How to Heal Burned Skin From Glycolic Acid

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It is important to use a strong sunscreen after a glycolic acid peel. (Image: Alliance/iStock/Getty Images)

Glycolic acid is commonly used for chemical peels intended to remove wrinkles, acne and skin discoloration. A dermatologist or plastic surgeon applies a glycolic acid solution with a concentration between 40 and 70 percent directly to your face, leaves it on for several minutes, then applies a neutralizing solution. According to the Johns Hopkins Cosmetic Center, glycolic acid peels can be superficial, medium or deep, with each level causing greater redness, blistering and peeling. Proper aftercare is important to heal skin burned from glycolic acid.

Step 1

Wait to wash your face until the morning after a chemical peel, then use a gentle, fragrance-free, dye-free soap. Always wash your hands with hot water and antibacterial soap before touching your face.

Step 2

Apply a thick layer of 100 percent hyaluronic acid moisturizer.

Step 3

Apply a coat of SPF 30 sunscreen if you are going outside, even on a cloudy day.

Step 4

Once you start to peel, after two or three days, wash your face with an enzyme scrub once a day. You don't have to use force to scrub your skin. The cleanser will eat away the dead skin if you allow it to sit on your face for one to two minutes before washing it off.

Step 5

Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the burn every night until your skin is healed.

Things You'll Need

  • Unscented facial cleanser

  • 100 percent hyaluronic acid moisturizer

  • SPF 30 sunscreen

  • Enzyme scrub

  • Petroleum jelly

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