How Do I Choose the Best Glycolic Face Peel?

Kristeen Moore
Kristeen Moore
Glycoloc face peels should not be used more than twice a week.
Glycoloc face peels should not be used more than twice a week.

A glycolic face peel is a type of chemical facial product made from alpha-hydroxy acids often advertised for its anti-aging results. The peels are performed by dermatologists, but there are also over-the-counter versions available so that you can give yourself a facial at home. While these peels are used to rejuvenate the skin, they also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sun spots, and acne, as well as increasing skin cell production and collagen to provide the user with a more youthful appearance. Though marketed primarily for aging adults, they can also be beneficial for young adults who want smoother skin. Glycolic face peels vary in intensity, so choosing the appropriate version depends on your own skin type and your purpose for using the product.

When shopping for facial peels, you will notice that products contain different concentrations of glycolic acid. The differences are significant, and can range from 10% to 70% of glycolic acid. Choosing the correct amount depends on your skin condition as well as your experience with the product. It is advised that you use the least amount of concentration to start if you are new to glycolic peels, and then increase the amount as your face becomes accustomed to the product. If you have sensitive skin, try testing the product on a small portion of your face prior to your facial.

The amount of concentration you choose also depends on your skin condition. Lower amounts are the most appropriate for very dry and sensitive skin, while you can use a 30% concentration if you have combination skin. Glycolic acid peels with a 50% to 70% concentration are generally best for oily skin, but some professional dermatologists will use these on patients with all skin types.

When deciphering between products, keep in mind your main purpose for using the glycolic face peel. If you want to simply rejuvenate the skin, a lower concentration will likely do the job. Stubborn acne, wrinkles, and scars can stand a stronger amount of product, but only if your skin type will allow for it.

Positive experiences with glycolic face peel use can entice you to want to use the product often. Generally, you should not use chemical peels more than twice in one week, while sensitive skin may only tolerate the peel once a month. Your facial skin will need to get accustomed to the product, so using the peel too often can cause side effects, such as dryness and a rash.

The skin should be cleansed prior to using a glycolic face peel so that the product will work more effectively. Choose a mild cleanser to reduce the risk of irritation, as acid-containing products might interact with stronger glycolic concentrations in particular, causing redness and rashes. You might experience mild redness from the glycolic face peel that will subside within a few days as it scabs off. Consider calling a dermatologist if facial redness is severe, or if it lasts longer than one week.

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    • Glycoloc face peels should not be used more than twice a week.
      Glycoloc face peels should not be used more than twice a week.