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Glycolic Peel

lyderm Glycolic Peels were created by innovative physicians over 20 years ago to provide you with products that are clinically proven to deliver results. This product is formulated with alpha hydroxyl acid and glycolic acid that helps to rejuvenate photodamaged and aging skin by mildly exfoliating the skin.

What Is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid found in sugar cane. This is not unusual since many beauty aids are derived from acids (e.g., lactic acid, citric acid) in food products. Glycolic acid has the lowest molecular weight of all alpha-hydroxy acids, which makes it the best type to penetrate the skin and reach deeper levels of the dermis.

Benefits of Glycolic Peels


Your outer layer of skin is usually comprised of dead skin cells that are tightly intertwined. Glycolic acid is great for breaking up these conjoined cells by loosening them so that they can exfoliate and reveal a fresher, healthier layer of skin from beneath the surface.

Tightening Skin and Minimizing Wrinkles

As glycolic acid penetrates deep into your skin, it stimulates additional production of collagen and elastin, two proteins responsible for more youthful appearing skin. Glycolic peels can also improve tone and texture.

Addressing Hyperpigmentation

Years of sun damage from insufficient protection against UV rays can result in uneven pigmentation. Fortunately, hyperpigmentation can be improved with a series of glycolic peels.

Glycolic Peel Treatment Details

Glycolic peels are performed in our office. There are various peel solutions containing different concentrations of glycolic acid; our team will select the concentration that is right for your skin type and treatment goals.

The peel process is very fast — in fact, it only takes a few minutes. First, your skin is cleansed and prepared with a prepping solution. Next, the peel solution is applied to your skin; the specific solution used is selected based on your skin type, tone and tolerance. Then, the peel is neutralized and antioxidant vitamin solutions and a soothing lotion are applied to your skin.

Post-Peel Skin Care

There is virtually no downtime after a glycolic peel. Feel free to return to work or your normal routine right after your peel, as long as you avoid direct sun exposure for the rest of the day.

For a few days following the peel, we encourage you to use nothing more than gentle cleansers and moisturizers on the treated skin. Avoid any exfoliating serums or creams and refrain from using retinol products or acne medications. Apply sunscreen liberally when going outside. It is important to avoid sun exposure for the next few days.

Professional Treatment vs. At-Home Peels

While many peels that you can find at your local grocery or drug store contain glycolic acid, the truth is that they cannot compare to an in-office treatment. At-home peels must use a low concentration of acid to avoid problems that can arise when people fail to follow instructions. At Coastal Skin & Eye Institute, our glycolic peels have a much stronger formula, which is safe because the treatment is performed under medical supervision. This allows you to receive the maximum benefit of the peel rather than getting disappointing results. Plus, the pampering you receive from our professional staff makes the entire experience worthwhile!

Frequently Asked Questions About Glycolic Peels

Is getting a glycolic peel painful?

No, glycolic peels with our team of providers are not painful. GlyDerm products are specially formulated to produce minimal burning and stinging sensations compared to other peel systems. You may feel some slight tingling or itching as the glycolic acid solution is applied and sits on your skin. After the peel is neutralized, your skin should feel smooth and refreshed.

How can I prepare to get a glycolic peel?

For approximately one week prior to the peel, avoid using exfoliating, scrubbing or retinol products. Refrain from waxing or undergoing electrolysis in the target treatment area. On the day of your peel, stay out of the sun and do not shave the skin being treated.

Are there any after effects?

Treated skin will flake and peel in the days following treatment. Some patients experience mild pinkness or sensitivity of the treated skin for one to three days after the peel. If these effects last more than five days, we advise you to get in touch with our team.

How many peels will I need?

Most patients benefit from a series of six peel treatments, spaced two weeks apart.

Where can a glycolic peel be applied?

Glycolic peels can be applied to the face, decolletage, back and backs of the hands.

Does glycolic acid whiten skin?

Glycolic acid lightens dark spots and evens out the skin’s tone through gentle chemical exfoliation.

Who should not get glycolic peels?

Glycolic peels are not recommended for individuals who:

  • Have active bacterial, viral or fungal infections
  • Have open skin lesions
  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have a history of keloid scarring
  • Have severe medical conditions
  • Take certain medications — most commonly the acne medication isotretinoin and photosynthesizing drugs that increase sensitivity to the sun

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology