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Glycolic Acid Problems

skin911-skin-care.jpgAuthor: Mary Gillespie

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Which glycolic salicylic strength is right for me?

It's normal, some people experience ...

  • A temporary tingling when applying your glycolic products that decreases over days or weeks.
  • Mild temporary dryness or  flaking is resolved with a gentle, non-irritating exfoliator until your skin adjusts to your glycolic products.

Signs you're not tolerating glycolic ...

This can happen if the strength is too strong, or initially applying too much, too often to your skin. Should any of these occur, cut back your daily applications to rest your skin, or discontinue until your skin returns to normal, then resume with once daily applications scattered over the week - increasing gradually over time until using twice daily. Contact us if you need further help, we want you to be happy!

  • Eye area looks crinkled, dry, puckered, or wrinkled making your eye area look older; this is a temporary side-effect. Cutting back on applications will allow the dead cells sticking together causing the skin to pull together or pucker like a scab to flake or exfoliate off returning your skin back to normal.
  • Red and blotchy, sensitive to other cosmetic products, or stings when you perspire.
  • Shedding dead skin at the rate you consider undesirable.
  • Skin feels uncomfortable, tight or dry.
  • Stinging 3-4 minutes after application, rinse off and rest your skin.
  • Thinner skin around your eyes, mouth, neck, and nose, is sensitive. Reducing applications in these areas until your skin adjusts will take care of the problem. Eventually, these areas will catch up with the rest of your face and all areas will have the same application schedule.

Help, my skin is dry, red or sensitive. Not a problem, just follow one of the below schedules, let your skin tell you what is right and you’ll be up to speed.

Application 1 ... sometimes you just need to temporarily dilute the strength

  • Apply your glycolic "leave-on" to a wet face, or mix half with water or a moisturizer in the palm of your hand before applying ... you can do both!
  • Gradually, decrease the water and/or moisturizer per application until you can apply glycolic straight to your skin without side-effects.

Application 2 ... having a little trouble

  • Reduce your "leave-on" glycolic applications … glycolic cleansers are washed off and don’t count.
  • If using glycolic "leave-on" once daily, reduce to once every other or third day. Stay at this level for 1-2 weeks, then try to return to once daily applications eventually increasing to twice daily over time.
  • If using your "leave-on" twice daily, return to once daily. Stay at this level for 1-2 weeks, gradually increasing to twice daily over time.

Application 3 ... trouble!

  • Stop all glycolic products - even cleansers, wait until your skin returns to normal, then resume with the below "pulse treatment" schedule. This stops problems by giving your skin time to rest between applications ... when your skin has adjusted the applications are increased.
  • Use your glycolic cleanser twice daily for 1-2 weeks.
  • Next, start your "leave-on" product once every third day mixed with water, or moisturizer in the palm of your hand before application. Stop diluting slowly over a period of time until applying straight to your skin using the below steps. Complete each step without side-effects of dryness, irritation, redness, or stinging before going to the next step.
    • Every other day for 1-2 weeks, apply once daily.
    • Every day for 1-2 weeks, apply once daily.
    • Increase to twice daily every other day after 1-2 weeks; keep applying once daily in between days.
    • Apply twice daily every day after 1-2 weeks.
    • Return to the last step if having problems before trying to increase applications, again.

When do I start glycolic peels?

  • Do not start peels until using lower strength glycolic daily care twice daily without side-effects of dryness, irritation, redness, or stinging. If started sooner it can be too much glycolic for your skin and cause the same temporary side-effects.
  • Follow the peel directions that came in your order. Remove peel by splashing your face with lots of water for at least 3-5 minutes to make sure the peel is completely flushed-off or neutralized on your skin; otherwise it keeps working until your body neutralizes it which could cause temporary dryness, irritation, or redness. The easiest solution is to put your face under the shower for 3-5 minutes. You will know you need to rinse more if your skin feels uncomfortable, stings or keeps turning red.
  • After the peel apply a gentle moisturizer, as the last applied product acne skin needs to include benzoyl peroxide or another acne bacteria killer unless taking an acne oral antibiotic.
  • Do not resume your daily glycolic care until the next time you wash your face; it is too much glycolic for the skin without resting after the peel.

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