Glycolic Acid: How to Exfoliate Skin Over 30 with AHA

Glycolic Acid is an excellent mature skin exfoliant. It requires no rubbing or scrubbing to remove dead skin. It is also an acid that is safe to use at home if you know how. This article explains How to Best Exfoliate Skin Over 30 with AHA

How Glycolic Acid Works


Glycolic Acid loosens the “glue” that adheres dry, dead skin to healthy skin. Once loose, the dead skin cells dissolve or wash away. There are no big peeling clumps of skin, no sloughing sections after AHA use.

How Glycolic Acid Works for Skin Over Thirty

This is ideal for mature skin that has less ability to tolerate harsh exfoliant scrubs.

If done correctly there is little dryness, redness or irritation after AHA use. Skin is brighter, younger, softer, with few lines and wrinkles, and it glows like younger skin.

With an AHA peel, there is almost never the uneven peeling seen with chemical peels or scrubs. There is less post-peel downtime with AHA.


Glycolic Acid peels can be safely done at home with excellent results.

How To Use Glycolic Acid At Home

Start with 10% Glycolic Acid and work your way up to higher concentrations. AHA concentration levels greater than 35% are available online. Only professionals should use these strengths undiluted.

If it is the first time you are doing a Glycolic Acid peel at home, apply the serum to clean skin. Use a glycolic fan brush if possible to spread even, thin layers. Only leave it on a few minutes, even if it is tolerable. Eventually, work up to 15 to 20 minutes.

Avoid applying the serum to very sensitive skin. This includes the nostril openings, immediately around the mouth, and the eye area. AHA will sting on contact and then subside. Rinse immediately if it starts to sting excessively.

I like to start application on the forehead, my chin, my cheeks, then sparingly around the nose. The throat, decolletage, and shoulders also respond very well to AHA. Blackheads on the side of the nose respond well to AHA, but skin can be sensitive.

When washing off the AHA, you may feel some dead skin debris, but there is no need to scrub. Skin will come off by itself.

After washing off the AHA, apply a gentle emollient cream. Skip harsher topicals for the next 24 hours. These include Retin-A, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

If you respond well to Glycolic Acid peels, consider a weekly or bi-weekly 10% peel, building up to 20% AHA or even 30%.

The forehead tolerates higher percentages particularly well. If your serum percentage is a bit too strong, dilute the serum with water or gentle lotion, but not oils.


Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acids which is ideal for sensitive and mature skin because it requires no scrubbing or rubbing.

Excellent results are obtainable with the regular use of lower concentration of Glycolic Acid. Don’t attempt one “big” peel at a high concentration, it is more risk than benefit.

Was Glycolic Acid: How to Exfoliate Skin Over 30 with AHA useful? Check out another gentle peeling ingredient: Mandelic Acid

Have you tried Glycolic Acid peels at home or in a spa? What is your AHA peel experience? Tell us!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Peggie Faulhaber says:

    Glycolic Acid helped a lot to clear my skin. This article is well researched

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