Many, many over the counter skincare products have glycolic acid(s) or other acids in them. What separates the effective from the ineffective - the professional from the OTC, are pH.
Rather than get all technical on you, understand that if your product has say, a percentage of 15% glycolic acid in it, chances are it is not nearly as effective as my in-spa PROFESSIONAL peel of 10%. Why? Because of the pH.
The pH (acidity/alkalinity (base)/neutrality of a product) determines its effectiveness. Most OTC products are buffered to 3.5 pH. Professional/licensed-only products may have an pH of 2.0. Intensely stronger.
Each whole pH value below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. For example, a pH of 4 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 5 and a hundred times (10 X 10) more acidic than a pH of 6. This holds true for pH values above 7, each of which is ten times more basic (also called alkaline) than the next lower whole value. An example would be, a pH of 10 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 9.
There are many types of safe, naturally derived acid peels available to suit most every skin type including darker ethnic skin, Asian skin types, and even skin affected by Rosacea, without danger of causing more inflammation or hyperpigmentation. There are many positive, long-acting benefits from peels when properly administered by an experienced, licensed professional.