So, I just did another 70% glycolic acid peel*. This is the first one I had done since I’ve been using 0.05% Retin-A, so I was pretty nervous. But, after researching quite a bit, I decided to go ahead and do it.
Since my skin is now hyperexfoliated, it appeared as if my results would be even better, because the acid could penetrate more. The only problem is that my skin is also hypersensitive now, so I knew it would be much more irritating.
With chemical peels, the amount of time the acid is left on the skin varies from person to person. It can also be different each time for the same person, depending on skin condition at any given time. The acid could be left on anywhere from a few seconds all the way to over ten minutes.
If the skin starts burning, or when frosting starts, it’s time to neutralize and/or remove the acid. Frosting is when areas of the skin start turning white, which is technically a chemical burn.
Prior to using Retin-A, I could leave the acid on for ten minutes with just mild tingling, absolutely no burning or frosting. This time, I started noticing frosting at just the five minute point, so I rinsed, then washed. Man, oh man, was my skin sensitive that night- it felt like I had a moderate sunburn.
With a strong peel, your skin will look worse before it gets better. You can end up with redness, blotchiness, peeling, inflammation, and all sorts of unpleasantness. After using such great skin care products, it seemed almost a shame to go backward and look worse!
Despite being terrified when looking in the mirror, my skin healed very quickly, with a noticeable difference every day. I just had to remind myself that this is normal, especially since I had actually developed frosting. The easy part was remembering to take care of my skin, since it was irritated, I never forgot. You can read more about how I took care of it here. The hard part was not picking or pulling at the flakes!
After a week, I could wear a tinted moisturizer and all the irritation was easily covered. After about three weeks, I was nearly back to normal. Results will continue to improve over the next month or two as new collagen is produced. Some people have even noticed improvement over six months. FYI- sun protection is an absolute MUST.
A glycolic peel can give you great results- reduced hyperpigmentation, fewer fine lines and wrinkles, and more of a healthy glow. I just got asked for my ID when buying some wine, and I’m 40! Just be careful with the products you use or you can do some serious damage. If you’ve never experienced a peel, start off with a very light over-the-counter product from Sephora or Ulta. If you want a medium strength peel, consult a qualified esthetician; or for a deeper peel, see your dermatologist or physician.
If you’re in the central Louisiana area and you would like a light to medium professional strength peel, you can contact Hannah Walker at Salon Rouge at 318.352.1735. If you would like a medium to deep medical peel, you can contact Cane River Surgery Center at 318.354.2555.
*If you have never had a glycolic peel, you should not attempt one of this strength on your own- as 70% glycolic acid is entering into the medium depth territory, many states do not even allow this strength of peel outside of a physician’s office (in which case you should follow the doctor’s instructions). If you are interested in doing an at-home peel, please get one from Sephora or Ulta, especially if it’s your first time. These solutions are a weaker strength and are buffered, so you won’t be likely to burn yourself.