How to do an at-home Glycolic Acid Peel

How to do an at-home glycolic acid peel:

  1. Make sure you’re a good candidate for an at-home glycolic peel: no open acne or other lesions; skin color that is not prone to hyper-pigmentation, able to wear sunscreen; completed allergy test on a sensitive area, such as under the chin, with no reaction; have not used any peeling agents (Retin-A or any acids) within 7-10 days, have not shaved the area to be peeled in two days and can wait an addition 24-48 hours to shave.
  2. Gather all your supplies: hand towel, peel, swabs, glass dish, timer, water, moisturizer, sunscreen
  3. Cleanse to remove makeup and gently blot dry
  4. Pore a small amount of the peel into a small glass dish
  5. Set the timer: start with 1 minute – by the time you apply the peel to your entire face, it will have been on about 30 seconds when the timer goes off.  This is a good amount of time to start with to make sure your skin can tolerate the peel in those areas that are more sensitive; you can work your way up during subsequent peels (at least one week apart)
  6. Using the two swabs, dip them into the dish and apply in this order: forehead, nose, above lip, cheeks, chin area.  I like to use my clean fingers, but that’s just me.
  7. When the timer rings, rinse with copious amounts of cool water for about 1-2 minutes.
  8. Gently blot the face dry with your hand towel
  9. Apply the gentle moisturizer
  10. Apply sunscreen
  11. Do not use any peeling agents for at least one week.  If your skin tolerates the peel well, you can do another in a week.
I am not a doctor, so follow these instructions at your own risk.  


    1. Thanks for the steps. Do you use the kind of peel that's linked here? Robin

    2. Thanks Robin for the question. I have used several peel solutions from different manufacturers, but this one is from Skin Obsession.