What is Glycolic AHA?
Glycolic is derived from sugar cane, and is probably the most popular grade of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) used by skin therapists and physicians for facial peels. Glycolic acid peels are effective, yet they tend to produce the minimum of side effects. Most of the glycolic acid formulations used by skin therapists contain acid concentrations of 15% percent or higher, and have a pH of 1.9. By comparison, over-the-counter cosmetic AHA products contain only 1 to 3 percent glycolic acid with a pH of 4.9 and have a questionable usefulness. The Glycolic AHA treatments available at Soho are 12%, 18%, 25% and 30%. The Glycolic cream avaible to use at homee have a pH of 3.5 and are available at 5%, 10% and 15% concentrations.
What does it do?
Like other AHA peels, glycolic acid peels removes the top layer of dead cells on your skin, revealing a new layer that is smoother-textured and more vibrant-looking. These peels help with fine lines, minor skin discolorations (such as "age" spots), and dry patches known as solar keratoses. They’re also useful for treating acne and for removing or minimizing old acne scars.
Glycolic acid peels also stimulate the growth of collagen, a protein that helps give skin its structure. The loss of collagen due to aging and sun exposure is one of the factors involved in the formation of lines and wrinkles.To increase the effectiveness of the peel, your skin therapist may recommend that you combine it with another treatment eg. dermal rolling treatment, vitamin C serum infusion or the intensive hydrating Hydravance facial.
Are there any side effects?
At 12% and 18% levels, there should be no on-going side effects. You may be be slightly reddened for a few hours, and you may feel like your skin is a little dryer than usual.
With higher concentrations, or when combined with other treatmenrs, for a few days after treatment, your skin may look slightly reddened, and it may peel a bit. It will also be dry--a side effect that can be relieved with a moisturizer. You’ll need to wear a sunscreen for several weeks, as your skin will be more vulnerable than usual to sunburn.
As with other types of AHA peels, certain people--particularly those using the acne drug Accutane or those with active cold sores--should not have this particular skin-rejuvenation treatment.