Glycolic Acid in Skincare: Q&A

Posted by RainShadow Labs' Resident Esthetician on 1/27/2021 to Cosmetics

If you are looking for a multi-beneficial AHA skincare ingredient, meet your new best friend: Glycolic Acid.

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic Acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from cane sugar. This carbon-containing molecule has a simple and small molecular size, and since Glycolic Acid has a small molecular structure unlike any other AHA, many skincare professionals favor it for helping to mae the skin look and feel clear, soft, young and radiant.

What Does Glycolic Acid Do For My Skin?

Glycolic Acid works in the same way as many other chemical exfoliants. When applied to the skin, Glycolic Acid extricates the bonds of dead skin cells and causes the epidermis to loosen and slough them off. This is what makes your skin exfoliated and gives a more even looking complexion.

Glycolic Acid is a favorite ingredient for those who feel like they struggle with congested-looking skin. Unlike Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid is actually helpful in moisturizing instead of drying the skin out, which makes it an excellent choice for those who want to avoid feelings of dryness. It works as a 2 in 1 ingredient that helps the skin look and feel clear and even.

How Often Should I Use Glycolic Acid?

In general, Glycolic Acid is a very safe and effective skincare ingredient. To keep your skin safe, though, there are a few things to know before using Glycolic Acid. Just like any active ingredient, gradually introducing active ingredients into your skincare routine is best. You can find this rockstar ingredient in just about any skincare product, from moisturizers to peels. When using a Glycolic Peel, start by using it one time a week and gradually increasing it up to 2-3 times a week. Proper sun protection is required when using Glycolic Acid in your skincare regimen. Like all alpha-hydroxy acids, Glycolic Acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You don't want to undo all the good your Glycolic Acid is doing, and you definitely don't want to end up with a nasty sunburn, so wear an SPF of 30 or above.