Acne Peels – The what, the where, the who, the why !

Best Acne Peels –
I am looking to do a set of home peels, either Glycolic or Salicylic acid.In order to get rid of red marks and some shallow mild rolling scars from acne. However there are a few points I would like to ask any knowledgeable individuals first.

1- Salicylic or Glycolic ? – And why.

2- I live in UK however I understand recommended peels are from internet shops in USA, must I order from those or does anyone know of any stores that sell peels in UK?

3- I use Retin-A( 0.01 %, lowest strength ) twice daily, will this and peels cause mega irritation for me. If so what should I do?

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27 thoughts on “Acne Peels – The what, the where, the who, the why !

  1. In answer to your questions:

    1) I would recommend LACTIC PEEL 50%. It is not harsh and one of the best methods of getting rid of red marks and very shallow scars.

    2) As far as I know you would have to order off an AMerican site. seems to be the most popular and respectable. It does generally take about 5 weeks to recieve but that’s just the way it goes 🙁

    3) I wouldn’t use the two in conjunction. Is the retin A for acne or are you using it for scars? The peels should be used for the red marks/scars, then the retin A for acne patches… MOISTURIZE and where an spf 15 or above if out in the sun. You may wish to wear it indoors aswell to protect you from all the harmful uv rays.

    good luck mate

  2. I just bought the 30% glycolic peel from I was planning on skipping my Retin-A for a night or two beforehand. I was hoping that would be enough to prevent any serious irritation. Does anyone have any suggestions for the first time home peel user? The instruction booklet isn’t terribly forthcoming, as they are trying to legally protect themselves.

  3. Msjenna
    I would like to do some Glycolic peels also, but m a little worried about the irratation that might result from combined retin-a use.
    I am surprised noone has replied to this as yet. Maybe they`ve ll run off to clearskinland ! 😀

  4. I’ll tell you what. I’ll try the homepeel this weekend, and let you know how things went for me as soon as they check me out of the burn unit.

  5. I just did a 30% glycolic peel. I left it on for about a minute too long, so now I have lovely red burning patches. Iluvhouse, whatever you do, don’t leave it on any longer than 1 minute the first time, lest you end up looking like I will for the big party I’m throwing tomorrow. Absolutely brilliant of me to experiment with chemicals on my face the day before…Ouch. This stuff better help.

  6. Ms Jenna

    I’m sorry you’re all burnt up for your party. I did the exact same thing to myself with glycolic acid. OUCH!! What helped me was to continue to put fresh (from the plant) aloe vera gel, a layer of emu oil, and then a light layer of neosporin on top of that.

    I healed very quickly and didn’t scar. And please……..don’t try to pick or rub off the burnt part……because then you probably WILL scar!!

    Good luck!!

  7. Actually the burns went from neon to just glowing red marks, so dim lighting and copious amounts of make-up took care of the rest. Sort of. You are absolutely right, Tracy, about not picking at them (which I’m not although they are sorta itchy). I am more tempted to pick at the new pimples cropping up on my face. I can’t tell if it is school-related stress or the Dove moisturizer I starting using when I ran out of Cetaphil. I’m hoping it’s the Dove. I think the glycolic has helped a a lot with the new zits that were forming. They don’t seem to be as bad as they were yesterday afternoon. Did you have that experience with your peel? How often does one use a glycolic peel? Once a week? Once every two weeks? Next time, I’ll follow the instructions properly and not answer my telephone while using glycolic acid on my face.

    Don’t you just love neosporin? I practically have frequent flyer miles at the emergency room, so I’ve become pretty familiar with it. I especially like the neosporin with the pain-relieving topical gel. Good stuff. And I will heed your suggestion and use it on my chin (it seems to be the worst, but my nose is pretty bad too).

  8. MS Jenna
    Sorry to hear about ur burns ! But hey at least you`ve got the guts to try !
    All of these burns stories are amking me rather reluctant to use glycolic peel, I may try lctic insted.
    Anywy I was wondering if you stopped using retin-a before peel, nd have you strted using it again yet. This could have influenced burning ?

  9. I think the smartest thing to do would be to use the glycolic peels every 10 days to two weeks……..and please remember to stop using the Retin A AT LEAST 24 hours before and 48 hours after your peel.

    I’m glad you camoflaged (sp?) it for your party!! Good luck with your burns…..and be careful not to answer the phone next time!!!! :wink

  10. Tracy
    This 24 before- 48 hour after routine, is this something you have direct experience with, or are these just numbers concocted out of thin air ?
    Would be nice to know !
    Also I don`t want to take 1 step forward two steps back with these peels, by this I mean, abstaining from Retin-A to have a peel, only to experience a breakout as a result, this would kind of defeat the purpose. Or am I to presumptious here ?
    Iluvhouse 😀

  11. Iluvhouse-

    No, I absolutely did not concoct this out of thin air. I have PLENTY of experience in this arena. But instead of taking my word for it, think of it in common sense terms.

    Imagine you are ready to do a glycolic peel. You are already using a peeling agent (Retin A) which causes sensitivity in your skin. You do NOT want to peel skin that is already irritated and sensitive from the day before’s Retin A use. Hence the 24 hours in advance abstaining from the Retin A suggestion.

    After your glycolic peel, you do not want to peel the fresh skin that is already in a state of “peel” from the glycolic peel you just did by applying the Retin A to it the very next day.

    And when you’ve just completed a glycolic peel… need to give your skin a 24-48 hour rejuvenation period. Applying Copper Peptide followed by some emu oil during this time would be a good choice as it is soothing and has a regenerative/healing effect.

    Remember, this is not old furniture we are stripping and re-primering and painting, my friend. This is your SKIN. A living, breathing organ. You need to take a gentle, sensible approach to peeling. You cannot expect to use AN ACID on your face to peel it one day and then use Retin A (another peeling agent) on it the very next day without giving it some time to rebuild/heal itself or you will just be aggravating your skin. You can then expect blotchiness, red spot, blistering, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and perhaps scarring that will then become your next crusade……..working on improving the uneven skin tone you’ve now created by using too many strong peeling agents on your skin too close together.

    I hope that helps. Remember, easy does it. You cannot expect ANY product to be a miracle cure and have a completely clear complexion overnight.

    Good luck to you.

  12. I totally second what Tracy says – and ILuvHouse – maybe you should try lactic peels instead of the glycolic – it’s as powerful but less irritating than glycolic. I also think lactic is better for acne too.

    Unless you are extremely oily, glycolic will dry your skin a lot.

  13. Tracey
    Excellent advice-It`s good to talk to someone with experience. I am cautious when it comes to peels or anything I put on my face for that matter. I think I am sensitive to a lot of products and often go red when something foreign is applied. I have irratated my face badly and been sunburnt on past occasions, nd I know the worry and embarrssment that comes with it all to well.
    Do you think 24 b4- 48 after is enough ?, as I`m sure you will agree everyone reacts differantly.
    Also what do you think about the 1 step forward 2 steps backward theory I proposed in my earlier post ?
    Iluvhouse :mrgreen

  14. Actually scrap this whole Glycolic thing ! I have decided to go another route having stumbled upon a link to a topic on on this board. This link regards Mandelic acid, and I have just ordered Mandelic serum 10 %, ppl tlk about this stuff as being the holy grail in terms of red mark removal.

  15. Iluvhouse-

    The mandelic is WONDERFUL!! You’re gonna love it. I just purchased the 40% lactic peels from Makeup Artist’s Choice and I’m going to do weekly lactic peels in addition to the Mandelic acid.

    I have a 50% and 70% glycolic peel set that I’m NEVER going to use again. I also have some Avita (Retin A) and Retin A Micro that I’m going to NEVER use again also. I have some MD Forte cleanser and lotion that’s also getting scrapped.

    If anyone wants these products, let me know cause I’m so sick of using things that don’t work for me, being Italian I have a tendency to hyperpigment with irritating topicals. I’m going with the mandelic acid and the lactic peels followed by copper peptide for the next three months and I’m gonna see how that goes. I also use emu oil every night. LOVE THE EMU OIL!!

    I think you’ve made a smart choice ridding yourself of glycolic use because it seems like you must have sensitive skin. Good luck to you and if you need any further assistance, give me a shout. I’ll help where and if I can.

  16. Tracy, Maya
    Yeah I can`t wait until the stuff comes, sounds good.
    One question I would like to ask-possibly Maya may be better suited to answer, is would you use this on top of retin-a or maybe as I am thinking of using this on its own in morning then using Retin-a on its own at night ?
    Let me know what you think . :mrgreen

  17. I’ve only been using the mandelic for 2 days – but I can see that retin-a is now a thing of the past – I’m scraping it like Tracy.

  18. The irritation and sun sensitivity involved with Retin A use is just not worth the benefits IMO….you get ALL the benefits and NONE off the irritation with the mandelic acid.

    I don’t know if mandelic helps with collagen rebuilding like Retin A claims to, and frankly I don’t care. For now the Mandelic Acid has visibly improved my skin more in the three short weeks I’ve been using it (with virtually no irritation, I might add) than the Retin A did in the two plus years of continued use. I’m going with results over publicated claims. And for me, Retin A CLAIMED to do much, yet seemed to deliver nothing but additional skin problems (irritation, hyperpigmentation, daily unsightly, visibly flaking skin, red raw complexion, uneven texture, etc).

    I don’t know whether or not it would be beneficial to use one at night and one in the morning as I haven’t done that myself. If your skin tolerates the Retin A well and you feel it’s beneficial to your particular skin type, then by all means use them both. Just make sure you apply thin layers of both. You don’t want to overexoliate to the point of having raw, irritated skin. And the Retin A may irritate at night the skin that the mandelic acid uncovers during the day. Remember, easy does it.

  19. Maya,
    I’ve just had a look at the site link you provided in your last post…what exactly do you use?
    Do you use the whole line they’ve recommended? ie, the mosituriser, face wash etc, or are you just using the 10% serum?
    What’s your morning/night routine now that’s you’ve incorporated Mandelic?
    Thanks in advance as always for your help.

  20. I am new to this site and have been an acne sufferer for as long as I can remember (32 now!). I had spent too many dollars and too much time on the quest for healthy clear skin, that I decided to create the right professional products and start my own business dedicated to clearer skin and scar removal. I want to tell you how to treat acne and acne scars. Trust me this process works as I have filled in 2 ice pick scars on my own face! Yes, the acid is the first part. You should use an acid cream (15% is good) on a daily basis to break down the scarred tissues. (yes, the indented ice picks and pocks are really scars). Every day be sure to also apply a strong Copper Peptide Serum (“Super” is meant for acne scars) to allow the new skin to grow in to replace the old. *The copper serum is actually an “anti scar” product, and Dr. Pickart has created the only formula actually proven, in countless studies and peer reviews, to actually create collagen. On a weekly basis use a glycolic peel (or lactic if you prefer) to further break down the scar. **Your original smooth skin will not be bothered, but the scar WILL break down! After about a month you will see a difference!!! If you do not see enough difference then you need a stronger acid peel. **Start at about a 40% glycolic pH 2.5 (as long as you do not have sensitive skin. If you do, start at the 30%. What will happen is as the skin starts to fill in (you will see an ice pick with a black hole all of a sudden turn into a “skin colored” hole – and before you know it becomes shallower and shallower until it gets to the top and your skin pulls it taught. This will take anywhere from 4 months- 8 or 9 months, depending on how severe the scarring is. **Please let me know if you have any questions. I am always available and willing to help. I will put in a little plug here 😉 you can email me at [email protected] and I will get back with you immediately, or you can call toll free 1-866-7NU-SKIN (in the US).

  21. I recently posted a thread about at home chemical peels, you might want to take a look at it since it gives you a source for the peels you can access in England (Sellers on Ebay sells glycolic, Jessners and TCA, most sellers ship internationaly, check out their feedback to see how satisfied their customers are!) . As far as stoping Retin-A before a peel, she is right on target! The peel will do much more than Retin A can, but in combination with the effects of Retin-A you are taking a chance of it doing too much and causing scaring! You can start up on your Retin A regimine when your skin has healed from the peel, which will depend on your skin and the type of peel you choose. Good luck!

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