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Glycolic Treatments 101

Thinking about getting a glycolic treatment? You may have a few questions first, so we’re breaking down the process for you.

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is part of the group of active compounds known as AHAs. AH-what? Alpha Hydroxy Acids. AHAs can be derived from natural substances such as sugar cane, milk, grapes. They are made up of tiny molecules of hydrophilic and water soluble acids.

 

AHAs lightly exfoliate to help promote younger-looking skin, blood flow, collagen production, and overall skin health. They are preferred for sun-damaged, scarred, and dry skin, because glycolic acid improves moisture content.

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The Peel

Each professional has slightly different techniques and, depending on the condition of your skin, may choose to use different strengths of the acid. Peels come in several classifications: mild, medium, and deep.

 

The word “acid” may sound terrifying, but the reality is that any pain experienced during this process is short-lived. Most people feel a burning sensation for about 5-10 minutes after the glycolic acid is applied, followed by some stinging. This can be helped by using a cool compress and taking pain-relief medicine, such as ibuprofen.

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The Process

Deep cleansing

This goes without saying, but to prep for the feel, face needs cleansed to rid of any dirt, makeup, topical creams and serums, etc.

 

Apply glycolic acid

If you’re receiving a peel at a top-of-the-line establishment, they’re going to be using Intrinsics. More specifically, your professional will use our Glycolic Applicator to evenly apply the acid onto the face. Because our glycolic applicator has lightly absorbent tips it will not soak up the glycolic acid, allowing for it to be applied to more effectively.

 

Apply neutralizer

Like the name eludes, a neutralizer is applied after acid soaks on the face for a varied amount of time or passes. This is a necessary step to all types of peels, including a glycolic peel.

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After the Peel

Like sunburn, a mild peel will essentially blister face, causing the outermost layer of skin to “peel” (ha-ha, get it?), flake, and fall off over the course of the week (3-7 days). Mild peels may be repeated in advised intervals to achieve the skin you want. It is strongly recommended to use broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen after a glycolic treatment because exfoliants can make skin photosensitive. It is also advised to avoid direct sunlight when possible.

 

Before scheduling an appointment, talk with your esthetician about what peel will be best for your skin based on your desired goal. At home chemical peels may sound enticing, but can be unsafe and result in a number of unwanted effects. Save yourself any mishaps and visit your local professional instead.

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