Diluting Glycolic Acid for Various Uses

The really great thing about having a higher strength glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) is that I can use it for so many different issues.  I recently emailed the folks at Skin Laboratory to ask how to dilute my 50% glycolic acid gel peel without reducing the pH (1.7 is the pH for Skin Laboratory Glycolic Acid) so much that it becomes ineffective, and Katie responded the next day.  Here's what she said:

You can dilute the product by adding it to a moisturizer. You only want to mix the amount you would use for a single application. You can not mix a large amount, because the acid would break down the lotion. It can be added to aloe vera as well....same thing applies--only mix enough for a one time application. Please let me know if you have any other questions, Katie

Want Pre-Mixed?

For those who want to use glycolic acid in a lower, pre-mixed form, my favorite is by Reviva, and lots of people agree if you check Amazon reviews. Here's a link to the 10% cream, but it's STRONG, so I would start with their 5% glycolic acid cream before using the 10%.

For me, the higher strength offers lots of options. Here are a few ideas I came up with to better utilize the higher strength glycolic acid gel peels:

Full strength
  • weekly full-face peel to exfoliate and eliminate acne
  • spot treatment (with a swab) between peels for those stubborn blemishes
  • soften those rough heels and elbows
  • prepare my skin for a TCA chemical peel 
  • reduce or remove moles or skin tags (need a high strength for this or TCA)
  • eliminate warts and sunspots (need a high strength for this or TCA)

  • exfoliate after a medium chemical peel, such as TCA, when I can't use full strength
  • nightly treatment for melasma or other discoloration, such as freckles
  • to balance pH in alkaline skin
  • exfoliate eczema crusting
  • assist skin in attracting and retaining moisture
  • accelerate a TCA chemical peel
  • decrease lip lines by doing a lip peel
I have to remember that glycolic acid can irritate the skin if I use it too aggressively, so I start slowly to see how I respond with different strengths.