Glycolic acid is a natural derivative of sugar cane and a member of the AHA, or alpha hydroxy family. Applied topically, it acts as a mild chemical exfoliant and is able to penetrate and loosen the surface layer of skin for easier removal. Over time, consistent use of glycolic acid will fade superficial marks and fine lines. Because of this quality, it is a common ingredient in antiaging skin-care products.
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The acid is also used to treat acne due to its mild drying effect and ability to keep pores clear. Though numerous glycolic acid products are available on the market, budget-conscious individuals can opt for a homemade glycolic acid peel using cane sugar and other common household ingredients.
Pour the cane sugar into a bowl. Do not use sugar with large granules as it can cut or scratch the skin.
Stir in the lemon juice until the mixture forms a paste. Lemon juice contains citric acid, another type of AHA. Combining it with cane sugar boosts the effectiveness of the peel.
Use your fingertips to dab the paste along your T-zone and cheekbones.
Spread the mixture evenly over your face by using small, circular motions. Start at the nose and move out toward the hairline, avoiding the eyes.
Let the peel sit for 10 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
Apply a light facial moisturizer to protect skin from glycolic acid’s mild drying effects.
- "Beautiful Skin"; David E. Bank M.D.; 2000
- “Home Enlightenment”; Annie B. Bond; 2005
- FDA: AHA Use and Side Effects