How to Dilute 70% Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid 1. 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 1. In these cases, it may be necessary to dilute the solution.
Mix the glycolic acid solution with moisturizer or water in the palm of your hand 1. 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 1. 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 Skin911.com 1. Because the skin on your palms and fingers is thick, it is less likely to become irritated from the mixing process.
How to Dilute a TCA Peel
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 1. Measuring the 70 percent glycolic acid and putting it into a bowl allows you to make a more accurate dilution 1.
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 1. If your mixture contains less than 10 percent glycolic acid, it is unlikely to have much effect on your skin 1.
How to Dilute a TCA Peel
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- DermQuest: Superficial Chemical Peels
- National Institutes of Health PubChem. Glycolic acid. Updated February 1, 2020.
- Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on the skin. Molecules. 2018;23(4):863. doi:10.3390/molecules23040863
- Fabbrocini G, Annunziata MC, D'Arco V, et al. Acne scars: pathogenesis, classification and treatment. Dermatol Res Pract. 2010;2010:893080. doi:10.1155/2010/893080
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Alpha hydroxy acids. Updated May 7, 2019.
- Al-Talib H, Al-Khateeb A, Hameed A, Murugaiah C. Efficacy and safety of superficial chemical peeling in treatment of active acne vulgaris. An Bras Dermatol. 2017;92(2):212–216. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20175273
- Abels C, Reich H, Knie U, Werdier D, Lemmnitz G. Significant improvement in mild acne following a twice daily application for 6 weeks of an acidic cleansing product (pH 4). Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2014;13(2):103-8. doi:0.1111/jocd.12086
- Kaminaka C, Uede M, Matsunaka H, Furukawa F, Yamomoto Y. Clinical evaluation of glycolic acid chemical peeling in patients with acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, split-face comparative study. Dermatological Surgery. 2014;40(3):314-22. doi:10.1111/dsu.12417
- Sharad J. Glycolic acid peel therapy - a current review. Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 2013;6:281-8. doi:10.2147/CCID.S34029
- Takenaka Y, Hayashi N, Takeda M, Ashikaga S, Kawashima M. Glycolic acid chemical peeling improves inflammatory acne eruptions through its inhibitory and bactericidal effects on Propionibacterium acnes. Journal of Dermatology. 2012;39(4):350-4. doi:10.1111/j.1346-8138.2011.01321.x
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.