Glycolic acid, also known as of alpha hydroxy acid, is derived from sugar cane and is a very popular chemical glycolic peel. It is often used to reduce age spots and smooth the texture of the skin. Glycolic acid peels are often used to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing a new layer that is smoother and more radiant. These peels help with fine wrinkles and brown spots and erasing acne scars. Glycolic peels are also believed to stimulate the growth of collagen, a protein that helps give skin its structure.