I have pretty nice skin for a 45-y.o. - no real issues, just some fine lines and a lack of fullness. I had been doing at-home fruit acid peels with great results and considering a heavier-duty commercial one to plump up a bit, reclaim my rosy glow, and get rid of some minor sun damage, when my favorite aesthetician mentioned that she was now offering glycolic peels. I made the decision to do it on the spur of the moment to take advantage of the "sale."
Um, just FYI, don't do this impulsively like I did! Bad, bad idea! I was prepared for a little burning, a little redness and then a few days later some flaking. Instead: searing pain, immediate blistering and giant swelling. The spa manager went into a panic - she felt so bad she didn't charge me. For 3 days I had weeping brown patches all over my face, horrible swelling. Luckily I'd already planned for the time off, but instead of taking our Christmas roadtrip I spent my time under the covers in bed, crying my eyes out and googling to see if I should be taking care of it differently and whether I was going to be okay.
Then on day 5, like Christmas magic, all the scabs fell off to reveal beautiful, glowing skin. I looked healthy and 5-7 years younger, with less pronounced nasolabial folds and slightly plumper cheekbones. 10 days out now, I'm not quite as breathtaking as day 5 but I'm still pretty pleased.
Here are my caveats: 1) I would never, ever do this on the fly - I'd consult, test, shop around, and plan for a week of downtime. 2) Also I'd have a medical person do it, not an aesthetician, ESPECIALLY not a relatively inexperienced aesthetician like mine. 3) I would def. be sure to have a test patch ON THE CHEEK, not just the forehead. My forehead barely reacted at all to the 35% so the aesthetician amped it up to 70% for 3 minutes. My cheeks got fried and completely blistered over, while my forehead only got a little pink and never even flaked noticeably (pin sized brown dots falling off four days later).
If my whole face had reacted like my forehead did, there would have been no freakout or change of plans. I took an "after" picture just now, but because this was a spur-of-the-moment thing I don't have a good "before" for contrast. I can tell a difference in real life, but I can't see any difference between the photo of me just now vs. the blurry closeup from a month ago. So I like the result, but I feel like it was way more invasive than I needed or wanted, so I don't think I'll be doing it again.