Glycolic acid, one of the most popular AHA (alpha hydroxy acids), is a multitasker skincare ingredient because it exfoliates without causing abrasions, smooths out rough skin, and also brightens up skin tone. However, there’s a misconception that glycolic acid is only for acne-prone skin and that’s not true because it helps to maintain a smooth texture, regardless of your skin type. From refining the texture of skin to reducing melasma and hyperpigmentation, glycolic acid can do it all and the good thing about glycolic acid is that, there are hardly any side effects (initially tingling and mild irritation are reported), but unlike hydroquinone, it does not ruin your skin with prolonged use. But before you go hunting for glycolic acid serum, the concentration and the skin’s ability to tolerate the acid should be first determined, and only a dermatologist can do that.
What is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that is naturally found in pineapple, sugarcane, and certain fruits. Glycolic acid has a small molecular size and can thus penetrate skin effectively, loosening up the glue that holds together dead skin cells, boosting collagen production, and clearing pigmentation.
Tips for Using Glycolic Acid:
1. Always do a patch test before applying any skincare product, especially glycolic acid because it can cause irritation and redness on sensitive skin. Positively, consult the dermatologist if you have sensitive skin.
2. Never exceed a concentration of more than 10% glycolic acid for home use. Only dermatologists and cosmetologists can handle concentrations of more than 10% and above and the side effects associated such high doses.
3. Since glycolic acid makes the skin photosensitive, a good sunscreen with SPF of 30 is a must while going outside.
4. Serums and ointments with glycolic acid work better and show faster results compared to cleansers and face washes with this ingredient because they get more time to work on the skin.
5. It’s a good idea to start glycolic acid at a concentration of 5% because it would show results without irritating or drying out the skin too much.
Benefits of Glycolic Acid:
- Reduces acne, pimples, breakouts.
- Refines the texture of skin.
- Clears dead skin cells.
- Smoothens up fine lines to an extent.
- Reduces large skin pores
- Reduces blemishes and the appearance of scars.
- Exfoliates skin without causing abrasions.
- Boosts collagen production.
- Evens out skin tone.
- Clears dull skin.
- Increases cellular turnover.
- Adds glow to the skin.
- Clears clogged pores.
- Reveals healthy skin from beneath.
Best Glycolic Acid Skincare Products:
1. Pixi Glow Tonic: Pixi Glow Tonic has attained a cult status with its 5% glycolic acid content. It’s a mild exfoliating toner that cleanses pores deeply and reveals a glowing complexion. The best thing is that it’s a n alcohol-free toner, so suitable for all skin types.
2. Glyco 6%: This is an ointment that should be strictly be taken under medical supervision because it has glycolic acid at 6% concentration.
3. Kojivit Ultra: This ointment too needs prescription and it has other hyperpigmentation clearing agents kojivit, arbutin, niacinamide, mulberry and licorice extract.
4. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: This toner contains a higher concentration of glycolic acid at 7%, but there are other ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, rose flower water to soothe any irritation that may occur.
5. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum: Glycolic acid is just one of the many AHAs added in this serum and it helps to reveal smoother skin with regular use.
6. Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment: A little expensive, but very effective glycolic acid serum, that also has soothing ingredients to calm down any irritation that may occur due to the use of glycolic acid.
7. Makeup Revolution 2.5% Glycolic Acid Tonic: At a low concentration of 2.5%, it’s pretty much safe for al skin types and also has aloe vera and witch hazel to calm down skin.
8. Ahaglow S Face Wash: It helps in reducing breakouts with salicylic acid content as well. It also clears clogged pores and helps to refine skin’s texture, but may not be suitable on dry skin.
Are you using any glycolic acid based product? If yes, how has it worked for you? Do reply in the comments below.