Glycolic acid has been used for many years as a metal parts cleaner, but in recent years has been refined and made suitable for human application. In its refined or medical grade state it has been found effective as a light to mild strength skin peel acid. Glycolic is natural and based on sugar cane and is similar to other alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) like malic acid. There are stronger skin peels like TCA Peel and the Obagi Blue Peel, but the glycolic peel is a good starter and touch up skin care treatment.
Some people when they hear of acids thing of hazardous and caustic chemicals that can permanently burn and scar. This is not the case with glycolic acid. When used as indicated or by doctors in their offices it has been found to be effective on light acne (pimples and blackheads)and light skin problems like freckles and light sun damage. Glycolic acid is good at reducing oil on the surface, restoring the skins natural pH and causing the outer layer of skin to exfoliate. Glycolic acid is highly soluble and when applied to the skin it breaks the intercellular bonds in the outermost skin layer. The skin will eventually peel or flake off and result in fresher skin. Regular exfoliation has been proven to make the skin healthier and have less of a chance for pore blockage.
Glycolic is not as effective on deeper skin issues like mild to severe acne, cystic acne, acne scars, wrinkles, etc. Deeper conditions like these require a stronger acid peel like the TCA peel or Obagi Blue peel by Dr. Obagi. Both of these have been found very effective against many deeper skin conditions. This is why, along with glycolic acid, doctors recommend a form of TCA peel skin peel in office or for in home skin treatments.
Many people have found glycolic acid added to an astringent like Sea Breeze, makes it 10X more effective in reducing pimples and light breakouts. Medical studies have proven that glycolic acid, TCA peel and the Obagi Blue Peel greatly enhance an astringent in acne reduction when applied daily as a cleanser. Of these the TCA peel was found most effective for reducing all forms of acne.
There are more powerful and effective skin peels available and most are now available for in home use, but glycolic is a good starter skin peel and should not be overlooked. It is also a good maintenance treatment for in between stronger TCA peel applications.
David Maillie is a chemist with over 12 years experience in biochemical research, clynical analysis and skin care. For more information on TCA peels for in home use and anti-aging products and ideas please visit http://www.bestskinpeel.com