Glycolic Peel Treatment

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Glycolic Acid Peel

Glycolic acid peel is a chemical peeling treatment based on alpha-hydroxy acid. This solution comes from sugar beets, sugar cane, and other natural items. Due to its intermediate strength, this acid is classified as a medium chemical peeling solution. People usually get glycolic acid peel for acne and other skin issues. 

What makes this acid a suitable skin treatment solution are its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it doesn’t cause severe pain in the treated region. However, getting this treatment only from a skilled doctor is crucial.

Who can get glycolic acid peels?

Since it is a minimally invasive solution, glycolic acid peel benefits a vast majority of people willing to enhance their appearance. Generally, you are a good candidate for this treatment if:

  • You do not want to undergo highly invasive skin rejuvenation treatments.
  • have a fair skin tone.
  • You want to treat acne, acne scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles.
  • have dark patches on the skin.
  • You have realistic expectations from the procedure.

Although this treatment reduces the aging impact on the skin, it doesn’t lessen the skin’s sagginess. Moreover, you should speak to your doctor if you have sensitive skin.

Preparing for the procedure

Although a skin doctor will have the final say regarding what to do before getting glycolic acid peels, some instructions are general for everyone, for instance:

  • You will need to stop using products that contain retinoids for at least two to three weeks before the treatment.
  • Do not take Accutane for at least 12 months before the treatment.
  • Ensure not to get laser hair removal treatment and waxing a week before the treatment.
  • Make sure that you take all the prescribed medicines.
  • Ensure to discuss your medical history with the skin doctor.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure 48 hours before the treatment.


A glycolic chemical peel is a peeling solution of medium strength, which means it remains minimally invasive.

The dermatologist will apply glycolic acid to the target area using a sponge, cotton-tipped applicator, or gauze. Subsequently, your skin may whiten and develop a burning or stinging sensation. So you may be given a handheld fan to cool the area.

How does it work?

Hyperpigmentation is usually deep-rooted, meaning that any treatment option you consider to remove it must act at a certain skin depth. Your skin becomes white once the pigmented cells are gone.

During glycolic acid peeling treatment, the skin doctor allows the peeling solution to sit on the skin for a particular amount of time. During this time, the solution penetrates the top skin layer and reaches the middle layer, targeting pigmented cells. As a result, those cells lose hold of the surrounding skin tissues and head to the lymphatic drainage system to leave the body.

Moreover, your skin doctor may recommend glycolic peel for acne treatment. When applied to the acne-affected area, the glycolic peel solution removes impurities from whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.

What to expect?

The skin treated with glycolic acid may turn pink. Glycolic acid peel may prompt the treated skin area to peel, usually for a few days. The post-treatment recovery can take a week or so, but the results start to appear during this time. However, this treatment doesn’t lead to a dramatic transformation as some people might expect.

Post-treatment care

Post-treatment care aims to ensure a smooth recovery and the best results. Your dermatologist may instruct you to adhere to the following steps.

  • Do not take vitamin A and Retin-A products for at least 48 hours after the treatment.
  • Do not wax the treated area for at least 72 hours.
  • Avoid any intense physical workout for a day or two.
  • Do not walk out in the sun unprotected. 
  • Avoid facial treatments for at least seven days. More specifically, avoid any skin exfoliation treatments.
  • Wash your face with cool water and pat it dry.

The uncomfortable symptoms usually persist for a few days. Call your doctor if those symptoms do not seem to subside.

Our Doctors

Lola Ali Muhammad
Laser Therapist and Skin Treatments Expert
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Elham Shariat
Beauty Laser Therapist
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Dr. Fazeela Abbasi MD
Celebrity Dermatologist and Laser Specialist
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Dr. Rutsnei Schmitz
Cosmetic Dermatologist
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Remember, you must consult an experienced practitioner to get the best glycolic acid peel treatment. At Laser Skin Care Clinic, we offer glycolic acid peel treatment from the hands of highly skilled dermatologists. So, fill out the form below to speak to one of those practitioners or book a consultation.

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