Why You Need To Add Glycolic Acid To Your Skincare Regime

Glycolic Acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid with excellent skin exfoliating and rejuvenating properties. Glycolic acid has been receiving all the hype as of lately in the skin-care world, and it’s definitely well deserved. You’ll see the name pop up on the likes of Drunk Elephant, La Roche-Posay and Paula’s Choice amongst others. Here’s why you NEED to add Glycolic acid to your skincare regime;

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic Acid (C₂H₄O₃) is the smallest alpha-hydroxy acid. It is typically derived from sugar cane, and it is one of many acids derived from foodstuffs along with Lactic acid, Citric acid and Malic acid to name a few. Glycolic acid is one of the most popular AHAs, and perhaps the most effective.

Benefits Of Using Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid possesses several excellent acne-fighting and skin rejuvenating properties;

Chemical structure of glycolic acid

Exfoliates Skin And Evens Skin Tone

Glycolic Acid possesses excellent exfoliating properties. It helps to slough off the outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing brighter, even, and more healthy skin underneath.

Anti-Aging, Boosts Collagen Production

High concentrations of Glycolic acid penetrate deeply into the epidermis and stimulate collagen production. Collagen is responsible for the firmness and youthfulness of the skin, and this protein breaks down as we age. By stimulating production of collagen, Glycolic acid can both reverse signs of aging and slow it down.

Minimises Appearance of Pores

Glycolic acid is the smallest AHA, meaning it can penetrate deeply into the pores to break up dirt and oils causing blackheads and breakouts. By cleansing your pores and promoting collagen production, Glycolic acid can minimise the appearance of your pores.

Fights Acne

Acne is typically caused by oils and dead skin blocking your pores. Glycolic acid not only clears out your pores and fights acne, it also prevents it from reappearing.

Fades Acne Scars

As Glycolic acid exfoliates and promotes collagen production, it helps to fade even deep acne scars. Glycolic acid promotes cell turnover and this process over time helps to fade and minimise the appearance of acne scarring.

How To Add Glycolic Acid To Your SkinCare Regime

Drunk Elephant - Glycolic Acid Serum

Glycolic acid is most commonly found in serum form, and this is our favourite way to incorporate it into your skin care regime. There are toners and moisturisers available, but we’ve found these to be less effective.

After cleansing, apply a few drops of Glycolic acid serum to the entire face and work it into the skin making sure you get even coverage. You can even apply the serum to just the problem areas (the T-zone for most people). I like to apply the serum around the T-zone which is oily and prone to breaking out, whereas my cheeks are dry and don’t really need exfoliating.

If you opt for the Glycolic acid toner, apply it immediately after cleansing with a cotton pad for maximum effectiveness. Follow up with a serum, and moisturiser to ensure your skin stays hydrated.

Side Effects

As Glycolic acid is an active acid working to exfoliate the skin, it can increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Either avoid direct sunlight exposure, or if this isn’t an option apply SPF 30+.

Glycolic acid also has a low pH and can therefore be irritating for those with sensitive skin. If this is your first time using Glycolic acid or if you have sensitive skin, ensure you patch test on an inconspicuous area to test for compatibility. A little redness and irritation is normal at first; if this persists discontinue use or seek professional medical advice.

To Sum it Up

Glycolic acid is an excellent AHA with many benefits to help you achieve your skin care goals. Whether this be to get rid of acne, minimise fine lines and wrinkles, or to brighten your skin tone; Glycolic acid might be the one for you. Also make sure you check out Salicylic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid.

Product Recommendations

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Anti Aging Pore Minimizer Face Serum with Glycolic Acid

La Roche-Posay: Effaclar Anti Aging Pore Minimizer Face Serum

A pore refining anti-aging serum with Glycolic Acid to cleanse and minimise pores, and Hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated and minimise the irritation associated with Glycolic acid use.

Get it here

Drunk Elephant - T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

Drunk Elephant – T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

An excellent AHA night serum with Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic acid for an all-round exfoliating and anti-aging treatment. This serum also contains soothing plant extracts to minimise irritation.

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Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA + Glycolic Acid

Paula’s Choice – Resist Anti-Aging 10% AHA Exfoliant

A 10% AHA formulation with Lactic, Glycolic and Malic acid which helps to smooth wrinkles and fine lines, even skin tone, and fight signs of sun damage.

Get it here