Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about Alpha Hydroxy Acids and wondered, “Is this the real deal or just the latest fad?” Actually, Glycolic Acid Treatments and alpha hydroxy acid treatments have been used for centuries. It’s been said that Queen Cleopatra used alpha hydroxy acids to maintain her signature glow. Legends aside, the results from Glycolic Acid Treatments are amazing!
What is Glycolic Acid?
Don’t be fooled by the word acid, Glycolic acid is a natural ingredient derived from cane sugar. It’s the smallest molecule in of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids group of active compounds. The advantage comes with it’s small size. Glycolic Acid is small enough to easily penetrate deep into the skin and safely treat acne, blackheads, fine lines, oiliness, dullness and more. For instance, if you are using an over-the-counter skin cleanser to help keep your complexion clear, then there’s a good chance you’re using a product that contains glycolic acid. In lower levels, usually below 10%, this product is able to work into your skin, clean out dead skin cells and clogged oils that cause acne and other skin conditions. The result is a clean, clear complexion that is free from redness and pain! For some, an OTC product isn’t strong enough to reach into the deep recesses of painful acne or other troublesome skin conditions. For those that need a powerful solution, a glycolic peel offers hope for a clear complexion. Instead of a 10% or less solution, a professional chemical peel offers up to a 70% solution of glycolic acid. The result? Deep penetration and guaranteed exfoliation of the skin.
How Does Glycolic Acid Work?
During a Glycolic Acid treatment, these tiny molecules work quickly and efficiently at dissolving the glue between cells. First, it break down substances that bind cells together allowing skin to breathe. Then, it causes dead skin cells to shed away from healthy skin. This is why Glycolic Acid is a highly effective skin care treatment and is an especially effective acne treatment.
- Clears blocked pores and blackheads
- Clears up cystic acne is caused by dead skin cells.
- Acne scars are significantly reduced with multiple treatments
- The appearance of pores is greatly reduced by keeping pores clear and strengthening cells around pores.
- Also, reduce fine lines and signs of premature aging
Smoother, brighter looking skin is noticeable after most treatments.
Which Glycolic Acid Products are best for me?
Glycolic Acid treatments are available in a variety of treatments from moisturizers & chemical peels to products available only to skin care professionals.
Hylunia and Obagi have particular retail products with some percentage of glycolic acid in them. Products containing any notable amount of glycolic are professional products only (not for retail).
Obagi’s Nu-Derm line (retail and professional) does offer products containing a small percent of glycolic acid (6%). Particularly Obagi Nu-Derm® Exfoderm® Forte. Exfoderm is an exfoliant, and designed to be used in conjunction with other Nu-Derm products or the entire Nu-Derm System (which we recommend) to cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate and protect.
Hylunia Glycolic Acid Concentrate 28%, Glycolic Acid Booster 30% are examples of Hylunia glycolics (based on a 70% solution). At Amabella Wellness Spa, we offer a $40 Hylunia Glycolic Peel Add-On that can be included with almost any facial treatment upon request. Many of our facial treatments often include the use of Hylunia Papaya/Bromelain Enzyme Concentrate which is a gentle and exfoliating enzyme that is excellent for acne/oily skin, rosacea, dehydration, thin/delicate skin or when glycolic or alpha hydroxy acid is too irritating. Also sometimes used in conjunction with Glycolic Peel as well. So, basically use of glycolic acid is dependent on skin type (and estheticians discretion). Your Esthetician can help you decide which product is best to achieve your desired results.
Professional treatment Glycolic Peels can be provided once weekly/biweekly for up to six weeks (depending on skin). After the six week period, we recommend monthly treatments thereafter then an at-home care regimen is recommended for maintenance.