ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Improving the appearance of your skin- A look at Glycolic Acid

Updated on February 20, 2016

In the current age and trend of taking selfies at every possible moment, people want to make sure that their skin is looking as good as it possibly can be. Depending on the condition of your skin, there are various steps that you can take to ensure that it is looking at its best right in the comfort of your own home.


This might seem like a simple solution, but many people with mild skin complaints do not actually clean their skin properly. Rather, they opt to use a bog standard face wash which is a jack of all trades but master on none. For those that have slight imperfections in their skin that they want to fix, using a purpose made face cleanser is the ideal solution due to the fact that it is gentle on the skin to improve its appearance without venturing down the route of actually removing a thin layer of skin which happens with chemical peels.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are regarded as a more intensive method of improving your skin when compared to merely cleansing it. However, they all work on the same basis whereby result in the physical removal of the top layer of skin and therefore acting more like an exfoliating agent due to the fact that this removal of the top layer of skin would of course remove the damaged and dead skin cells present on this layer at the same time. The end result is that your skin looks amazing and clear giving you the exact look that you wanted.

There isn’t actually any peeling of the skin occurring, it is more akin to the skin flaking off but for marketing reasons there are not many people that would think of using a ‘chemical flaker’.

Glycolic Acid

By far the most common chemical peeler is Glycolic Acid which is a member of the Alpha Hydroxy peel family. Glycolic Acid is in essence used by those that are deemed as having a ‘normal’ skin type, whereas those have more sensitive skin would be better suited to using a Lactic Acid Alpha Hydroxy skin peel instead.

Due to the nature of Glycolic Acid being water based, it is deemed to be a safer and milder peel on the face than say one which is alcohol based.

Is it safe to use Glycolic Acid at home?

The quickest answer to this is yes, but this also deserves an explanation. There are two main categories of chemical peels, one being at home peels and the other being surgical peels. For the vast majority of people, the use of a surgical peel is not normally warranted and therefore a home peel is not only more beneficial in terms of safety, but it is much more cost effective too.

One of the biggest benefits off a home peel over a surgical peel is that due to the nature of it being an at home remedy, it is much gentler on the skin. This can be seen in the fact that there would be at least 6 applications of the Glycolic Acid over a duration of six weeks. This is in stark contrast to the surgical route whereby the process is completed in one visit. However, in the case of the latter there is a larger timeframe for the skin to recuperate after undergoing this fairly extensive procedure. This effect is not mimicked when you use Glycolic Acid at home.

Using Glycolic Acid will always be a safer option than going down the surgical route on the basis that some basic caveats are met. The first of course is that you do not overuse the item. Even though it is a milder approach than going into surgery, by constantly reapplying Glycolic Acid to your skin day after day, it will damage the skin and can cause a high degree of irritation. Whilst some may feel that they will get better results by doing so, this is sadly not the case. It is very much the situation whereby it is all the risk but none of the reward.

Linked to this, and it would hopefully be regarded as a step of common sense is that after the peel has been used it is important to protect the skin when you are outdoors. A simple application of suntan lotion will suffice in providing a protective barrier. Not doing so however would obviously make you more susceptible to sunburn because, after all, the top layer of skin has been removed.

Lastly, before you use any form of agent such as Glycolic Acid that removes skin, it is important to check that you are not hypersensitive to any of the agents within the peel. Much like you would do with a cleaning product on furniture, it is important to test the peel on a small area of the body that would not be further exacerbated by factors such as friction in the even that you do suffer from a reaction from it.

Selecting the strength that is right for you

Despite that fact that you can use Glycolic Acid at home, it is not a one sizes fits all remedy. Rather, there are numerous strengths that you can select. These strengths range from 10% right up to 60%. As a rule of thumb, for someone wanting a mild degree of exfoliation and if it is their first time then then starting at the lowest strength will always be recommended.

Much like weight lifting in that you can’t expect to jump up to lifting the heaviest weights first, your skin has to adjust to the procedure of peeling over time, hence the aforementioned six week time scale. However, as you use the peel on a more regular basis, the strength that you use can be increased.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)