1. Beauty Glossary
  2. Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid for Skin

Introducing glycolic acid, the smallest member of the AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) family, yet still a force to be reckoned with. Often dubbed as the miracle acid for dry skin, this compound has rocketed in popularity and can now be found in the majority of your favourite skin care products.

See our glycolic acid guide to answer your questions like what is glycolic acid and what does glycolic acid in beauty do.

Brands With Glycolic Acid Products

  • Alpha-H
  • PIXI
  • Murad
  • Filorga
  • NIP+FAB
  • Avant
  • Dr Dennis Gross Skincare
  • NeoStrata

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401 products found
-13%
The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Toner
The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Toner
£7.46 £8.49
-7%
The INKEY List Niacinamide
The INKEY List Niacinamide
£7.46 £7.99
-5%
PIXI Glow Tonic
PIXI Glow Tonic
£9.58 £10.00
PIXI Clarity Cleanser
PIXI Clarity Cleanser
£16.62
-20%
Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10
Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10
£66.40 £83.00
-25%
ELEMIS Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask
ELEMIS Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask
£37.95 £50.00
-10%
Murad Replenishing Multi Acid Peel
Murad Replenishing Multi Acid Peel
£44.12 £49.00
-36%
Skin Doctors InGrow Go
Skin Doctors InGrow Go
£7.80 £12.14
-4%
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix
£111.95 £116.00
-11%
Murad Hydrating AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Murad Hydrating AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
£34.96 £39.00
-9%
Clarins Multi Active Day Cream For All Skin Types
Clarins Multi Active Day Cream For All Skin Types
£42.00 £45.95
-27%
Skin Doctors Zit Zapper
Skin Doctors Zit Zapper
£9.95 £13.49
-8%
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
£36.00 £39.12
-23%
Goldwell Dualsenses Colour Brilliance Serum Spray
Goldwell Dualsenses Colour Brilliance Serum Spray
£9.95 £12.84
-7%
Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy
Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy
£36.95 £39.59
-10%
REN Micro Polish Cleanser
REN Micro Polish Cleanser
£22.50 £24.96
-10%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow 6%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow 6%
£20.66 £22.95
-10%
NIP+FAB Post Glycolic Fix Moisturiser SPF 30
NIP+FAB Post Glycolic Fix Moisturiser SPF 30
£17.96 £19.95
-10%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Serum
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Serum
£17.96 £19.95
-10%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Extreme Night
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Extreme Night
£17.06 £18.95
-6%
The Ordinary The Bright Set
The Ordinary The Bright Set
£31.12 £33.00
-10%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads
£15.26 £16.95
-10%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Scrub Extreme 6%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Scrub Extreme 6%
£13.46 £14.95
-7%
Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaflash Treatment
Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaflash Treatment
£22.13 £23.60
-9%
Sebastian Professional Craft Clay
Sebastian Professional Craft Clay
£14.95 £16.32
-10%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Cleanser
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Cleanser
£9.86 £10.95
-5%
Caudalie Glycolic Peel
Caudalie Glycolic Peel
£18.99 £19.95
-7%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Scrub
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Scrub
£12.08 £12.95
-10%
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Extreme Bubble Mask
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Extreme Bubble Mask
£6.30 £7.00
-3%
Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Glycolic Night Cream
Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Glycolic Night Cream
£26.50 £27.15
-6%
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
£6.57 £6.95
-1%
SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleanser
SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleanser
£35.95 £35.99
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion
£29.12
Natura Bissé Facial Cleansing Gel With AHA
Natura Bissé Facial Cleansing Gel With AHA
£46.00
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti Ageing & Intensive Repair Eye Serum
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti Ageing & Intensive Repair Eye Serum
£102.00
Filorga Nutri Filler Cream
Filorga Nutri Filler Cream
£39.50
Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel
Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel
£45.79
Filorga Lift Designer Treatment
Filorga Lift Designer Treatment
£39.50
Filorga Meso-Mask
Filorga Meso-Mask
£28.50
Filorga Lift Structure Treatment
Filorga Lift Structure Treatment
£42.00
CosRx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
CosRx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
£21.99
PIXI Glow Tonic To-Go Pads
PIXI Glow Tonic To-Go Pads
£18.29
CosRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
CosRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
£19.99
Alpha-H Absolute Eye Complex
Alpha-H Absolute Eye Complex
£34.17
NuFACE FIX Line Smoothing Device
NuFACE FIX Line Smoothing Device
£125.00
Alpha-H Vitamin C Paste 10% L'ascorbic Acid
Alpha-H Vitamin C Paste 10% L'ascorbic Acid
£45.79
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Advanced Daily Serum
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Advanced Daily Serum
£182.00
GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask
GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask
£15.42
Natura Bissé Glyco Extreme Peel
Natura Bissé Glyco Extreme Peel
£235.00
KMS Hairplay Makeover Spray
KMS Hairplay Makeover Spray
£15.64
Elemental Herbology Perfect Balance Facial Moisturiser SPF 12
Elemental Herbology Perfect Balance Facial Moisturiser SPF 12
£44.00
Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel
Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel
£44.00
Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Advanced Brightening Day Serum
Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Advanced Brightening Day Serum
£49.50
Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution
Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution
£29.96
GLAMGLOW Super Cleanse Triple Charcoal Cream To Foam Cleanser
GLAMGLOW Super Cleanse Triple Charcoal Cream To Foam Cleanser
£24.12
Clarins Multi Active Day Cream Dry Skin
Clarins Multi Active Day Cream Dry Skin
£48.95
Paula's Choice Resist Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA
Paula's Choice Resist Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA
£33.29
Paula's Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment With 5% AHA
Paula's Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment With 5% AHA
£33.29
Avant Sumptuous Glycolic Acid Hand Balm
Avant Sumptuous Glycolic Acid Hand Balm
£81.00
PIXI Clarity Tonic
PIXI Clarity Tonic
£8.00
DCL G20 Radiance Peel
DCL G20 Radiance Peel
£54.00
PIXI Glow Mud Cleanser
PIXI Glow Mud Cleanser
£17.08
PIXI Overnight Glow Serum
PIXI Overnight Glow Serum
£24.58
PIXI Glow Peel Pads
PIXI Glow Peel Pads
£25.79
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
£14.96
First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA
First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA
£44.12
Murad Hydro Dynamic Quenching Essence
Murad Hydro Dynamic Quenching Essence
£65.00
PIXI Clarity Concentrate
PIXI Clarity Concentrate
£24.17
PIXI Clarity Lotion
PIXI Clarity Lotion
£22.92
PIXI Glow Tonic Serum
PIXI Glow Tonic Serum
£24.17
R+Co Bleu Smooth & Seal Blow Dry Mist
R+Co Bleu Smooth & Seal Blow Dry Mist
£80.00
Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser Aloe Vera
Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser Aloe Vera
£24.96
Balance Me AHA Glow Mask
Balance Me AHA Glow Mask
£18.00
Medik8 Reflection Set
Medik8 Reflection Set
£65.00
Medik8 Surface Radiance Cleanse
Medik8 Surface Radiance Cleanse
£8.00
Hairburst Shampoo For Oily Scalp & Roots
Hairburst Shampoo For Oily Scalp & Roots
£13.50
Hairburst Exfoliating Scalp Scrub
Hairburst Exfoliating Scalp Scrub
£19.99
Dermaceutic Foamer 15
Dermaceutic Foamer 15
£43.00
Avène Cleanance Localised Drying Emulsion
Avène Cleanance Localised Drying Emulsion
£12.00
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel
£5.79
Medik8 Liquid Peptides
Medik8 Liquid Peptides
£13.00
weDo Light & Soft Mask
weDo Light & Soft Mask
£12.95
Mesoestetic Ultimate Micropeel
Mesoestetic Ultimate Micropeel
£49.99
R+Co Centrepiece All-In-One Hair Elixir
R+Co Centrepiece All-In-One Hair Elixir
£18.00
-20%
Medik8 Balance Moisturiser & Glycolic Acid Activator
Medik8 Balance Moisturiser & Glycolic Acid Activator
£37.60 £47.00
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Glycolic Acid

Frequently Asked Questions about Glycolic Acid products

What is glycolic acid?

Totally natural and effortlessly effective, glycolic acid was first derived from plants such as sugar cane, pineapple and sugar beets, but it is now also synthetically manufactured. It's one of the most commonly used AHAs (others include lactic, citric and malic acid), and not to mention, one of the safest to use if you want to dabble in some DIY skin care.

What does glycolic acid in beauty do?

Glycolic acid is the holy grail when it comes to exfoliation – think of it like Pacman. When it comes into contact with the skin's surface, it eats up all the excess oils and breaks down the bonds that hold together dead cells so that you can reveal a radiant glow.

What are the skin care benefits of glycolic acid beauty products?

Unlike BHAs, glycolic acid is a lot more gentle on the skin and also water-soluble, meaning its ability to hold moisture is second to none. As a result, it's ace for revealing a brighter, smoother complexion that's healthy and hydrated. It's even used to combat scarring, skin discolouration and signs of ageing, so you can wave goodbye to those pesky fine lines and wrinkles.

Where can I find glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is most commonly found in chemical peels, but since it's taken the skin care spotlight, you can find it in daily products such as face washes, cleansers, moisturisers and face pads. If you're not sure where to start, NIP + FAB are one of our favourite brands for a complete easy-to-use glycolic acid skin care collection.

Who should use glycolic acid beauty products?

Glycolic acid is the perfect option for those with dry or sensitive skin. When used in low concentrations, it can transfer water molecules from the air and inject them into the skin tissue. And, because it doesn't penetrate the skin deeply, it's less likely to cause irritation.

How do I use glycolic acid beauty products?

All skin types react differently, so it's always a good idea to test the waters before going full throttle.Begin with low strengths (between 5 - 8%) before progressing to higher concentrations (but never go above 50%), and always be sure to do a skin patch test first. It's best to apply glycolic acid at night or accompanied with a suitable sun cream as it can make your skin sensitive to the sun.

What should I expect after using glycolic acid beauty products?

It's not uncommon to experience a slight tingling or warming sensation at first – it's nothing to worry about, it's just the glycolic acid getting to work on sloughing away skin cells.

You might also notice that your face is red in appearance but this should fade after a few hours. The key is to be patient – skin can feel dry and dusty to begin with, but it'll soon shed and reveal an even-toned complexion.

Can I use other acids with glycolic acid?

It's best to use glycolic acid on it's own. If you start cooking up a cocktail of ingredients, they're bound to counteract one another. Glycolic acid doesn't tend to play well with vitamin C or retinol, if you combine the two you'll be in a for a red and peel-y treat.

Hannah Liddle

Written by Hannah Liddle, Beauty Writer

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