If you’ve been searching for ways to revitalize tired skin, glycolic acid might have caught your attention. It's a common ingredient in professional skincare products and known for its many benefits. Let's explore what glycolic acid is, how it works, its benefits, side effects, and how to use it for optimal results.
What Is Glycolic Acid, and How Does It Work?
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from sugarcane. As an exfoliating agent, it helps remove the top layer of dead skin cells, leading to revitalized skin. Its small molecules allow easy absorption, speeding up cell turnover and promoting collagen production for plumper, firmer, and more elastic skin.
The Benefits of Glycolic Acid for Skin
Skincare products that contain glycolic acid offer numerous benefits, such as:
- Hydration: Plumps the skin and prevents dryness and flakiness
- Anti-aging: Improves skin texture, and tone, and smooths fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne: Clears out pores, prevents inflammation and breakouts, and reduces blackheads
- Sun damage: Reverses sun damage and fades dark patches, making it effective for hyperpigmentation
- Complexion: Brightens the skin with regular use, giving it a more youthful and glowing appearance
- Exfoliation: Helps prevent ingrown hairs and reduces the appearance of large pores
Side Effects of Glycolic Acid
While glycolic acid is generally safe when used in moderation, adverse effects like skin irritation and burns may occur if products contain more than 10 percent glycolic acid. However, some dermatologists recommend higher concentrations for specific skin concerns, such as sun damage or acne-prone skin. Notably, glycolic acid is immediately neutralized by water, making it easy to rinse off in case of adverse reactions.
Using Glycolic Acid in Your Skincare Routine
Start with a low concentration and gradually increase it if your skin can tolerate it. For sensitive skin, moisturizers with less than 10 percent glycolic acid are recommended. Those with less sensitive skin can use skincare peels with glycolic acid, preferably in a healthcare practitioner's office for safety.
Glycolic Acid Skincare FAQs
Is It Okay to Use Glycolic Acid Every Day?
For normal skin, daily use of glycolic acid products with one to two percent concentration is generally safe. Products with 10 to 15 percent concentration should be used once or twice a week, while those with over 15 percent concentration should only be applied briefly before removal.
Is Glycolic Acid Better than Retinol?
For many, glycolic acid is better than retinol because it is an effective exfoliant that doesn’t dry out the skin or cause as much irritation.
Should Glycolic Acid Be Used at Night?
Most experts recommend using glycolic acid at night as it can make the skin more sensitive to UV rays, even though it helps undo sun damage.
Wrap-Up on Glycolic Acid in Skincare
Glycolic acid can significantly improve skin texture, reduce signs of aging, and even out skin tone. However, be mindful of potential side effects and follow usage guidelines to avoid irritation. Invest in reputable products from trusted brands like CO2 Lift and its Carboxy Mousse Moisturizer to ensure high quality and safe glycolic acid skincare. With proper usage, you can enjoy the benefits of this powerful ingredient for glowing, revitalized skin.