No more hiding behind foundation! Acid peels will give you gorgeous skin.
When I was in my 20’s I was fortunate enough to be modeling all over the world, competing at international level pageants and attending A-league social events. I should have loved every minute of it but my skin was getting worse and worse with acne due to hormones. I remember kept hiding my skin with thick layers of foundation. I tried “everything” on the shelves at the shops but nothing worked because everything I tried was actually being counterproductive. Most acne products on the shelf try to dry out a pimple, resulting in the body telling itself that it needs to produce even more oil as a result. I was in a vicious cycle and damaging the protective lipid barrier, making my skin even more prone to infection and being sensitive. On top of that, I could not leave those pimples alone and would try popping them any chance I had. Some were toe-curling painful as I would mistake a ball of infection being a big pimple under my skin. Thus, an endless cycle of red-raw pimples at the worst time for me. Insert crying emoji and lots of concealer!!!
About 6 months later I went to a really high-end dermatologist in Melbourne Australia recommended by my doctor. Dr. Richie told me that I simply needed to wash my face with a gentle cleanser that was PH balanced to my skin (more on this later) and do Glycolic Peels once a week to clear up the inflammation and bacteria to give my skin a chance to moderate itself naturally again.
Glycolic acid is an AHA, which is short for alpha-hydroxy acid (the name refers to its chemical makeup) made from sugar cane.
If acids were a boy band, glycolic acid would be your Justin Timberlake (the one liked by everybody). I totally recommend getting glycolic peels if you want a gentle way to treat acne, aging, dry-skin concerns or just want a healthy glow. Dead skin cells are what cause a dull, uneven skin tone and the blocking of pores leading to blackheads and acne. Glycolic peels dissolve away the tough, dull, dead layer of skin leaving behind a smoother, shiny and bright skin surface with ultra-clear pores and a radiant glow for days. Glycolic acid also helps plump, rejuvenate and regenerate the skin cells underneath by stimulating the collagen resulting in smoothing out fine surface wrinkles and superficial scars. BONUS!
What’s also notable is the fact that it’s safe to use during pregnancy. “Glycolic acid is great for combating the hyperpigmentation that can occur from the hormonal surges that occur in pregnancy, called chloasma.
As soon as I had done my first peel, I could see my skin recovering each day. It was absolutely incredible. I went in once a week at first until my skin was completely clear, then I went monthly for maintenance. It cost me $30 each time I had a dermatologist do it for me.
You can buy your own professional grade Glycolic Acid cheaper online with the convenience of your own home. I recommend getting a low percentage of glycolic acid (20 percent) so that your skin can build up a resistance. Another solution is to simply reduce the time and do 30 seconds or so for your first time and slowly build up to 1-3 minutes. I must warn against buying higher levels of medical-grade peels at home as you risk extremely serious burns, scarring, and permanent damage to the skin if you don’t know what you are doing.
- Clean your face. put in on evenly with a foundation brush or cotton swab. Be careful not to get it anywhere near your eyes.
- I always double the serum on any pimples.
- Set the timer. 1 minute for beginners and up to 3 minutes for regular users.
- You will feel a tingle or itchy feeling while the fruit acid works away killing all that bacteria and dirt in your skin.
- When the timer goes off, simply wash your face with Cetaphil and moisturize with a light serum.
Things to take note of when using Glycolic Peels
When you put it on your skin, you will feel an itchy feeling. This is totally normal. I usually just fan my face to help feel a little relief from it. Your skin should feel fresh and tight when you have washed it off.
- If your skin appears red, irritated, itchy, and dry you have overused the product. If this happens, you will need to keep your skin well moisturized over the next few days.
- Don’t leave it on over the recommended time.
- Don’t do glycolic peels or chemical exfoliation products back to back. Your skin needs a week recharge time between peels.
- Combining chemical exfoliants in conjunction with retinol or vitamin C can increase sensitivity and dryness. Overworking the skin with too many actives can start to break the bonds between healthy skin cells and thinning the skin. Look for a product with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and peptides to strengthen the skin barrier.
- Do not use any exfoliation products or devices, “Excessive exfoliation can break down the stratum corneum—its job is to be a barrier against pathogens. If the barrier function is damaged, skin becomes vulnerable to infection from microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungus, and leads to sensitivity and irritation. Even if the barrier function isn’t visibly damaged, the skin may experience a low amount of inflammation (called chronic inflammation), which prematurely ages skin over time.
- You also need to be wary of the sun. Glycolic acid can increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays and cause hyperpigmentation, so wear a hat, stay in the shade, and as always, use sunscreen in between treatments. It will protect your skin from harmful (not to mention aging) sun damage.
- Try not to use anything too heavy or wear foundation for the rest of the day to block up those pores. (Best to do this before bed then?)
If you want the perfect facial cleanser, Cetaphil that is perfectly PH balanced to your skin (and has no dyes or perfumes) that my dermatologist said you technically don’t even have to wash it off… but…do wash it off!!!!
This amazing product I still use regularly 10 years later. Today I get nice comments nice about my skin. I think it has to do with the fact that my skin has small pores, I hardly wear foundation because it’s very rare to get pimples and I have good skin for my age. YEAY!!!!
If you are getting acne, it is also worth trying to access what is causing your skin problems. Have a look at the Acne Road Map above.
There are other types of acids you can try too:
- Salicylic acid. Best for acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties will help dissolve dead-skin buildup and unclog pores.
Hyaluronic acid. Best for Dry skin. As we get older the amount of hyaluronic acid decreases in our skin, leaving us with dry skin. Hyaluronic acid doesn’t dissolve skin cells like the others mentioned, but cushions and lubricates the skin with natural carbohydrate and humectants found in the human body.
Lactic acid. A mild moisturizing exfoliant. Perfect for sensitive skin. It’s great for smoothing the skin, whether it be on your legs or your face.
Acids should noticeably brighten and even out the skin; you will notice pigmentation, freckling, and unevenness lessen over time. You will not necessarily ‘feel’ anything, but skin should be smoother to the touch after a period of regular use.