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glycolic acid

The Science of Glycolic Acid: Your Key to Beautiful and Glowing Skin

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on glycolic acid, the powerhouse ingredient that can transform your skin and unveil a radiant complexion. Whether you're a skincare enthusiast or a beauty novice, understanding the wonders of glycolic acid is crucial for achieving the healthy, glowing skin you've always dreamed of. In this guide, we'll delve into the science behind glycolic acid, its remarkable benefits, how to incorporate it into your skincare routine, and much more.

Prepare to discover the key to unlocking your skin's true potential!"

This miracle ingredient, which belongs to the AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) family, works by breaking the links between oil and dead cells on the skin's surface and causing the skin to speed up cell renewal at a deeper level. This makes AHAs like glycolic acid a go-to treatment for fine wrinkles, dark spots, acne, and pigmentation.


What are Glycolic acids?

glycolic acid uses

An AHA, glycolic acid is derived from sugarcane. It is the smallest in this class and has a low molecular weight, allowing it to penetrate the skin more effectively. Glycolic acid is a water-soluble acid that is commonly found in toners, essences, and serums. It's suitable for most skin types and simple to apply, making it an excellent complement to your skincare routine.

About AHA’S


AHAs (Alpha-Hydroxy Acids) are a class of natural fruit acids that are commonly utilized in skincare products. Their strong exfoliating qualities help to achieve smooth, radiant, and clear skin. Exfoliating dead skin cells from the dermis to the epidermal layers of skin reveal younger, healthier skin beneath.

Tartaric acid (grapes), lactic acid (tomato, curd), citric acid (citrus fruits), glycolic acid (from sugar cane), malic acid (apples), hydroxycaprylic acid (animals), and mandelic acid (almonds) are all examples of AHAs.

Benefits of glycolic acid

Listed below are the 5 most amazing benefits of this miracle ingredient.

1. Powerful Exfoliator

Exfoliate The Skin

Glycolic acids (AHAs) are mostly used to exfoliate the skin. This is the basis for all of the other benefits linked with glycolic acid. By exfoliating the skin you remove dead cells from the skin surface. In addition, it allows new skin cells to regenerate.

As you become older, your skin's normal cell cycle decreases, causing dead skin cells to assemble on your skin. Dead skin cells can block pores and darken your appearance over time. Other skin problems, like wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and age spots, hyperpigmentation can be increased by the accumulation of dead skin cells. Exfoliation eliminates dead skin cells at the cellular level, allowing your skin to maintain its radiance.

2. Boost collagen production

glycolic acid skin benefits

Collagen fibers contain proteins that maintain your skin plump and smooth. These fibers, on the other hand, degrade with time. Collagen breakdown can also be caused by sun exposure. This causes drooping and sallow skin.

Collagen makes up the middle layer (dermis) of your skin. Since glycolic acids have mild exfoliating qualities, they can remove the upper layer of your skin and penetrate the dermis. These degrade existing collagen fibers to make place for new ones to increase collagen formation.

3. Reduce sun damage

glycolic acid face wash

Melasma, sunburn, and hyperpigmentation can all be caused by exposure to the sun's damaging UV radiation. Glycolic acid is high in antioxidants, which help to heal UV damage. It lightens dark spots caused by sun exposure and makes your skin appear more radiant.

4. Suppress Melanin production

glycolic acid serum

Excess melanin production results in hyperpigmentation, dark patches, or spots in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color. Excess melanin production can be caused by a variety of circumstances, resulting in dark patches and uneven skin tone. By decreasing the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme, glycolic acid reduces excessive melanin production.

5. Promotes Blood flow in skin

Glycolic acid (AHAs') anti-inflammatory qualities help to increase blood flow to the skin. Proper blood flow ensures that your skin cells receive the critical nutrients they require via oxygen-rich red blood cells, which may help to reduce the appearance of dull skin.

6. Improved Skin Hydration

Glycolic acid can enhance the skin's moisture retention abilities by exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, allowing better absorption of moisturizers and hydrating products.

7. Acne Treatment

Due to its exfoliating and pore-clearing properties, glycolic acid can be beneficial for individuals with acne-prone skin. It helps unclog pores, reduce blackheads and whiteheads, and prevent future breakouts.

Key Take Aways

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid used to treat a variety of skin problems. Unclogging pores, eliminating dead skin, and whitening your complexion, are all advantages of using glycolic acid in your skincare routine. To function properly, it necessitates a low pH level.  Use low-concentration glycolic acid and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Burns, redness, pimples, irritation, and dry skin are all negative effects of applying a high concentration of glycolic acid directly to your skin.


Q. What are some examples of glycolic acid's natural sources?

Ans. Sugar cane is the primary source of glycolic acid. Beets, pineapple, milk, apples, and many citrus fruits are also good suppliers. It's also possible to make it synthetically.

Q. How to use glycolic acid?

To use glycolic acid effectively, start with a patch test to check for sensitivity. Choose a product with a lower concentration and gradually introduce it into your routine, using it once or twice a week at first. Cleanse your face, apply the glycolic acid product, and follow with a moisturizer. Use sunscreen during the day to protect your skin. Monitor your skin's reaction and adjust usage as needed. If in doubt, consult with a dermatologist for personalized guidance.

Q. Is Glycolic acids (AHA’s) good for acne?

Ans. Yes. Glycolic acid can help eliminate acne and enhance scar texture by exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells and germs that can clog pores. It can also aid in the penetration of acne treatment by preparing your skin for it.

Q. How long glycolic acid takes time to show results?

Ans. The results begin to appear within 2-3 weeks and complete transformation takes 6-8 months.

Q. Glycolic acid vs. salicylic acid: what's the difference??

Ans.  Glycolic acid is AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that is extremely soluble in water, making it ideal for hydration, exfoliation, and sun damage treatment. Salicylic acid is BHA (beta hydroxy acid). It penetrates through greasy skin layers and aids in exfoliation.

Q. Is glycolic acid safe during pregnancy?

The safety of using glycolic acid during pregnancy is a topic of debate and is best discussed with a healthcare professional. While glycolic acid is generally considered safe for topical use, it is always recommended to consult with a dermatologist or obstetrician before incorporating any new skincare products or ingredients during pregnancy.

Q. What does glycolic acid do for skin?

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that provides multiple benefits for the skin. It exfoliates the skin, promoting a smoother and brighter complexion, while stimulating collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Glycolic acid also helps fade hyperpigmentation, improves skin hydration, and can be effective in treating acne. Start with lower concentrations and gradually increase usage to avoid irritation, and always use sunscreen when using glycolic acid.

Q. Can glycolic acid and niacinamide be used together?

Yes, glycolic acid and niacinamide can be used together in a skincare routine. In fact, they can complement each other and provide synergistic benefits for the skin.

Q. Is glycolic acid safe for skin?

Glycolic acid is generally considered safe for use on the skin when used appropriately and in the right concentrations. However, it's important to note that individual responses to any skincare ingredient can vary, and some people may experience sensitivity or adverse reactions.

Q. Does glycolic acid remove tan?

Yes, glycolic acid can help to fade and reduce the appearance of tan or hyperpigmentation on the skin. Glycolic acid is an exfoliating ingredient that works by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, promoting cell turnover, and revealing fresher, more evenly toned skin.

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