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Major Benefits of a Glycolic Acid Peel for Your Skin


It’s no secret that as we get older, our skin becomes more rough and dull, while brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles become more of the norm.

And even worse, it’s outright confusing to have this appearance when we’re doing everything we can with a daily, solid skincare routine in place (cleanser, toner, moisturizer and sunscreen).

This is where glycolic acid peels come into the equation.

First and foremost, glycolic acid peels benefit your skin by dissolving the bonds that are keeping your new skin cells from resurfacing.

As a result, your skin will brighten, and your complexion will smooth out.

But that’s not all.

As your beauty and skincare editors, we’ve compiled the 3 most important glycolic acid peel benefits for your skin.

However, before we break down the benefits, here’s a short breakdown of what are glycolic acid peels and why they can give you that glow we’ve all been looking for.



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What is a Glycolic Acid Peel?

A glycolic acid peel is a superficial type of peel that works on the top layer of the dermis, exfoliating or removing those dead skin cells. Glycolic peels need to be applied by a professional, either by a dermatologist or by a trained esthetician.

If after researching this, you feel that a peel is too much of a leap for you, you can actually find daily skincare products with low percentages of glycolic acid (under 10%) like toners or exfoliating products. Anything higher than 10% should be administered only by a dermatologist or trained esthetician.

At home, you can continue that exfoliating process by making your own natural glycolic acid peel — we’ve created a step-by-step recipe for you that’s mildly acidic in this article “How to Make a Glycolic Acid Peel at Home for Clearer Skin in 5 minutes”.

Overall, the benefits of glycolic acid peels are improvements in rough skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles.

This is because glycolic acid peels can penetrate deep into the skin, clearing out oily pores and starting the exfoliation process to reveal baby-smooth skin.

With this in mind, let’s now break down the top 3 glycolic acid peel benefits for your skin.


3 Major Glycolic Acid Peel Benefits

1.  Works for Aging of the Skin

Aging skin can resemble skin that’s being neglected. A stressful lifestyle with unfriendly skincare habits, such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise or sun damage from excessive sunbaking, can all lead early signs of wrinkles, rough skin texture or sunspots.

Since glycolic acid peels work by breaking down the glue that holds cells together, therefore, expediting the exfoliating process, they benefit your skin by diminishing wrinkles and dark spots that you may have from previous acne or sun damage.

Good glycolic acid products can also help reduce fine lines and signs of premature aging by increasing cell turnover – meaning younger, healthier cells are now visible on the skin’s surface.

The extra pigment we get from old acne scars or brown spots is stored for weeks in a dead cell layer. Glycolic acid peels benefit by getting rid of a good amount of excess stores of pigment, further helping out overall skin tone.

Rather than changing the architecture of your skin, glycolic acid helps erode some of the build-up of dead skin cells that happen naturally. You’ll see fewer diminished pores and wrinkles, revealing smoother and brighter skin.

And as if that doesn’t already sound like a magical ingredient, glycolic acid has also been shown to stimulate collagen production, which will help reduce the appearance of fine lines.

2. Minimizes the Appearance of Pores and Smooths Skin

If you’re worried about pores, you can give the appearance of minimizing them with a glycolic acid peel. While pore size is genetically predetermined and you cannot actually make them smaller, what you can do is make their appearance seem a lot smaller.

How exactly?

AHAs, like GA, work by loosening the glue-like substance that holds dull and dead skin cells on the topmost layer of your skin, revealing newer, healthier skin underneath (along with pollution, grime, makeup, and anything else that might potentially clog pores).

In breaking down that sebum and cleaning out your pores, this helps give the appearance of making them smaller.

By sloughing away dead skin cells, you’ll also have a brighter and clearer complexion, with smooth skin.

By gently exfoliating dark pigmented cells away from the skin you may see a lightening of dark spots and a reduction in scarring overtime for that healthy glow.



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3. Preps Skin for All of The Products in Your Routine

If you’re putting products on top of dead skin cells, they’re not going to be as effective. Your skin does not shed like it should the older you get. But there will be better penetration of your products once newer skin cells are at the surface.

So as we age, we’ll be piling on all kinds of products on top of a buildup of dead skin.

Glycolic acid peel benefits by gently exfoliating and revealing those newer skin cells, so that all the steps in your skincare routine are not just for a wasteful exercise. 

Rather, they’re going to penetrate the skin better for their effects to work beautifully.


Ready to Reap the Benefits of Glycolic Acid Peels?

Remember, a glycolic acid peel should be performed by a licenced dermatologist or licensed health care provider who is skilled in selecting the concentration of these acids. Potential risks are discolouration, or even worsening of skin problems, so please do your research first.

A medical spa is a risk, but ask for their credentials and whether they are a board-certified dermatologist or completed a cosmetic fellowship where they’ve had special training for this kind of procedure.

Other than the array glycolic acid’s benefits for your skin, one of the greatest things about the ingredient is that everyone can use it, regardless of your age, or skin type.

And if a peel sounds too intense for you, you can find a myriad of skincare products containing a lower percentage to gently exfoliate your skin.



All Photos From Unsplash

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