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How to Dilute 70% Glycolic Acid

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
How to Dilute 70% Glycolic Acid
Woman removing a facial peel Photo Credit: Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid. These acids are often used for skin treatments, as they can help remove the upper layers of the skin. Revealing the lower layers of skin can give you a more youthful appearance, as the skin is lighter in color and smoother. Some chemical peels contain 70 percent glycolic acid, which may be too strong and cause irritation or pain. In these cases, it may be necessary to dilute the solution.

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Step 1

Mix the glycolic acid solution with moisturizer or water in the palm of your hand. This is a good technique if you want to dilute the glycolic acid but aren't particularly concerned about the final concentration of the acid. Making a mixture of approximately equal parts 70 percent glycolic acid and water or moisturizer will reduce the strength of the chemical peel without making it ineffective, esthetician Mary Gillespie notes on Because the skin on your palms and fingers is thick, it is less likely to become irritated from the mixing process.

Step 2

Measure out a small amount of 70 percent glycolic acid using a measuring cup if you want to be more precise and pour it into a bowl. Measuring the 70 percent glycolic acid and putting it into a bowl allows you to make a more accurate dilution.

Step 3

Add between one and three parts of water to the bowl and mix. Adding an equal amount of water will make a 35 percent glycolic solution. Adding more water will dilute the mixture further. However, you do not want to add too much water, as this can dilute the mixture to less than 10 percent glycolic acid. If your mixture contains less than 10 percent glycolic acid, it is unlikely to have much effect on your skin.

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