All You Need to Know About Pyruvic Acid Peel

By Deana D.| Last updated on October 17, 2023

The pyruvic acid peel is an AHA that has some remarkable properties, but it often gets overlooked in the sea of other chemical peel options. Read this guide to learn more about its wonders!

woman getting pyruvic acid peel

Image source: Freepik

Pyruvic acid peel belongs to the family of chemical peels known as AHA peels.

This ingredient has flown under the radar compared to its better-known counterparts, but it’s worth getting to know since it does offer some pretty significant skin perks.

So, let’s get into it!

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What Is Pyruvic Acid Peel?

Pyruvic acid is an alpha-keto acid derived from pyruvate, a naturally occurring substance in the body involved in the energy production process.

But in the realm of skincare, pyruvic acid acts as a chemical exfoliant – an AHA to be exact, sharing similarities to glycolic and lactic acidhelping exfoliate the top layers of dead skin cells and promoting the production of collagen and elastin, proteins crucial for skin health and elasticity, and renewal.

When applied to the skin, pyruvic acid penetrates the deep layers of the dermis, although the depth of the peel can be adjusted by lowering or upping the concentration. Most often, it’s used as a moderate-strength chemical peel.

But what’s special about this peeling agent is that it has various antimicrobial, antioxidant, depigmenting, and sebostatic (sebum-regulating) properties.

pyruvic acid peel treatmentImage source: Freepik

Pyruvic Acid Peel Benefits

Since it is a chemical exfoliant, pyruvic peel promotes the shedding of dead skin cells and stimulates the production of new, healthy skin cells. This leads to a number of skin improvements:

  • Balanced sebum production
  • Less pronounced skin texture and pores
  • A boost in collagen production
  • Great anti-aging effect
  • Smoother and more radiant skin
  • Brightened complexion

But the main benefit of the pyruvic acid chemical peel is its high lipophilicity (the ability of molecules to dissolve better with oil than water) and low molecular weight which allow it to penetrate the skin faster and deeper than other AHAs.

What Conditions Does the Pyruvic Acid Peel Treat?

Pyruvic acid can be used for various skin concerns, but it’s mostly used to reduce signs of aging, pigmentation, and acne problems.

Pyruvic Acid Peel for Fine Lines and Wrinkles

When it comes to anti-aging peels, some consider pyruvic acid to be the best peel. Research has shown a great reduction in wrinkles after its application, as it causes a boost in the production of collagen, elastic fibers, and glycoproteins (which are responsible for boosting oxygen content within cells).

Stimulating these syntheses, this peel promotes skin firmness and elasticity. It encourages the growth of new skin cells, minimizing the appearance of existing fine lines and wrinkles, which results in smoother, more youthful-looking skin.

Pyruvic Acid Peel for Melasma

The pyruvic peel addresses areas of discoloration by gently removing the outermost skin layer where excess pigments accumulate. Through this exfoliating process, it fades dark spots and pigmentation, resulting in a more even skin tone.

This makes it very effective for any kind of hyperpigmentation – melasma, post-acne scarring, or sun damage. With regular peels, you can effectively reduce hyperpigmentation, revealing a brighter and more even complexion.

Pyruvic Acid Peel for Acne

By exfoliating the outer layer of the skin, pyruvic acid can help effectively unclog pores and remove excess oils, dead skin cells, and bacteria from accumulating. This way, pyruvic acid peel prevents new acne from forming.

Also, exfoliating the skin’s surface and removing trapped oils and debris helps visibly refine enlarged pores. This helps tighten the skin, making pores appear smaller.

Plus, the anti-inflammatory properties of pyruvic acid further reduce redness and swelling associated with acne, promoting a clearer complexion.

Pyruvic Acid Peel for Uneven Skin Texture

Uneven skin texture can result from many factors like acne scarring, sun damage, or natural aging.

By removing the damaged outer layer of the skin and encouraging the growth of new, healthy skin cells pyruvic peel creates a balanced and refreshed skin appearance.

The peel also helps tighten pores and visibly improve their appearance.

Pyruvic Acid Peel for Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, pyruvic peel can help manage rosacea symptoms by reducing redness and inflammation.

While it cannot cure rosacea, pyruvic acid peel can help reduce redness and improve the overall appearance of rosacea-prone skin by improving skin texture and minimizing the appearance of visible blood vessels.

What to Expect During the Pyruvic Acid Peel Procedure?

Before you book the peel you should first have a consultation with the treatment provider as they might recommend a pre-peel skincare regimen to ensure you get the best possible results.

As for the procedure itself, it’s relatively short and simple, consisting of 3 steps: prep, application, and neutralization.

Prep is focused on cleansing your skin of all the dirt, oil, and impurities so that the peel can penetrate optimally. During this step, the technician will also protect your eyes and sensitive skin areas to ensure maximum safety during the procedure.

Then, the pyruvic acid chemical peel is applied and left on for an appropriate amount of time (which is determined according to your skin type and needs). The technician will monitor your skin’s response closely. They might even fan your face to ensure a more comfortable experience.

Then, after enough time has passed, the solution will be neutralized, which marks the end of the treatment. Additional steps may include moisturizing the skin after the peel and applying a daily SPF for sensitive skin.

pyruvic acid peel procedure
Image source: Freepik

Pyruvic Acid Peel Aftercare

The effectiveness of the peel continues into the realm of aftercare, which plays a vital role in achieving the best outcomes and reducing potential side effects. During this time you need to be extra gentle with your skin and keep it moisturized and protected – especially from the sun!

You can learn everything you should and shouldn’t do from our aftercare guide.

Aftercare should be implemented throughout the whole recovery period, which might take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Make sure to read our guide through day-by-day recovery from chemical peel.

How Safe Is Pyruvic Acid Chemical Peel?

In general, pyruvic acid does not cause flaking, burning, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation of the skin, as can happen with the use of some other exfoliating agents, such as glycolic acid.

But as with every chemical peel, there are some temporary post-peel side effects like redness, tingling, flaking, and mild irritation.

People with sensitive skin will probably experience more pronounced reactions, but either way, they should subside within a few days – if not you should contact a doctor immediately.

Can You Do a Pyruvic Acid Chemical Peel at Home?

Using professional-strength chemical peels like pyruvic acid or other is not recommended. In fact, it’s hazardous since it can cause serious skin damage and complications if not applied correctly.

Chemical peeling procedures should always be conducted by trained professionals, in a controlled and sterile environment.

However, there are at-home alternatives. These products have lower concentrations, reducing most risks, although they are also less potent. Nonetheless, they offer some benefits that can transform your skin in the long run.

Pyruvic acid in skincare is mostly formulated in serums and creams, rather than as a peel. Here are a few product options to try out:

Prior to using any of these products, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivity. This step is crucial to ensure the product doesn’t irritate your skin.

Pyruvic Acid Peel – Main Takeaways

The ability to address a multitude of skin concerns, from acne and hyperpigmentation to fine lines and enlarged pores, makes the pyruvic acid chemical peel a great choice for achieving radiant, youthful skin.

Considering it’s a bit safer than other AHAs, you can even opt for an at-home solution with some safety precautions. The ingredient itself can be a valuable addition to any skincare regimen, so make sure you try it out!



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