A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use a Glycolic Acid Peel

Posted on September 06, 2016 by Jane Young | 0 comments

Want to save hundreds of dollars? Instead of going to your local dermatologist, or med-spa for a glycolic acid peel, you may do so right at home, at a fraction of the cost. But first, you should know how to apply it safely and effectively to get the desired results.

At-home glycolic acid peels are not that different from professional chemical peels, but like all other chemical peels, they have their risks. After all, there is no one watching over your skin during the peel to monitor its progress. So, to increase your chances of getting desired results for less than half the price of a professionally-done procedure, understand what to expect, and use quality peels from reliable sources.

Keep reading to learn more about chemical peels and how to safely do it at home.

What is a Peel?

A peel is a skincare product that you can put on your face and, as the name implies, is peeled off. A chemical peel such as a glycolic acid peel uses a solution that features a beneficial skin acid as its main component to improve the skin.

Gycolic acid, in particular, is a very effective and popular treatment for acne and wrinkles. Part of the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) family, which is a naturally-derived ingredient, glycolic acid helps take off the "glue" that holds the dryer, older, and rougher skin on the surface. Once that top layer is removed, new skin will surface. This is the layer that is fresh and devoid of damage.

Those who have tried glycolic acid peels are normally amazed with the results - they have fewer fine lines and wrinkles, and those with acne notice that their skin is much clearer and less oily.

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is used as an ingredient in skin-lightening products in low concentrations. It is the smallest alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and is both colorless and odorless. Glycolic acid is the most commonly recognized chemical peel solution, most likely due to the fact that it is beneficial to all skin types regardless of gender, age or ethnicity.

Glycolic acid may also be used as a peeling agent in concentrations of 30-70% . Chemical peels done with glycolic acid removes the epidermis (top layer of the skin), thus reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars.

What are the benefits of using a Glycolic Acid Peel


  • Decreases fine lines
  • Provides an even, deep exfoliation
  • Stimulates skin cells to increase turnover
  • Minimizes pores
  • Cleanses and clears blocked pores, fades dark spots, evens skin tone
  • Stimulates collagen and greatly improve texture with frequent use

How Often Should You Use Glycolic Acid Peels

Glycolic peels have a cumulative effect, and it is recommended that you have six to eight treatments every three to four weeks. Consistent use gives the best results.

Once you've done a few peels at this rate and are seeing good results, a maintenance treatment once every 1 or 2 months is all that's needed. This will avoid over-peeling effects such as thinning or sensitivity.

Where to Start?

For at-home use, it is best to start off with a 20-50 percent solution of glycolic acid with a pH of 2-3. Do not use a product with a higher concentration than that if you are a first time user.

Look for products that include full instructions.

Pre-peel treatment

1. A week before using the peel, discontinue use of tretinoin, retinol or any other product that is can potentially irritate your skin. Avoid using masks, exfoliating agents, scrubs or self-tanners for at least 48 hours.
2. Stop use of topical products containing AHA, BHA, and Vitamin A 48 hours before the peel.
3. Do not shave or wax facial hair within 48 hours on the peel area.
4. Notify a doctor if you have history of cold sores, fever blisters or herpes anywhere on the face prior to peel.
5. 1 week prior to the peel and 1 week after the peel avoid sun exposure and tanning.

How to Use a Glycolic Acid Peel

Patch test:

1. Test a small spot under your chin before applying the solution to your entire face to ensure that you have no allergic reaction to the peel.

2. Apply the peel to a small section of skin and let rest for 1-2 minutes.

3. Wait 48-72 hours and monitor for excess redness or irritation.

Peel Procedure:

1. Use a gentle facial scrub 24 hours before using a peel
2. Wash your face thoroughly with a transparent cleanser. Do not use any cream cleaners or face washes that will leave residue.
3. Apply a small amount of the glycolic peel solution to a thin cotton pad. Make sure to apply evenly in one layer.
4. FIRST TIME USERS: only leave peel on for 30 seconds while determining skin sensitivity to the peel. This is an important step to figure out how much time your skin can tolerate before increasing the duration of the peel. The longer the peel is left on, the deeper it penetrates and the longer the recovery time.
5. For the succeeding treatments, leave it on for 1 minute. You may increase by 2-minute increments until you reach 5 minutes max. Start timing once you apply that first stroke.
6. Apply to less sensitive areas first, such as the forehead, chin, and cheeks, and then to the nose, lower eyelids, and neck. You may also apply Vaseline to areas where you don't want the acid to be, like your eyebrows, eye, nostrils, and lip area.
7. Watch your skin and not the clock. When your skin is turning pink, it is time to neutralize the acid with a cotton ball soaked in the neutralizing solution to stop the action of the acid (witch hazel works fine, but you may also use a solution of 1/2 cup baking soda mixed with 2cups water), starting with the most sensitive areas first.
8. Wash face thoroughly with cool water for about 30 seconds
9. Gently pat the face dry with a soft towel
10. Moisturize the skin with YEOUTH's L-22 Anti-Aging Moisturizer (use a very generous amount) as often as needed and always wear a minimum of SPF 30 to protect the skin during the day. It's best to avoid the sun for a few days after the procedure.
11. Repeat peels every 2-3 weeks as necessary to attain significant lightening and maintain clear, supple skin


The glycolilc acid peel product is simple - pure concentration and a recommended pH. YEOUTH Glycolic Acid Peel has a 30% concentration and a pH of 2.0. It will be available both on the YEOUTH site and Amazon at $24.95!

Sign up for our newsletter to receive a MASSIVE launch discount here! (scroll down yeouth.com homepage and enter email address into newsletter input)

After you have incorporated a consistent use of the glycolic acid peel in your routine, you'll have everyone wondering where your youthful glow is coming from. Enjoy its plumping, clearing, and rejuvenating benefits!




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