7 Aug 2011

Glycolic acid peel at home

Hello ladies

Today I thought I would fill you all in on my latest beauty treatment, I have been doing loads of Internet surfing to get as much information as possible about chemical peels as they really do give noticeable results unlike loads of skin creams and serums etc so let me fill you in with some history of my skin.

I have always had really good skin, I never had breakouts even as a teenager and the texture and tone of my skin has always been really good but since having my girls it has changed. The texture is still great and even though I'm nearing thirty I'm hardly getting fine lines yet. What has changed though is the pigmentation I know have little darker patches around my top lip and eyes, it's called melasma (common name is the mask of pregnancy) it's a lot to do with hormones while you are pregnant, see below.


Although in my first pregnancy I had melasma bad, as soon as Kimberley was born it went almost straight away and I had my lovely skin back which was great! After months of dark patches slowly appearing I suddenly had my original smooth clear skin.

Not so great was when in my second pregnancy it came back and although when Amelia was born it faded dramatically it didn't disappear like it did the first time (sad face) very disappointing for me as I had just expected it to go.

Anyways it's not really that bad I use a high SPF 50 everyday which has helped loads but I really would like it gone dark patches are definitely aging and it's more annoying because they are not age spots! And I know that it will eventually fade over time as my mum had it really bad, she had five pregnancies and was a sun worshiper but now hers is all gone.

I'm digressing apologies, so I know that you can get chemical peels which help with loads of stuff, fine lines, pigmentation, acne scars and more. There are a lot of people who say it is dangerous to use chemical peels at home and there are loads of people who successfully do it.

Click here for more information on glycolic acid peels, also I found an interesting website explaining why glycolic peels go wrong which made it all less scary click here to read.

There's quite a lot to know really and a lot of different information out there but basically there are thee types of chemical peels

Superficial peels are the mildest type of chemical peel and can be used on all skin types. Superficial peels usually use liquid containing a mild (dilute) acid, most often glycolic acid. Dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) is sometimes used.

Medium peels penetrate the skin more deeply than superficial peels and cause a second-degree burn of the skin. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is the main peeling agent used for medium peels, though the peel may also be done in several steps using a different chemical solution followed by TCA.

Deep peels penetrate several layers of skin and cause a second-degree burn of the skin. They are used only on the face. A chemical called phenol is usually used for a deep peel. Deep peels may not be used on darker skin types because they tend to bleach the skin (hypopigmentation). Even in lighter-skinned people, phenol peels-or any type of deep resurfacing-may bleach the skin. A deep peel can be done only once in most cases.

Above information from webmd.com

The type of peel I'm trying out is the first I wouldn't try anything stronger and I am not writing this post to recommend readers try this as I don't want to be responsible for any ones skin other than my own and my girls. I do however feel confident that if research is done and precautions are taken nothing will actually go wrong which is why I have decided to try glycolic acid peels at home.

There are also different types of the superficial peels, below is some more information from wikipedia


Alpha hydroxy acid peels
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk and tomato juice. This is the mildest of the peel formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Alpha hydroxy acids can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin's texture.
There are five usual fruit acids: citric acids (citrus-derived), glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (although derived from milk, this is still considered a "fruit acid"), malic acid (derived from apples) and tartaric acid (derived from grapes). Many other alpha hydroxy acids exist and are used.
  • Citric acid: Usually derived from lemons, oranges, limes and pineapples. These peels are simple and effective, although not incredibly invasive or capable of significant improvement with one treatment.[citation needed]
  • Glycolic acid: Formulated from sugar cane, this acid creates a mild exfoliating action. Glycolic acid peels work by loosening up and exfoliating the superficial top layer. This peel also stimulates collagen growth.[citation needed] High strength peels are good in terms of efficacy but they irritate more. Some glycolic peels claim the use of strontium nitrate in order to try to reduce skin irritation. Nevertheless, strontium nitrate is a product which is strictly prohibited in cosmetic products since it has an high toxic potential [2]
  • Lactic acid: This acid is derived from either sour milk or bilberries. This peel will remove dead skin cells, and promote healthier skin.[citation needed]
  • Malic acid: This peel is the same type of mildly invasive peel derived from the extracts of apples. It can open up the pores, allow the pores to expel their sebum and reduce acne.[citation needed]
  • Tartaric acid: This is derived from grape extract and is capable of delivering the same benefits as the above peels.[citation needed]
AHA peels are not indicated for treating wrinkles.[3][4]
AHA peels may cause stinging, cause skin redness, cause mild skin irritation, cause dryness, and take multiple treatments for desired results.

So you can see why all the celebs have these peels and why they are so expensive to have done just google before and after images and see!

Chemical peels come in different strengths, glycolic acid peels range from 20% to 70% acid and it gets complicated because people leave their peels on for different times and then to get even more complicated the information varies on how many days to leave in between peels, oh and it gets even more complicated too because apparently the pH levels of the peels also play a part e.g the lower the pH the more effective so there is a lot to look into and I'm not surprised people have accidents with things like this but to be fair from what I have read I think people are not doing their research and swapping brands which may have different pH levels, using too often or leaving on for too long etc.

With everything I have read (a lot) I decided to get a 20% glycolic peel with a pH balance of 2.5 and use it once a week starting with a minute and working it up a minute each time as I think this is really playing safe.

But before I even did a peel I did a patch test on my cheek to make sure I wasn't allergic to glycolic acid, I then waited 48 hours and did my first peel avoiding the patch I'd already done.

I left it on for one minute then washed it straight off with warm water and baby soap (some people are more cautious and use baking soda and water to neutralise the acid but I was comfortable with baby soap)

My skin was fine although I didn't see any difference I didn't expect to I just wanted to start building my skin up to leaving the peel on for longer.

A week to the day later I did the second peel, after the second minute was up I decided to do two more as I barely felt any stinging and was using such a weak peel I felt it would be ok, my skin was fine and I think it's looking smoother and the melasma is looking more faded but maybe it's my imagination but maybe not. I am going to do five minutes next time.

I shall keep doing research into peels and keep using my glycolic acid and of course report back on how my skin is getting on, I will also add pics of my skin.

I hope this was interesting

Thanks for reading

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