Glycolic acid is a well-known Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that can be found in a range of skincare products – from peels and masks to cleansers and toners. Often derived from sugarcane or fruits, glycolic acid offers benefits for a range of different skin conditions.
This naturally occurring AHA is water soluble which means it penetrates the deepest layers of your skin. Commonly used in chemical peels, glycolic acid dissolves the bonds holding keratinized layers of dead skin to reveal younger, fresher skin underneath. It also gets rid of sebum build up from deep down, reducing the size of skin pores and fighting acne and blackheads at the source. This cleansing action also prepares your skin for any skincare products you use post your glycolic acid treatment. It can also reduce hyperpigmentation over time. Glycolic acid's exfoliating nature means that it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles giving, your skin a youthful glow. Glycolic acid also stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that reduces as we age, to help keep skin looking youthful and healthy.
Products containing more than 10% of glycolic acid are best applied by skin care professionals. However, there are plenty of products with mild concentrations for you to try at home. As with any acid, it’s best to try a patch test to make sure the product you have chosen suits your skin.