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I’ve just done something stupid and used 60% glycolic acid on face... it was stinging as soon as I applied it but left it on for 2 minutes. I feel like my face is sunburnt. I used this once before but never experienced anything like this - it didn’t even peel nor burnt my face. But now, my face looks a bit red (though others are not noticing the difference) and it stings when I use a toner. Please help! How long do you reckon I will experience this? Also, when can I start applying makeup? Since it never peeled before nor did it leave wounds or scabs, does this mean I’m at no risk of infection? I’d appreciate any advice you can give!!!

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You most likely damaged the very top layer of your skin that keeps out infection at this point in time so you need to not use products just use water to wash and maybe a light moisturizer until you know what damamge you have done if any. Your face will go dry and peel in a day or so if you have damaged it. Good luck.

Dont buy this crap you cant buy in a chemist. There is a reason why.

Oh rinse your face with cold water for 20 minutes to make sure you neautralise all the acid and stop any burning just incase.

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9 hours ago, mariaabc said:

I’ve just done something stupid and used 60% glycolic acid on face... it was stinging as soon as I applied it but left it on for 2 minutes. I feel like my face is sunburnt. I used this once before but never experienced anything like this - it didn’t even peel nor burnt my face. But now, my face looks a bit red (though others are not noticing the difference) and it stings when I use a toner. Please help! How long do you reckon I will experience this? Also, when can I start applying makeup? Since it never peeled before nor did it leave wounds or scabs, does this mean I’m at no risk of infection? I’d appreciate any advice you can give!!!


Exactly, how long has it been? Considering that you've done GA before, did you not know you were to neutralize it afterward using baking soda?

At any rate, here's a couple homeopathic hacks you can try.
1) If it still stings like crazy, apply oil (any cooking oil is fine) over the affected area and sprinkle salt over the oil.
2) If it's not stinging (that is, tolerable), finely grind a raw potato and apply the pulp over the area. This will bring down the inflammation.


  Edited by Sirius Lee

There is no life without water. Use it to your advantage.


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Thank you all for your help! It has been 18 hours and it hasn’t peeled. It feels a bit dry and tight but it looks shiny. Also, can I use any aloe vera gel? I have one but I’m not sure how organic it is...

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2 hours ago, mariaabc said:

Thank you all for your help! It has been 18 hours and it hasn’t peeled. It feels a bit dry and tight but it looks shiny. Also, can I use any aloe vera gel? I have one but I’m not sure how organic it is...


If you're not oozing or covered with blisters, I wouldn't worry too much. Aloe is okay, but Vaseline is better, at least for the next few days.

There is no life without water. Use it to your advantage.


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22 minutes ago, Sirius Lee said:

If you're not oozing or covered with blisters, I wouldn't worry too much. Aloe is okay, but Vaseline is better, at least for the next few days.

I don’t have a single blister, no open wounds, no peeling etc. However, I can see that my face is a tiny bit more red/dark than usual and feels a little swollen though non of my family members can tell the difference. Also, my face is really glossy and feels tight. I read somewhere that glycolic acid usually have little to no downtime? I’ve only been applying sunscreen and a bit of moisturiser. How often do you reckon I apply aloe or Vaseline? Also, I won’t be going out until saturday (in 3 days), do you think I can start doing my usual skincare routine then? ...And put makeup on? Thanks so much :) 

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Nothing sounds abnormal or concerning to me about your reaction from 60% Glycolic. Aquaphor is by far the best thing you can use on a fresh wound but Vaseline works too. The one reason I tell people to err on the side of caution with Aloe Vera is because a lot of Aloe Vera contains Vitamin C which can be an irritant. I have organic 99% Aloe Vera gel and it has a lot of crap in it that isn’t pure aloe. 

If you use Aquaphor or Vaseline, you should really only need to apply it twice per day. It’s incredibily emollient so frequent applications aren’t necessary. 

If your face is glossy and feels tight, it sounds like it is going to peel or flake.  With 60% Glycolic you can start your normal skincare routine as soon as the skin peels or the inflammation goes down. Makeup is fine to apply. 

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2 hours ago, UpliftingCat said:

Nothing sounds abnormal or concerning to me about your reaction from 60% Glycolic. Aquaphor is by far the best thing you can use on a fresh wound but Vaseline works too. The one reason I tell people to err on the side of caution with Aloe Vera is because a lot of Aloe Vera contains Vitamin C which can be an irritant. I have organic 99% Aloe Vera gel and it has a lot of crap in it that isn’t pure aloe. 

If you use Aquaphor or Vaseline, you should really only need to apply it twice per day. It’s incredibily emollient so frequent applications aren’t necessary. 

If your face is glossy and feels tight, it sounds like it is going to peel or flake.  With 60% Glycolic you can start your normal skincare routine as soon as the skin peels or the inflammation goes down. Makeup is fine to apply. 

Thank you for your help :). I do not have fresh wounds but I am still using aloe Vera gel and Nivea sunscreen a few times a day. I’m now going to start using Vaseline though thanks to you! But it won’t prevent my face from peeling/flaking though right or hinder the healing process? Also, is it normal for my face to feel a little heavier than usual? Is this perhaps due to the tightness? And will my face get worse first before it gets better? I don’t see any blisters or pigmentation yet....

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Applying Vaseline or another emollient will actually help the healing process along.  Your wound is likely very superficial so technically you don’t need an emollient, but I always suggest one because it helps soothe that tight feeling you described. 

Heaviness usually indicates that there’s some swelling.  Just for your reference, I had an extremely aggressive peel done and I felt heaviness in certain areas for a good month post-peel. That heavy feeling should certainly dissipate by the weekend. 

You will not develop blisters at this point in time. Blisters from a peel will usually develop within 8 hours or so of application so I wouldn’t worry about that. 

It sounds like you’re doing everything right to prevent pigmentation.  Developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmenation depends where you are on the Fitzpatrick scale and the depth of the wound. Since this peel was very superficial, it is unlikely you’ll have any pigmentation issues. 

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Thank you. I feel much less worried now. It has been 2 days (almost 48 hours) and only a small section of my face feels a little heavy. Other than that, I feel quite normal again and my face is getting brighter; I can see that the redness has faded drastically. 

When do you reckon I can start swimming again? My instructor is quite flexible so I can move my swimming lessons anytime but I’m unsure whether I should wait a few weeks or so.

Also, this may sound like a stupid question. I know I can’t get facial piercings yet but I can get my ears pierced right? 

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You can likely swim again when your face isn’t sensitive. Chlorine can be drying so just make sure you are following a routine that keeps your skin moisturized. 

You’re fine to get your ears pierced. 

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14 hours ago, UpliftingCat said:

You can likely swim again when your face isn’t sensitive. Chlorine can be drying so just make sure you are following a routine that keeps your skin moisturized. 

You’re fine to get your ears pierced. 

Thank you so much. You’ve been very helpful! 
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