Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that’s naturally occurring in sugarcane, grapes, pineapple, and other fruits. It’s one of the most popular AHAs used in skincare formulations because it’s gentle, efficient, and has multiple benefits. It works by breaking up the bonds between dead skin cells and dissolving the glue that holds them to the skin. This process allows new, healthy skin cells to come to the surface and helps to improve the texture and tone of the skin.
Glycolic acid is a multitasking ingredient that can benefit all skin types. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, glycolic acid can help to unclog your pores and reduce oiliness. It can also help fade hyperpigmentation and acne scars. For those with dry or sensitive skin, glycolic acid can be a gentle exfoliant that helps remove dead skin cells without causing irritation. Overall, glycolic acid can also help improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.
When incorporating glycolic acid into your skincare routine, it’s important to start with a low concentration and build up gradually. You can find glycolic acid in cleansers, toners, serums, masks, and peels. A good beginner product is a glycolic acid cleanser that you can use once a day. If your skin can handle it, you can opt for a serum or toner with a higher concentration of glycolic acid. A weekly peel or mask can also be beneficial, but make sure not to overdo it- too much exfoliation can cause irritation.
It’s also essential to use glycolic acid correctly according to your skin type. For oily or acne-prone skin, use it in the morning to help keep oil production under control throughout the day. For dry or sensitive skin, use it at night and avoid applying it on areas that are prone to irritation, such as around the eyes and mouth. Always follow up with a moisturizer with SPF during the day, as glycolic acid can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
Conclusion: There’s a reason why glycolic acid has become a popular ingredient in skincare- it’s a gentle exfoliant that can benefit all skin types and improve the overall texture and tone of your skin. As with all skincare ingredients, it’s important to find the right concentration and use it correctly. Start with a low concentration and gradually build up, and always remember to follow up with proper sun protection. With regular use, glycolic acid can help you achieve brighter, smoother, and healthier skin.