A glycolic peel is a form of chemical peel that uses glycolic acid to slough off dead skin. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid and is one of the mildest forms of chemical peel.
Glycolic acid peels are recommended for fine wrinkles, discoloration and mild acne. Because glycolic acid is very mild, it is not effective as a peel for deep wrinkles or severe acne. These skin conditions require a harsher chemical peel; common peels for these conditions include beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid. Retinoic acid and phenol are ingredients in the strongest forms of chemical peel.