Neutralizing Acids | TCA | Hydroxy Acids

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Today I just wanted to talk to you for a minute about some common misconceptions regarding neutralizing chemical peels.

I see videos and directions out there that are telling people that they MUST use a neutralizer for all peels. This is actually far from the truth.

What is a neutralizer really?

A neutralizer is really any liquid that has a higher pH level than the acid you have on your skin. By applying it to an acid peel – it will raise the pH level back to normal.

Most of our hydroxy peels (which consists of glycolic, lactic, mandelic and salicylic) are all set at a pH level of around 2. This means that if you want to neutralize any of those acids – you need only apply something with a higher pH level to stop the acid.

That something can be as simple as water - which has a natural pH of 7.0. Splash your face for a minute or so and you will neutralize the mandelic, glycolic and lactic.

There are some acids that differ though. Salicylic is one of them.

Instead of neutralizing this acid you will actually dilute it. Every time you splash your face with clean water the acid dilutes more and more and more. After a couple of minutes your skin will be back to its normal (slightly acidic) pH level - which is about 5.5 ph. 

TCA is another acid that doesn’t need to be neutralized. In all actuality you CANT neutralize it.

Sure you can rinse it off and stop any residual acid from working with your skin – but you can’t stop the acid that has already penetrated into your skin in search of proteins.

You just have to let it do its job. Once it locates the skin’s proteins and coagulates them – it will shut off automatically. Nothing you have to do on your end but wait about 5 minutes for the process to complete.

Once that is done you can go ahead and rinse it off or even wash your face.

Some people love an “official” neutralizer – so of course we make one. But can you just use regular ol’ tap water? You sure can.

Anyone that tells you otherwise doesn’t understand the mechanics of acids.

Do you have more questions?

Just reach out to us … we are here to help!

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