What Is Glycolic Acid? A Simple Guide

What is glycolic acid in the realm of skincare? In a previous post, I discussed another similar acid called lactic acid. While these two chemicals are indeed different, they also hold several similarities since they are part of the same family of alpha hydroxyl acids. But when it comes to putting these things on your skin, which is the better choice?

More importantly, what does glycolic acid do and how can it improve your skin?

What Is Glycolic Acid?

There are more glycolic acid benefits than you might expect, and it is one of the most popular skincare ingredients out there. It is arguably more popular than lactic acid, mainly because it has stronger exfoliating properties. Since it has acid in the name, you shouldn’t be too surprised to know that glycolic acid is quite good at chemically exfoliating the skin and eating away at the surface layers of your skin. Another reason why it is so popular is that it has powerful anti-aging properties.

This is not to mention that this type of acid is completely natural and comes from plant materials. The main reason why this acid is so effective is because its molecules are smaller compared to the molecules of other acids. The smaller the molecules of a skincare product, the more easily those molecules will be able to penetrate the deeper layers of your skin to enact their effects. This is why it is so effective at chemical exfoliation, even when compared to its popular sibling, lactic acid.

But what does this acid do on a cellular level? In particular, it acts similar to retinol in the fact that it speeds up cell turnover. As a result, your skin will shed old skin faster as well as replace those old skin cells with new ones at a faster rate. Besides that, this acid is very good at stimulating the skin’s ability to produce collagen, even more so than lactic acid. Since collagen is essential for skin elasticity and tightness, it only makes sense that glycolic acid is such a popular anti-aging product.

what is glycolic acid

Keeping up with collagen production is especially important for older adults since adults lose a certain percentage of collagen every year starting at the age of 25. While glycolic acid can’t completely stop this loss of collagen, it can certainly slow it down and make sure that the effects of aging are not as prominent.

The Details

You can easily find glycolic acid peel options as well as glycolic acid toner options from skincare stores along with many other types of products. This is because there are many ways that you can enjoy the benefits of this acid. Another benefit you should know is that glycolic acid can help fight acne. This is because this acid helps keep your pores unclogged and fresh. This is important because acne is often caused by blocked pores that become inflamed.

In the same vein, glycolic acid is great for treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation left beyond from inflammatory acne. Again, this is due to how effective the acid is at exfoliating the skin. It may even be able to prevent other skin issues such as ingrown hairs and shaving bumps. Keep in mind that people with sensitive skin may experience some irritation when using this acid, especially in high concentrations. For the most effective results, it is best to use 10% glycolic acid or higher.

To get your hands on some skincare products of this type, click here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply