Glycolic Acid is a favourite amongst skincare experts, and you’ll often find it listed on the labels of our face toners – but what is Glycolic Acid exactly and what does Glycolic Acid do? We take a deeper look at this wonderful ingredient and explore how Glycolic Acid benefits the skin.
What Is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic Acid is a chemical exfoliant naturally derived from sugar cane. Classified as an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), its small molecular size (which is easily absorbed by the skin) and its ability to break up the bonds that hold dead skin cells together make it really special.
What Does Glycolic Acid Do?
Thanks to its ability to break up dead cells, Glycolic Acid is the perfect exfoliator.
Glycolic Acid benefits skin by not only sloughing away dead surface cells (allowing a layer of younger, tighter skin to blossom) but by unclogging pores and allowing the nutrients in your skincare products to better penetrate the skin.
Read our article on the benefits of exfoliation for more information:
What Is Glycolic Acid Best For?
Glycolic Acid benefits all skin types but is particularly beneficial for mature skin with fine lines and wrinkles, and skin prone to blemishes or hyperpigmentation.
Is Glycolic Acid Good For Dry Skin?
Harsh exfoliators can sometimes dry out the skin, but the best Glycolic Acid toner will contain refreshing and hydrating ingredients to counterbalance any lost moisture.
How To Use Glycolic Acid
Glycolic Acid is commonly found in exfoliating scrubs and toners. While it’s suitable for all skin types, it may irritate sensitive skin or skin with eczema or psoriasis. Always check the concentration of Glycolic Acid on the bottle before applying. If you’re not sure whether Glycolic Acid is right for you, we recommend talking to a dermatologist before using it.
You should also avoid using Glycolic Acid alongside other exfoliating agents (like Retinol or manual scrubs) as this may overwhelm the skin and cause irritation.
When To Use Glycolic Acid
Glycolic Acid can be used first thing in the morning or just before going to bed. However, as Glycolic Acid can increase skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, always follow up with an SPF face cream.