Glycolic acid is soluble in water alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), derived from sugar cane. It is one of the best known and widely used alpha hydroxy acids in the skin care industry. Other alpha hydroxy acids include lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid.
How Glycolic Acid Works
Glycolic acid has the smallest molecules of all alpha hydroxy acids. Thanks to these ultra-small molecules, glycolic acid can easily penetrate the skin. This allows glycolic acid Exfoliate the skin is more effective than other AHAs.
This works at the expense of acceleration cell rotation. This helps dissolve the bonds that hold skin cells Together, allowing dead skin cells to exfoliate faster than they could on their own.
Glycolic acid also stimulates the skin to produce more collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives the skin firmness, firmness and elasticity. (Collagen is also a protein that imparts strength to your bones and connective tissues.)
With age, collagen production naturally slows down. It is also destroyed due to excessive sun exposure. Regular use of glycolic acid can help prevent this breakdown of collagen.
What it does For Your skin
Glycolic acid is an incredibly popular remedy due to the many benefits it has on the skin. It has effective skin repair properties, so it is often used in anti-aging products. It can help smooth fine wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. Glycolic acid fills the skin and helps increase hydration levels.
However, it is not just an anti-aging. Glycolic acid can also help fight sun damage. It is often used to remove minor hyperpigmentation.
Because it is an effective exfoliant, regular use of glycolic acid can help lighten the complexion. It is this exfoliating property that also makes it an effective preventive against ingrown hairs. If you have large pores, glycolic acid can also help make them smaller.
Many acne treatments also contain glycolic acid. It is not a treatment for acne per se, but glycolic acid can help clear pores from blockages by preventing the formation of comedones, blackheads and inflamed rashes.
While many Sources claim that glycolic acid removes scars, it’s one thing you just can’t do. Glycolic acid can lighten dark spots left by acne or other wounds and may smooth the appearance of raised scars and dimpled scars, but will not make them go away.
For more effective scar treatment, it is better to use professional glycolic acid peels or a completely different scar treatment.
Where Can You Find It
If you are looking for glycolic acid, you have many options, and there are many. This skincare favorite can be found in a variety of over-the-counter products.
Check out your local pharmacy, department store, or Skin Spa and you’ll find a plethora of cleansers, masks, toners, and moisturizers that contain this ingredient. Over-the-counter products with glycolic acid generally have a strength of up to 10 %.
For stronger treatments, glycolic acid is also used in chemical peels available in the salon or in your dermatologist’s office. A light peeling can be performed with glycolic acid of up to 30% strength beautician in the salon or Spa for the skin. A stronger exfoliation of up to 70% can be obtained in the dermatology office.
Can you exfoliate with glycolic acid yourself? While glycolic acid is obtained from sugar cane (and also found naturally in some fruits), the sugar you buy in the store is not the same as glycolic acid.
Rubbing the face with sugar by hand exfoliates the skin and makes it smoother. But it won’t give you the same results as glycolic acid treatment.
Skincare products contain other ingredients carefully selected to achieve a specific end result. You can definitely create your own skin care products, but they won’t give you results on par with a professional glycolic peel or product.
Choosing the right Skincare
The glycolic acid treatment you choose depends largely on your skin type and your end goals. Whether you just need brighter, healthier skin (or reduced rashes and fine lines), an over-the-counter product is quite effective without stronger professional peels.
Using low concentrations of glycolic acid over an extended period creates a cumulative effect; your skin will look better the longer you use it.
To treat specific skin problems, such as noticeable sun damage, dark spots or acne marks, and deeper lines and wrinkles, or to quickly improve the skin, a professional exfoliation is a good option. But because peels contain a higher percentage of glycolic acid than everyday products, they will be more irritating and have a higher chance of side effects.
When choosing any glycolic acid treatment, the percentage of glycolic acid is just one factor. the pH of the product is different. A more acidic product will provide a stronger and more efficient treatment than a less acidic product, regardless of the percentage of glycolic acid.
Therefore, a product containing a low percentage of glycolic acid but with a lower pH (i.e. more acid) will be more effective than a product with a high percentage but low acidity.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of skin care products simply specify the percentage of glycolic acid used. They are not required to indicate the pH, so this can make it difficult to compare food apples with apples.
How to use glycolic acid safely
In general, glycolic acid is a very safe and effective ingredient for skin care. However, to keep your skin safe, there are a few things you should know before using glycolic acid.
First, you should use sunscreen whenever you use glycolic acid treatments. Like all alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You don’t want to deny all the good things your glycolic acid does, and you definitely don’t want to have a nasty sunburn. Please use an SPF of at least 30.
Let your skin get used to glycolic acid. If you use an over-the-counter product, start by applying it only three times a week for about a week. If your skin isn’t red or irritated, try using it four times a week for a week or two.
Continue to slowly build up this path until you can use it every day. If at any time your skin becomes irritated, stop using it for a while and try again.
For an office or salon exfoliation, it’s likely to start with a lower concentration of glycolic acid. If your skin tolerates it well enough, it is likely to rise to greater resistance for subsequent peels.
In the first few days of treatment, your skin may appear a little rougher than normal. This is normal and simply means that glycolic acid is working. If your skin is not irritated, continue to use a glycolic acid product. Softer skin is just around the corner.
Do not use glycolic acid, including over-the-counter medicines, if you are currently using topical retinoids as Retin-A (tretinoin) or Differin (adalene), Accutane (isotretinoin) or any product that quickly exfoliates the skin. Most importantly, if you are under the supervision of a dermatologist, be sure to get their approval before using any glycolic acid product or doing peels.
A Few Words From Get Meds Info
Over-the-counter glycolic acid products and professional peels have been around for a long time and have a safe and effective track record. Most skin types can use them without much trouble.
If you have very sensitive skin, you can use washable products with glycolic acid, such as cleansers. They are not as irritating as indelible glycolic acid treatments and allow your skin to develop tolerance without (hopefully) too much irritation.
While glycolic acid is a wonderful skin care ingredient, if you’re looking for powerful anti-aging or anti-acne, topical retinoids will give you more benefits. However, they are only given with a prescription.
If you need help choosing a glycolic acid product, your dermatologist can help.