Lα-Hydroxy acid is water soluble hygroscopic crystalline solid that is colorless and odorless. Derived from some sugar crops, AHA, is used in many skin products.
Though found naturally there are many synthetic preparations of hydroxy acid that are used today, which are much more economical.
Used as a chemical peel, glycolic acid is one of the mildest and yet most effective peel preparations. It has been used successfully for the treatment of fine wrinkles, uneven skin coloration, acne, overall skin texture and even dryness.
The process involves the eradication of a thin layer of skin and damaged skin cells by use of AHA. The removal of the damaged cells stimulates the growth of more substantial, younger, and healthier skin cells.
The peel preparations come in a variety of concentrations; they are applied for a very short duration, and then neutralized. Often the procedure takes no more than a few minutes.
Though the process is safe, it can be slightly irritating, creating mild burning, itching or stinging sensations. Because the treatments are thorough, avoiding the sun and the use of sunscreen to prevent sunburn, hyper pigmentation, or other sun damage should be suggested by the professional who administers the peel.
Consulting with a professional prior to the getting a glycolic peel is highly recommended, as certain steps can be taken prior to the peel to minimize irritation.
Glycolic acid peels are generally safe when administered by professionals. These treatments generally have both immediate and long term results. Though treatments are quick, they can run in series over a period of time to see maximum results.