Behind the Scenes Beauty: An glycolic acid peel from optiphi

The world of skin peels is something I’ve been a bit nervous about if I’m honest (I’m quite possibly the worst beauty blogger right now?)

I’ve always heard the word “peel” and got really freaked out and worried that I would end up looking seriously bad, with peeling, flaky, red, raw skin…

But as time marches on, my skin is starting to show my real age (and then some!) and so I find myself being drawn to the more intensive skin treatment options available.

Now is the time to start taking my skincare seriously (although I might be a bit late to this party at the age of 37!)  which is why you might have noticed I’ve started a new series called Behind the Scenes Beauty whereby I test out all manner of “serious” skincare treatments and tell you all about them. I’ve also started a Serious Skincare series where I find out more about particular skincare ingredients and what they do for our skin, today’s blog post touches on a bit of both – a Behind the Scenes experience of a chemical peel PLUS some added info on the benefits of Glycolic Acid.


Today I’m sharing a bit more about my first skin peel… a really gentle Glycolic Acid peel from optiphi which was a great first peel experience!

Chemical peeling is used to improve the skin’s appearance by applying a chemical solution, which causes damaged and dead layers of skin to detach and peel off, revealing refined skin.

A popular Alpha Hydroxy Acid, such as Glycolic Acid, has been proven to be a great exfoliant, which stimulates cellular activity, evens out skin tone, improves fine lines and the appearance of sun-damage as well as improve the elasticity and firmness of the skin. Glycolic acid also increases the synthesis of collagen and has a rejuvenating effect in the skin.

Chemical peels are one of the best ways to refresh your skin when it’s feeling dull and rough.

The optiphi Glycolic Acid Peel is a superficial peel supported by a large body of clinical data and endorsed by optiphi’s Technical Director, Dr Hugo Nel, a plastic surgeon by profession. Superficial peels only penetrate the epidermis and can be used for a variety of conditions, including acne, melasma, dyschromias, photodamage, and actinic keratoses.

As a well-known fruit acid Glycolic Acid has the best scientific background and clinical data for optimal results. The smallest molecular sized AHA, Glycolic Acid, penetrates the skin effectively promoting both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity to create skin rejuvenation. The good news is that Glycolic Acid does not penetrate deep enough to cause dermal harm, adding to the safety of this specific peeling treatment.

The Benefits of Glycolic Acid Chemical Peels

  • Glycolic Acid Peels have keratolytic, anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant properties with the ability to reduce swelling, redness and irritation.
  • Glycolic Acid Peels stimulate homeostatic collagen, which is responsible for plumper, younger looking skin.
  • AHA’s penetrate the outermost layer of the skin, reducing cellular adhesion and promoting desquamation resulting in a smoother complexion.
  • An increase in dermal and epidermal Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen assists with skin regeneration on a molecular level.
  • Unlike various other chemical peeling formulations, a Glycolic Acid peel does not stimulate scar collagen, rather it safely improves the appearance of photo-aging, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring.


The treatment, which I experience at Life Day Spa at the Waterfront, involves a few steps including pre-peeling preparation of the skin that deep cleanses the skin, combats redness, inflammation and skin irritation and prepares the skin for the Glycolic
Acid peel allowing safe and effective penetration.

Then the Glycolic Acid peel itself (applied at 25 – 35% depending on the skin requirements). While it is on your skin you will feel a tingling, almost ant-like sensation “crawling” across your skin. It’s not unbearable, but it’s slightly uncomfortable. The therapist tries to make the experience a bit more bearable while it stays on your skin for the duration of time she’s deemed necessary for your skin. As my skin is prone to redness and Rosacea, and this was my first peel, she was monitoring it closely to ensure it didn’t react badly. Fortunately it reacted really well and it was a success!

The peel itself is followed with post-peeling care to calm and soothe the skin and to supplement with vitamins and minerals while also increasing hydration levels.

After my peel my skin felt incredibly soft and smooth and showed no signs of redness at all. I left the spa feeling rejuvenated and for the next few days I received more than 1 compliment on how my skin was glowing which I accepted gracefully of course… I just didn’t tell them about my little secret 😉 Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take any photos of the results, so you’ll just have to take my word for it! Sorry!

My optiphi Skin Rejuvenation Peel proved to the perfect way to experience the results of a peel without the unpleasant side effects generally associated with peeling such as excessive redness, swelling and flaking.

Of course, after any sort of peel it’s always imperative to protect the skin against detrimental damage caused by the sun as your “new” layer of skin is much more susceptible to it’s harmful rays, so it’s NB to continue to wear a high SPF sunscreen daily – in fact we should be doing this daily anyway. I’m sure we all do already, right?!



Disclosure: 1

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

    1. Hi Nicky. The treatment was approx 1 Hour, but the actual application of the glycolic acid product on your skin is probably about 10 mins.

  1. Hello Kathryn,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I had my chemical peel take roughly a few weeks for the peeling to finally end and I love the results. Thanks again for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.