How I do an at-home Glycolic Acid Peel

How to do an at-home glycolic acid peel:

  1. Make sure I'm a good candidate for an at-home glycolic peel: no open acne or other lesions; skin color that is not prone to hyperpigmentation, 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 (including my favorite vitamin C and retinol) within 7-10 days, have not shaved in two days the area to be peeled,  and can wait an addition 24-48 hours to shave.
  2. Gather all my supplies: hand towel, peel, peel application brush, petroleum jelly, alcohol, swabs, cotton balls, glass dish, timer, water, moisturizer or copper healing lotion, physical sunscreen (zinc is known for healing too)
  3. Cleanse hands and face, and gently blot dry
  4. Go over area with alcohol on cotton ball(s) until it shows no more makeup
  5. Pore a small amount of the peel into a small glass dish; dilute if necessary
  6. Apply petroleum jelly around areas that MUST NOT get drips, such as eyes, eyebrows, lips, etc.
  7. Set the timer: start with 1 minute – by the time I apply the peel to my entire face, it will have been on about 30 seconds when the timer goes off.  START with LEAST sensitive areas. This is a good amount of time to start with to make sure my skin can tolerate the peel in those areas that are more sensitive; I can work my way up during subsequent peels (at least one week apart)
  8. Using the applicator brush, I dip into the dish and apply in this order: forehead, nose, above lip, cheeks, mouth/chin area.  
  9. When the timer rings, rinse with copious amounts of cool water for about 2 minutes.
  10. Apply the moisturizer or copper healing lotion
  11. Apply sunscreen if it's still daylight
  12. I do not use any peeling agents for at least one week.  If my skin tolerates the peel well, I can do another in a few weeks if I'm doing a series. 
NOTE: Glycolic acid peels make my skin insanely itchy immediately after rinsing. I've found that a fan blowing on my face helps or even ice cubes, but don't scratch!

These instructions are provided for informational purposes only. Do not use my experience as a replacement for medical services or medical advice.