Yes, glycolic peels do work.
Sun Damage and Aging
Glycolic acid is used in what are called as “superficial chemical peels”. If you are seeking to treat signs of aging and sun damage on your skin, you are a good candidate for a glycolic peel if you have minimal sun damage, fine wrinkles, acne scars and mildly pigmented or uneven skin. Glycolic peels or superficial peels are also used to prepare your skin for a medium chemical peel or a deep chemical peel. Because glycolic peels are the mildest type of chemical peel, you cannot expect it to treat moderate to severe cases of wrinkles and sun damage. Deeper peels such as the medium and deep chemical peels are more effective for more advanced skin conditions.
Glycolic peels have also been found to be effective in treating acne. According to a study conducted at the Cagliari University Dermatology Department in Italy, glycolic peels with a seventy-percent concentration and applied on the face for two to eight minutes caused a rapid and significant improvement in comedogenic acne, papulo-postular acne and nodule-cystic acne. The study concluded that glycolic acid chemical peels do work as an effective treatment for all forms of acne.
Glycolic Acid Peel Procedure
To prepare your skin for a superficial glycolic acid peel, your skin will be cleaned. After this, a glycolic acid liquid or paste will be brushed on to your skin or applied using a gauze and cotton-tip applicators. The glycolic acid will be left on your skin for a period of two to eight minutes on the average. To neutralize your skin, your doctor will spray your skin with water or acid, and after which, your face will be wiped clean.
Glycolic acid peels will have the tendency to make your skin tingle or sting slightly. To help alleviate this sensation, your doctor will direct a hand-held fan on your face.