What Is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that comes from sugarcane and is used to treat skin conditions like acne. Some of the other skin conditions that glycolic acid can treat are:
- Frequent breakouts
- Signs of aging
Glycolic acids can be found in cleansers, serums, lotions, and other skincare products. Typically, you cannot purchase a product with a percentage of glycolic acid over 10%, but if you regularly visit an esthetician, they can use products with up to 30% glycolic acid.
How Does Glycolic Acid Work?
Out of all the acids available for your skin, glycolic acid has the smallest molecules which allows the skin to absorb it easier. It is great at exfoliating your skin by breaking the bonds between cells. After applying glycolic acid, dead skin cells will fall off. Additionally, glycolic acid promotes collagen production in the skin which will make the skin look younger, plumper, and healthier.
What Are The Benefits Of Glycolic Acid?
Alpha-hydroxy acids have many wonderful properties and can greatly benefit the skin. In particular, glycolic acid has been known to:
- Keep your skin hydrated- Many strong acids targeted at treating the skin can oftentimes also dry out the skin. Glycolic acid will keep the skin bright and healthy over time and will not alter your skin type.
- Reduce the appearance of acne- Glycolic acid is antibacterial meaning that it won’t irritate existing acne on your face or cause inflammation.
- Pull contaminants out of the skin- Occasionally, glycolic acid can cause skin peeling. When the dead skin cells come off of the skin, they can also pull out any contaminants in your pores, effectively clearing them.
- Increase collagen production- Glycolic acid can thicken up the skin by stimulating the skin’s collagen production. This excess collagen production will make the skin appear more plump and youthful.
Why Glycolic Acid Is Good For Your Skin
Unlike other strong AHA products, glycolic acid seems to work well with all skin types and textures. Not only does this product fight against acne but it also prevents wrinkles and clears dead cells off the skin. It effectively makes sure that nothing clogs your pores and that your skin looks youthful and glowing.
Is Glycolic Acid Right For Me?
Glycolic acid is best for those who have normal, combination, and oily skin. Though glycolic acid doesn’t permanently dry out the skin, it can be an irritant for those with naturally dry skin. It can help control the oil in other skin types, however, those with dry skin cannot afford to limit any natural oil that their skin produces.
Before starting to use glycolic acid you may want to consider the season or environment in which you live. When the weather is cold and brittle it may not be the best idea to dry out the skin even more with glycolic acid. That being said, glycolic acid can be a great solution for many who experience hot and humid weather in their area.