I was an esthetician for five years and worked with a truly pharmaceutical grade AHA. It was the most pure blend of fruit sugar acids and contained a very, very small amount of Glycolic. It is the only product that I'd ever recommend, beyond a few prescription treatments for acne. But, I'm not here to sell you on that.
You have to understand the way that these acids work and in a nutshell, here it is: You are creating a controlled burn to the skin. It's not unlike a sunburn, but it's chemical and the level of the "peel" depends on how much of the product you apply. A sunburn causes a different and more threatening kind of cellular damage and also breaks down the fibroblast cells of the dermis, hence, permanently damaging the elastin and collagen production. This would normally take place in the aging process and UV rays have a nasty way of speeding that up. Back to the chemical aspect of the burn; it is much more controlled. There is no UV to cause the breakdown of cell life or the general severe damage to the dermis. However, the acids, when overused or used improperly, i.e. on fair sensitive skin, pigmented skin, and/or in the wrong concentration, can cause an effect much more like that of a sunburn than anyone would have you believe.
Simply type a question or statement into your search engine; such as: "How gylcolic acid can damage skin" or "the risks of gylcolic peels". You will see a lot of info come up.
One very important thing about the way these chems work is that they work by pulling fluid from what we can refer to as a "bylayer" of fluid in our skin. Below your epidermis is a microscopic world of ponds. As you know, if you get a bad burn, you will get a blister. The same thing happens with chemical burns. In a controlled environment, like a dermatologists office, the peel will not go so deep as to totally leach the water from that bylayer. Even then, it is happening a little. That is why some people report being a little puffy after an AHA or glyc peel. Some people even believe that their fine lines have "already disappeared!" Not the case at all, at least, not immediately after the peel has been applied! The water is brought up to the upper layers of the epidermis, and in doing so, a reaction takes place to cause dead skin cells to kind of "pop" away from the healthy tissue and encourage new healthy cells to start coming to life.
It's all very effective, but in that time, the skin becomes very sensitve. I once had a peel and just lightly scratched my jawline. Under my nail was a scarring little scraping of skin! The mark is still there after 5 1/2 years.
I am concerned about what product you are using and where you found it. Who recommended it, etc. Can you give me some backround on that and I will be able to tell you what search to run to get the best and most accurate answers.
Sorry so long! But this just scrapes the surface, so to speak!!
I don't want to discourage you, but believe me, I have had my share of scares when it comes to trying things at home. If I can save you some of the agony and get you on the path to healing by the weekend, then I will feel like all of my stupid mistakes weren't all for nothing!
Last thing, (I promise!), don't EVER put straight aloe vera on your skin. This is a wives tale that 95% of the population has been sold on. Just because something is natural, it doesn't automatically make it good for you or effective. Hemlock is natural, but I wouldn't make a tea of it...