If you suffer from acne, you might have heard that glycolic acid can help your skin. There is evidence that it can restore skin to its pre-acne state and help to balance the skin’s PH.
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from natural sources – specifically from sugar cane. It’s considered a fruit acid and is relatively gentle to the skin, but it provides significant benefit to people with many skin care concerns.
Glycolic acid treatments are often combined with benzoyl peroxide to treat acne-prone skin.
Glycolic acid acne treatment program
The best treatment for acne seems to be the following program of care. First, patients use a glycolic acid facial cleanser (which likely will also contain benzoyl peroxide) for about 2 to 3 weeks. They will follow that with a series of glycolic peels, which will usually be performed each week for 6 weeks.
If the skin hasn’t cleared up after that, the treatment plan can be followed with another series of treatment after a break of a few weeks. It’s best to give the skin a break between treatment periods so it doesn’t become stripped of essential oils.
It’s believed that a good glycolic acid acne treatment plan will not only clear up the skin but help keep it clear in the future by giving it acne-fighting properties. That is, a solid treatment plan can make the skin more resistant to acne breakouts due oily skin and clogged pores.
An added benefit of a good glycolic acid acne treatment plan is that is can reduce the look of acne scars and dark spots from acne.
For those who suffer from acne and also are concerned about wrinkles and fine lines, glycolic acid can help to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Glycolic acid treatments are versatile. If the treatment doesn’t see to be working, the concentration of glycolic acid can be increased, since side effects are not too common and generally not severe.
Even after the intense glycolic acid treatment period is over, the patient should continue to use proper care with the skin. Most times, a dermatologist will recommend a line of products, or provide a line as part of the treatment plan.
Side effects and after treatment
Because glycolic acid is gentle to the skin, there are few side effects from treatment. Some people report tenderness, itching or redness after an in-office treatment, but most people report no real trouble with glycolic acid treatments.
If you have very sensitive skin, you might find that you have slightly redness or irritation after the treatments, but they are usually of short duration.
Experts do recommend that people who have any chemical treatments wear a good sun block for many days after, since the peel can remove the top layer of the skin and therefore make your skin much more vulnerable to the sun.