Glycolic acid is a non-toxic substance from fruit sugar. It stimulates older surface skin cells to slough off in a regular and efficient manner. When this process is underway the skin begins to produce new cells, increased collage production and strengthen elastin fibers. The stimulation of the skin’s own immune system, the Langerhans Cells, provides and increased defense against precancerous conditions and other foreign invaders. Usually missed pre-cancerous lesions will often simply “peel off” with glycolic use. Aging due to “cross-linking” is also diminished.
Within the first week, most people notice a smoothing and tightening of the skin and a better overall color as circulation improved. The pores release old debris and appear more refined. Due to this action an acne condition will begin to clear within a week or two and remain clear with continued use. After a period of some months (this time-frame depends on age, health, and genetic background), fine lines around the eyes begin to disappear, deeper lines soften, and overall tone is improved.
Yes, glycolic acid is 100% non-toxic. The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of glycolic acid by the general public in milder concentrations than what is permitted for use by professionals; both are completely safe. It is not considered a drug and does not enter the blood stream. Glycolic products can safely be used before and after exposure to the sun, although a sunscreen is recommended to prevent photo-aging. When used as directed, glycolic acid has no undesirable effects.
Glycolic acid dissolves a glue-like substance in the skin's upper layer, allowing dead skin cells to shed more quickly. The increase in cell turnover stimulates collagen production. The results include smoothing wrinkles and improvement to the overall suppleness and integrity of skin tissue.
As skin ages, the release of old skin cells slows dramatically and the most visible layer, the stratum corneum, thickens unevenly. This skin can appear dry, scaly and exhibit hyper-pigmentation (''age spots''). With the release of these older, dry cells, the skin begins to look and feel hydrated and soft. Pore size is reduced, and the overall color and health of the skin improves by the increased circulation.
The benefits of glycolic acid are extraordinary for acne sufferers. Glycolic acid reduces the build-up of dead cells (hyper-keratosis), which is a frequent cause of troubled complexions. Glycolic acid penetrates the skin to effectively release new cells which heals blemishes and pimples. By keeping cell build-up to a minimum, the acne begins to noticeably diminish. Treatment with glycolic acid is equally successful on scars and pigmentation.
Age spots are lightened with the release of dark or pigmented surface cells. Glycolic acid together with hydroquinone (a natural anti-pigmentation product derived from mushrooms), is the best way to naturally lighten uneven skin pigment. Many age spots on the face, hands and arms are simple keratosis. Glycolic products are very effective in reducing superficial lesions by penetrating skin's thickened layer, preventing trouble before it begins. Sun block is essential to prevent re-pigmentation.
What results can I expect when using glycolic acid?
The immediate effects are increased circulation and hydration, which improve skin's texture and color. Noticeable changes from prolonged use include refined pore size, diminishing fine lines and scars, more even skin tone and softening of deep lines. The benefits to acne-prone complexions are most dramatic, skin is visibly less blemished and irritated with a much healthier, even appearance.
With initial treatment, some people experience a slight, momentary stinging, which is reduced by applying the product to dry skin. Occasionally light flaking is experienced and slightly increased sensitivity, which only lasts a few weeks. Both are minimal and can be eased by cleansing with a soft facial brush and applying moisturizer. Also, if skin is sensitive only use gentle cleansers and avoid harsh scrubs. As cell turnover accelerates, sensitivity diminishes. If your skin gets at all irritated, use glycolic acid products less frequently until it adjusts.
Healthier, clearer, younger-looking skin.