Are you losing the battle against dry, flaky skin? Does it seem as though your skin appears to age dramatically during the long winter months? If so, you’re not alone, many people face this problem. The good news is there is a way to overcome this problem, which is the use of Glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid is the most commonly used alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), owing to its reputation as one of the safest and most effective. Its molecules are the smallest among the AHAs, so it’s able to penetrate skin better and be absorbed readily. It can be an effective staple for any skin care regimen. A glycolic acid molecule is extremely small, enabling it to penetrate the skin more easily and deliver powerful results. While glycolic acid is often administered as a peel, using a glycolic acid cream can deliver greater benefit, since it is left on to be absorbed by the skin. It works by actually destroying the bonds between old skin cells, freeing them so they can be sloughed off. This might sound scary and counterproductive, but it’s actually quite beneficial.

Glycolic Acid as a Natural Ingredient

GA is a derivative of some fruits, including grapes. The most common form is derived from sugar or sugarcane. And these can be found in many anti-aging glycolic cream products, skin toners, facial cleansers and serums. Basically, GA is considered a fruit acid and is used in skin care products with varying concentrations. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) extracted from sugar canes and grapes that have yet to ripen. Once used only in spa treatments or available through a doctor, Glycolic acid has now been developed to a popular ingredient in many skin care products such as facial cleansers. These cleansers are known to be a savior for people who have acne, aging and other skin problems. With this product, you can enjoy the good quality of skin treatment at an affordable price.

These natural acids come in five different types:

  • Glycolic acid, from sugar cane
  • Lactic acid, from milk
  • Citric acid, from oranges and lemons
  • Malic acid, from apples and pears
  • Tartaric acids, from grapes

Glycolic acid is an exfoliator, which means that it safely removes the outer layer of dead skin cells. In this way, it helps accelerate your skin’s renewal process, bringing fresh, new skin to the surface on a regular basis when you use it routinely. This can help your skin look younger and dewier, with a glow that arises from increased circulation and faster cell turnover. It’s much more than anti-aging product, though. Glycolic acid also helps lighten discolorations such as sun and age spots. It can even help skin that’s prone to blackheads, whiteheads, and acne by keeping pores clear of old skin that tends to clog them and cause problems.

Glycolic acid products

Glycolic acid products come in many different forms: cleansers, serums, moisturizers, eye creams, and facial peels, to name a few. When you read a product’s ingredient list, as you should always do, glycolic acid should appear in the “active ingredients” section, above the product’s full list of ingredients. Often, it also appears as a percentage. Some skincare experts believe that products with an AHA concentration of less than 10 percent aren’t strong enough to deliver the full benefit of glycolic acid. So make a point of determining the percentage.

You can combine glycolic acid products to amplify and maintain their individual benefits; for example, you can pair a 3-percent facial cleanser with a 10-percent serum. Use your skin as your guide.

Temporary Post-Treatment Effects to Expect

However, there are some temporary post-treatment effects that you may encounter such as skin peel, redness and itchiness. While those who try this treatment in facial clinics would have been taught the way to handle these cases, this article is meant for giving home users some tips to get the best result from this treatment. GA exfoliates the skin, removing old, dead skin to reveal fresh new skin. It improves the skin’s appearance and texture and hydrates the new skin while reducing wrinkles, age spots, scars and other hyperpigmentation. Use caution when selecting products with GA. Formulations that doctors use have a concentration of approximately 35% to 50%. A professional should apply this to avoid damaging the skin.

Those with sensitive skin might start with a glycolic acid facial product with a 5% concentration to see its effect. Higher concentrations of 10%, 15% and 20% have become more common and provide great results. It is also effective for acne treatment and is a component in acne reduction skin care products.

You’ll find GA in all types of skin care products: toners, moisturizers, exfoliators, cleansers, serums and creams. For optimal results, you might use a facial cleanser with a higher concentration. Then a skin toner and moisturizer or glycolic cream with a lower concentration. In addition to GA, look for antioxidant packaged skin care products with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Green Tea Extract to ward off free radicals and treat existing free radical damage caused by environmental stressors. Once the dry skin is removed, Chamomile Extract will calm the skin and help reduce redness. This combination will produce a fresher, more even toned and younger looking skin.


Glycolic acid removes dead skin cells, clearing pores and allowing for greater absorption of vitamins and minerals.


Glycolic acid speeds the growth of collagen, a protein that contributes to the vitality and elasticity of the skin.

Please review the ingredients in your facial cleanser, skin toner and anti-aging skin moisturizer to ensure they contain the most effective ingredients to provide the best results. Including GA in your skin care regimen will make a dramatic in the condition of your skin. The dry skin will be gone and a more youthful, rejuvenated face will emerge.


glycolic acid peel

Glycolic acid peel is the most popular chemical peel amongst all. Many prefer it because glycolic acid is a natural compound extracted from sugar cane and has been widely used in many skin care products. While Glycolic acid peel is so powerful in enhancing the quality to our skin, its major advantages remain unknown to some people. Peels are a step up from daily-use products and can jumpstart the effects of glycolic acids. While the term “peel” makes the treatment sound harsh, it’s actually quite gentle. You’ll feel some tingling, but there’s no burning, redness, or discomfort.

In-office peels

Glycolic acid peels done in a dermatologist’s office are a quick and effective way to rejuvenate the skin. Dermatologists use a 30-to 40-percent concentration of glycolic acid. It needs to stay on your skin for only two or three minutes. These procedures earned the nickname “lunchtime peels” because you can easily go to your dermatologist for the procedure during your lunch break and have a little downtime.

At-home peels

The benefit of doing an in-office peel lies in the higher concentration of glycolic acid. This ultimately leads to better results, but these come at a steep price. If you’re trying to pinch pennies and would like to see how your skin reacts before committing to an in-office peel, try an at-home glycolic acid peel that you can do yourself. A few potent peels with decent percentages of glycolic acid include Brazilian Peel, iQ Natural Glycolic Acid Peel Kit, and Yeouth Glycolic Acid Peel. 

Similar to scrub, Glycolic acid peel literally helps in removing outer layers of skin that are damaged due to long hours of exposure under sunlight, pollutants or changes in climate. In addition, GA peel can completely or partially eliminate sunspots, wrinkles, blemishes and other imperfections.



Among the skin care products containing Glycolic acid, facial cleansers have the lowest content levels of AHA. The low percentage of AHA concentration in facial cleanser makes it a safe product for daily use.

Suitable for many skin types

Thanks to its natural chemical property, Glycolic cleansers have lesser side effects to people with sensitive skins. Thus, it is suitable for many different types of skin.

Deep penetration into the epidermis

Glycolic acid molecule is one of the smallest amongst other AHA molecules. This property enables it to penetrate into the deeper part of the epidermis relatively easier. With this ability, this ingredient can travel to the part underneath outer layers of skin where most of the damaged skin cells sit. Therefore, it can repair past damage of skin more effectively.

Skin toner resemblance

Glycolic cleanser also resembles a skin toner. It helps to soften the skin and prevent it from solidifying. Furthermore, it makes the skin subjectable to other types of skin treatments.

Enhances the regeneration of skin cells

These cleansers weaken the bonds between dead cells and make way for newer skin to surface. Therefore, it is known to be an exfoliator that boosts the progress of skin regeneration.


glycolic acid precautions

  • Avoid scratching your skin although it may be itchy after the treatment. Bear with it as it is only temporary.
  • Avoid washing your face until the next day after treatment.
  • Avoid applying any skin care products such as toner or moisturizer until the next day after treatment.
  • Avoid using glycolic acid products within a few days after treatment. In any case that you need to do so, please seek for the permission from your facial technician.
  • Avoid dyeing your hair within two weeks after treatment.
  • Avoid waxing your eyebrow and upper lip within two weeks after treatment.
  • Avoid exercising or sweating within a few days after treatment. 
  • Avoid picking at your skin when it starts peeling after treatment.
  • Remember to apply moisturizer and sunblock the next day after treatment. Wearing sunscreen is always essential, but it’s even more important when you’re using AHAs like glycolic acid. They make your skin a bit more susceptible to sunburn because, in simple terms, it’s new and tender.
  • Unless your esthetician, physician, or package insert directs you otherwise, you should use glycolic acid in the afternoon or evening, not in the morning. This gives it time to work during a period when you don’t need to wear sunscreen and for your skin to recover before you tackle your new day.

Best Way to Add Glycolic Acid Into Your Beauty Routine

Though you can find glycolic acid in facial cleansers, peels, and creams, a glycolic facial cleanser is the best way to sneak this ingredient into your daily beauty routine. You wash your face every day, after all, so it’s more likely you’ll get reliable results from this ingredient. Plus, since you don’t leave the cleanser on your skin for a long period of time, you won’t experience any of the major side-effects of glycolic acid – redness, soreness, peeling that a GA-rich serum or peel would potentially leave you with. The quick and easy application of a glycolic acid face wash will leave your skin feeling brand new.