A glycolic acid chemical peel is a skin treatment that is used to make the facial skin look younger. It can also be used to help treat acne and reduce the appearance of scars from acne, including scars that are pigmented more deeply than the rest of the skin on the face. A glycolic acid chemical peel is also often called a "light chemical peel." It is part of a spectrum of chemical peels that include light, medium, and deep peels, which vary in terms of how drastic their results are and how much time it takes to recover from them.
In addition to glycolic acid, light chemical peels are often formulated with fruit acids, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. All of these kinds of acid are alphahydroxy acids, which are sometimes simply referred to as "AHAs." These are the kinds of acids that are used to perform the mildest kinds of facial peels.
There are companies that include a glycolic acid chemical peel in their lines of beauty products that are intended for use at home. Even though these products have been formulated for individual use, it is best to have a dermatologist apply the glycolic acid chemical peel if possible. One of the important reasons to do this is that a dermatologist will be able to assess the skin prior to performing the treatment to make sure that the treatment is right for the skin. Also, a dermatologist can perform any follow-up care that is needed.
The results of a glycolic acid chemical peel usually include the reduction in depth and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face. This kind of peel will also help to treat acne and reduce the occurrence and severity of future breakouts. A glycolic acid chemical peel can also help to rebalance patches of dryness and uneven skin texture.
One of the benefits of a glycolic acid chemical peel is that it requires a relatively short recovery period, unlike a deep chemical peel, which can require weeks of recovery. In fact, it is often the case that a person who has been treated with a glycolic acid chemical peel requires no recovery time at all. For a short period of time following a glycolic acid chemical peel, dermatologists and physicians usually recommend using special moisturizers to protect the skin and keep it from becoming excessively dry as well as avoiding direct sunlight.