Every Type of Face Mask, Explained
- Beauty Glossary
- 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.
REN Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser
Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner
TAN-LUXE Glyco Water Self Tan Eraser Exfoliating Tan Remover & Primer
Clinique Dramatically Different iD Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly & Active Cartridge Concentrate
Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser
Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner
Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self Tan Eraser
PIXI Glow Mud Cleanser
PIXI Glow Tonic
Murad Hydro Dynamic Quenching Essence
Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Cream
Murad Replenishing Multi Acid Peel
Murad Active Radiance Serum
Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Daily Foaming Cleanser
Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum
Alpha-H Hyaluronic 8 Serum
Natura Bissé Glyco Extreme Peel
Indie Lee Clearing Mask
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub
Dr Dennis Gross Skincare C+Collagen Deep Cream
Alpha-H Beauty Sleep Power Peel
First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub With 10% AHA
Alpha-H Vitamin C Paste 10% L'Ascorbic Acid
Florence by Mills One Swipe Glow Wipe Treatment Pads
PIXI Clarity Lotion
Rodial Snake Booster Oil
Alpha-H Vitamin C Serum
PIXI Clarity Cleanser
PIXI Clarity Concentrate
PIXI Clarity Tonic
Florence by Mills Clean Magic Face Wash
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Advanced Daily Serum
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti Ageing & Intensive Repair Eye Serum
Avant Sumptuous Glycolic Acid Hand Balm
Filorga Lift Designer Treatment
Filorga Time Zero Serum
Filorga Medi Cosmetique NCEF Reverse Mat Fluid
Filorga Lift Structure Treatment
Omorovicza Acid Fix
Filorga Serums NCTF Intensive Supreme Regenerating Serum
Omorovicza Silver Skin Saviour
Carita Progressif Neomorphose Micro Peel Essence
Filorga Sleep & Lift Treatment
Filorga Time Filler Mat Cream
Verso Skincare Enzyme Peel
Murad Redness Therapy Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum
Filorga Time-Filler Eyes
Filorga Nutri Filler Cream
Filorga Hydra Filler Cream
Filorga Skin Absolute Day Ultimate Rejuvenating Day Cream
Filorga Scrub & Mask Reoxygenating Exfoliating Mask
L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Night Cream
Alpha-H Absolute Eye Complex
Filorga Optim Eyes Eye Contour
Lancer Skincare Younger Pure Youth Serum
Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel
Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturizing Pads 50 Pads
Lierac Lumilogie Day & Night Double Concentrate Serum
Murad Hydrating AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Jan Marini Bioglycolic BioClear Lotion
REN Wake Wonderful Night Time Facial
NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow 6%
Elemental Herbology Vital Glow Overnight Resurfacing Cream
Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Glycolic Night Cream
GUERLAIN The Gommage De Beaute Skin Resurfacing Peel
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy
Caudalie Glycolic Peel
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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.
Written by Hannah Liddle, Beauty Writer