Glycolic acid can work wonders for aging or acne-prone skin. Here's everything you need to know about glycolic acid and popular glycolic acid products.

What Is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is the most commonly used AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). It is a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane, but it can also be obtained synthetically.

Glycolic Acid: Skin Benefits

Glycolic acid has an exfoliating effect, sloughing off dead skin cells. This can help give your skin a healthy, youthful glow. Used on a regular basis, it has also proven effective in the treatment of clogged pores and acne. Glycolic acid also helps even out irregular pigmentation and can reduce the appearance of age spots, acne scars and other blemishes.

Cleanser With Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid Daily Products

Glycolic acid comes in a wide range of products, from facial cleansers and moisturizers to face peels. When browsing through a product's ingredient list, glycolic acid will be featured in the active ingredients area, often followed by a percentage. Here are some commonly used glycolic acid products.

Glycolic Acid Peels

Glycolic acid peels are recommended for aging and dry skin, mild acne or skin discoloration. They are the mildest of chemical peels and fairly safe to use. Used on a regular basis, they can restore your skin's natural glow.

Glycolic Acid Lotion

Glycolic acid lotion is recommended for acne-prone skin. Through its exfoliating effect, it helps clear up clogged pores and can prevent future breakouts. A good formula is Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion 10 percent Glycolic AHA, enriched with Vitamin E, which provides extra antioxidant benefits.

Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion 10 Percent Glycolic Aha

Glycolic Acid Cream

Glycolic acid cream has both an exfoliating and a moisturizing effect and can address the problems of aging, dry and sun-damaged skin. A nice formula is Aqua Glycolic Face Cream, with a 10 per cent concentration of glycolic acid, complete with cetyl ricinoleate, which makes it particularly well-suited for dry and sensitive skin.

Glycolic Acid Cleansers

Glycolic acid cleansers come in a wide range of formulas and concentrations. When choosing a glycolic acid cleanser, make sure it is suited to your skin type. If you have oily skin, choose a cleanser that also contains benzoyl peroxide. When choosing a cleanser for aging skin, look for one that also contains retinol or collagen. Avoid products with a too high concentration of glycolic acid, as these may be too rough on your skin.

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