What’s the Deal with Glycolic Acids?


Glycolic acids have become a household name in recent years—and glycolic cleansers, serums, and creams have taken the market by storm, for good reason. This popular acid has been tried, tested, and proven to create significant improvement on the skin.

But what is glycolic acid? Naturally derived from fruit, this Alpha Hydroxy Acid is known for its ability to provide safe, effective treatment for most skin types with minimal risk and no down time. Known as the “lunchtime” peel, our patients love that they see immediate improvement with the long-term benefits.

What makes this peel so popular?

High percentages of patients see a visual improvement in the overall texture and tone of the skin immediately. This popular peel has been proven to aid in:

  • Visual pore reduction
  • Actinic Keratosis
  • Acne scaring
  • Acne reduction
  • Normalization of Keratinization
  • Increase Hylaronic acid
  • Reduction of comedones
  • Treatment of inflamed and non-flamed lesions
  • Reduction of melasma
  • Assists with collagen production
  • Reduction of acne scars with the production of new, healthy cells
  • Elimination of dead skin and speeds up cellular turn over
  • Reduction of sun damage

How does it work and what to expect:

The common AHA can be used over-the-counter or in your cosmetic surgeon’s office and ranges in benefits based several factors: pH of the acid, delivery system of the acid, length of time on the skin, buffering agent, and frequency of use.

When used in the office, the skin is prepped with alcohol to strip any oil for better penetration. The glycolic acid is then applied to the skin, where it reacts with the epidermis and weakens the binding properties of the lipids that hold dead skin together. Think of bricks and mortar: once the mortar is dissolved, the bricks can be removed. This reaction rids your skin of dull, damaged, or dead cells, revealing healthy, glowing skin.

After treatment, your epidermis should have an overall improvement in hydration in the lower epidermal cells, and you should see the formation of healthy cells over the following month. During the procedure, you can expect mild tingling and itching, followed by some redness and occasional peeling or scabs. Most often, expect to see lovely, radiant skin. We encourage monthly treatments for maximum results.

All glycolics are not created equal—and educating yourself will be helpful in determining how much correction to expect and what type of glycolic acid is most appropriate for you. Always ask questions and seek treatment from licensed, experienced aestheticians or physicians.

Contact us to schedule a consultation with our master aesthetician to learn about the treatment best suitable for you.

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