unacceptable phenomena. These are signs of an allergy to the drug. In this case, you will have to reduce the acid concentration, replace the procedure (try almond or milk peels) or completely postpone. What to do, the beautician decides.

Directly peeling

The acid exposure process is performed in the following order:

  1. Remains of makeup, particles of sweat, dust and dirt are removed from the surface. For this, the cosmetologist uses a cleansing milk, gel or lotion.
  2. Degreasing – fatty particles hold the molecules of hydroxyacetic acid on the surface, not passing them deeper into the epidermis. In this case, it is pointless to expect a high result, therefore, before applying the acid composition, the cosmetologist wipes the patient’s face with a degreasing lotion. Particular attention is paid to the mouths of the sebaceous ducts.
  3. In a separate container, the cosmetologist pours the necessary amount of acid. Then, with two cotton buds, he distributes the liquid to the surface of the face. This is done quickly to ensure uniform penetration of the composition into the skin. For confidence, a light massage is performed.
  4. To reduce pain (possibly tingling and burning), a stream of cold air is directed to the patient’s face.
  5. After a few minutes, depending on the percentage of acid chosen and the pH of the solution, the cosmetologist will neutralize the acid. As a rule, an isotonic (in other words, physiological) solution is used for these purposes. It stops the action of acid and stabilizes the water-salt balance. The complete neutralization of acid exposure is indicated by the absence of discomfort, burning.
  6. To soothe the skin after glycolic peeling, a special mask is applied to the face. After 5 minutes, it is washed off, and the skin is treated with nourishing and sunscreen.
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On this, exfoliation in the beauty salon is over and a new stage begins – rehabilitation. It depends on how quickly and easily the restoration of the skin will pass, as well as the final result of the chemical effect.

Recovery phase

The rehabilitation period after the peeling lasts 7 days (in the normal course of skin renewal). During this time, skin regeneration will take place, peeling and redness, usual for acid peeling, will take place.

Beauticians recommend adhering to such rules during the rehabilitation period:

  • the first 5 days to regularly use sunscreen products to prevent the appearance of excessive pigmentation;
  • less to be in the sun, on the street in general;
  • to refuse visits to baths, saunas or tanning salons. Experts advise staying at home;
  • use cosmetic products prescribed by the beautician during the week. They, as a rule, have enhanced regenerative properties, stimulate active epidermal renewal;
  • to postpone physical stress and exercise, they provoke an increase in temperature and a rush of blood to the face;
  • skin renewal will be accompanied by active peeling, dead tissue will hang down. You can’t rip them off, you can carefully trim with scissors, but no more!

The better the skin care during the rehabilitation period, the faster and more effective the final result will be. The slightest deviation in recovery requires immediate consultation with a cosmetologist.

How many procedures will be required and how often

When asked how many procedures will be required, the cosmetologist will answer. This parameter depends on the individual characteristics of the patient and the effectiveness of the first cleaning. On average, up to 5 acid peeling sessions are required for the result to be noticeable. However, the full course can be up to 10 exfoliations.

Each subsequent peeling is performed only after complete restoration of the skin. It takes 7 – 10 days. If we are talking about median glycolic peeling, then here the interval between the procedures can be increased to 3 months.

Is it possible to perform the following peeling, a cosmetologist determines by skin condition. The result of exfoliations depends on his professionalism, so take seriously the choice of a clinic or beauty salon.

Unpleasant consequences after peeling

Glycol peeling is considered one of the safest among dry cleanings. But even he has complications and unpleasant consequences. What it is?

  • A burn of 1 or 2 degree is a consequence of an improperly selected acid concentration or an increase in exposure time. You suspect that the situation is out of control, immediately neutralize the effect of acid, apply a cream against burns and hurry to the doctor. Subsequent cleansing procedures are performed after complete restoration and healing of the affected areas.
  • Hyperpigmentation is a sign of increased photosensitivity of the skin or a violation of the rules of conduct during the rehabilitation period. Before cleaning, carefully study the contraindications and advice of cosmetologists on how to behave in the post-peeling period. This will eliminate the appearance of age spots on the face.
  • An allergic reaction (irritation, itching, rash) is again a violation of peeling technology. Before using a chemical agent, be sure to conduct an allergy test. If the reaction is accompanied by severe swelling, breathing is difficult – call an ambulance. In case of a mild reaction, neutralize the acid effect yourself and go to the doctor.
  • Increased dryness of the skin – consult a cosmetologist. He will prescribe additional moisturizers.

Remember! Compliance with the rules of preparation, peeling and rehabilitation period reduces the risk of complications. Your health and the final result of the procedure depend on this.

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