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Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is the most exciting skin care discovery in recent years. A natural fruit acid derived from sugar cane, glycolic belongs to the alpha-hydroxy acid family. Glycolic acid naturally increases skin’s exfoliation process, helping remove dull, dead cells to reveal fresh, noticeable smoother, younger-looking skin. Having a peel with a facial enhances the healthy effects of the facial by first clearing old, dull skin cells. With a fresh surface, skin benefits more easily and deeply from a Skin Care by Jennifer facial.

What is glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is a natural substance derived from sugar cane, making it a member of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family. Some of the more well-known are AHA’s are citric acid (derived from citrus fruits), lactic acid (milk), tartaric acid (wine) and malic acid (apples). Hundreds of years before dermatology had become a scientific pursuit, women were using a variety of AHA’s to smooth and soften their skin. Cleopatra’s legendary beauty often makes mention of her exquisite skin. It is possible that her complexion was so remarkable, in part, by lactic acid and AHA found in the milk baths she had a penchant for . Perhaps camel’s milk baths?

Is glycolic acid safe?

Yes, glycolic acid is 100% non-toxic. The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of glycolic acid by the general public in milder concentrations than what is permitted for use by professional; both are completely safe. It is not considered a drug and does not enter the blood stream. Glycolic products can safely be used before and after exposure to the sun, although a sun screen is recommended to prevent photo aging. When used as directed, glycolic acid has no undesirable effects.

How exactly does glycolic acid work?

Glycolic acid dissolves a glue-like substance in the skin’s upper layer, allowing dead skin cells to shed more quickly. The increase in cell turnover stimulates collagen production. The results include smoothing wrinkles and improvement to the overall suppleness and integrity of skin tissue.

As skin ages, the release of old skin cells slows dramatically and the most visible layer, the stratum corneum, thickens unevenly. This skin can appear dry, scaly and exhibit hyper-pigmentation (”age spots”). With the release of these older, dry cells, the skin begins to look and feel hydrated and soft. Pore size is reduced, and the overall color and health of the skin improves by the increased circulation.

The benefits of glycolic acid are extraordinary for acne sufferers. Glycolic acid reduces frequent cause of troubled complexions, hyperkeratosis (the build-up of dead cells). Glycolic penetrates skin to effectively release new cells which heals blemishes and pimples. By keeping cell build-up to a minimum, the acne begins to noticeable diminish. Treatment with glycolic is equally successful on scars and pigmentation.

Age spots are lightened with the release of dark or pigmented surface cells. Glycolic acid together with kojic acid (a natural anti-pigmentation product derived from mushrooms), is the best way to naturally lighten uneven skin pigment. Many age spots on the face, hands and arms are simple keratosis. Glycolic products are very effective in reducing superficial lesions by penetrating skin’s thickened layer, preventing trouble before it begins. Sun block is essential to prevent re-pigmentation.

What results can I expect when using glycolic acid?

The immediate effects are increased circulation and hydration, which improve skin’s texture and color. Noticeable changes from prolonged use include refined pore size, diminishing fine lines and scars, more even skin tone and softening of deep lines. The benefits to acne-prone complexions are most dramatic, skin is visibly less blemished and irritated with a much healthier, even appearance.

Are there any side effects from using glycolic acid?

With initial treatment, some people experience a slight, momentary stinging, which is reduced by applying the product to dry skin. Occasionally light flaking is experienced and slightly increased sensitivity, which only lasts a few weeks. Both are minimal and can be eased by cleansing with a soft facial brush and applying moisturizer. Also, if skin is sensitive only use gentle cleansers and avoid harsh scrubs. As cell turnover accelerates, sensitivity diminishes. The most common side effect from glycolic acid? Healthier, clearer, younger-looking skin.

I do recommend you stop using glycolic products 72 hours before a professional peel and resume 72 hours after the professional peel.

What Does Glycolic Do?

Glycolic “unglues” the outer layer of dead skin cells, allowing healthier cells to come to the surface.  Removing this dead layer will improve the skin texture and color, unclog pores, and allow moisturizers to be better absorbed.  Glycolic also improves the appearance and feel of sun-damaged, dry and/or thick skin.  Sun damage in particular causes the top layer of skin to become thicker, creating a dull, rough appearance.

Glycolic Peels can be targeted to soften and smooth facial lines and wrinkles, or to lighten unsightly “age spots” and freckles while reducing the signs of aging.  Glycolic Peels also help improve texture and clear acne-prone skin.