Glycolic Acid Peel After Care
Glycolic acid is a beauty buzzword that’s been doing the rounds for a while now. Known for its ability to tackle a range of skin problems, including acne, premature ageing and skin pigmentation, glycolic acid is found in a range of beauty products, from moisturisers to exfoliating pads.
You may have heard of glycolic acid in the context of professional chemical peels, which have been popular for some time. When you have a chemical peel, a solution containing between 30-40% concentration of glycolic acid is applied to your skin. In contrast, high-street beauty products, such as our Revitalift Laser Renew Anti Ageing Glycolic Peel Pads, use around 10%, making them a less-harsh alternative that can be incorporated into your daily routine.
In this glycolic acid 101, we explore the full benefits of this powerful formula, how it works and how best to protect your skin against sun exposure and sun damage after glycolic acid application.
The Benefits Of Glycolic Acid
Benefit One - Helps to mattify your skin’s surface
Excess oil can be one of the most difficult skin issues to treat and manage. However, it can also be a blessing, as it’s a natural moisturiser that prevents your skin from becoming too dry. Dry skin is more prone to wrinkles and premature ageing.
Glycolic acid helps you to manage the buildup of oil on the surface of your skin, without drying the skin out. It helps to mattify your skin’s surface, resulting in a shine-free appearance that lasts for longer.
Benefit Two - Dissolves away dead skin cells
Glycolic acid gently exfoliates your skin by removing the dead surface cells that can pile up on your skin’s outer layer. These dead cells can otherwise make the skin appear dry and flaky. Once this buildup is removed and the surface of your skin is clear, your moisturiser or serum will seep into your skin and hydrate it more effectively.
Benefit Three - Encourages a natural glow
Once the dead cells on your skin’s surface have been removed, the newer, younger skin beneath is revealed. This helps the skin to appear brighter and more radiant.
Benefit Four - More plump-looking skin
Studies have found that glycolic acid helps to boost the production of collagen. Collagen is a vital protein that makes your skin appear plump, firm, and more resistant to wrinkles.
How Does Glycolic Acid Work?
Glycolic acid is popular in chemical peels because its molecules are small, which allows it to more easily penetrate the surface of the skin. It works by dissolving the ‘glue’ that binds your cells together, ridding the surface of your skin of dead cells. The new cells beneath are then exposed and encouraged to the surface. Your complexion is rejuvenated, appearing brighter and clearer.
The new skin exposed through the process of applying glycolic acid is more sensitive to sun exposure. As such, you need to be careful of sun damage after you use products containing glycolic acid.
The Importance Of Sunscreen After Glycolic Acid
The skin is sensitive to sunlight and UV rays, which means you should use sunscreen or moisturisers containing SPF at all times anyway. This is especially true after you’ve applied chemicals such as glycolic acid, which make the skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
Choose a sunblock that has both UVA and UVB protection. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and are considered the biggest culprit behind wrinkles, sun damage and other signs of ageing. Although they’re less likely to cause sunburn than UVB, UVA rays been found to directly cause some skin cancers, including melanomas.
It’s also important to opt for a sunscreen that has a high SPF, especially directly after using beauty products containing glycolic acid. We’d recommend going for a sunscreen with no less than SPF 15. On particularly sunny days, it’s always wiser to go higher.
Use a stand alone SPF as AHAs can make skin more sensitive to UV rays – and you want to ensure you’re protecting your newly glowing complexion as best you can.
Apply Serum Or Moisturiser After Glycolic Acid
It’s important to properly moisturise your skin after you apply glycolic acid. As you’re effectively removing the top layer of dead skins cells, you could be left with some peeling or flaking (although this is much more prominent after glycolic acid peels).
Applying a serum or cream such as our Laser Renew Serum and Cream will nourish and condition the new skin and help to remove the dead skins cells more effectively. The Laser Renew Serum and Cream is a highly concentrated formula that targets wrinkles and reduces pores. It reinforces the benefits of Revitalift Laser Renew Anti Ageing Glycolic Peel Pads, making skin appear smoother and wrinkles more reduced.
Article supplied & written by Marie Claire, part of Hearst Communications, Inc.