Glycolic Acid for Skin: Benefits, How to Use

Glycolic Acid for Skin: Benefits, How to Use

Gentle, effective, and suitable for many different skin types, glycolic about as ideal a skin care ingredient as you can get. It has the ability to both exfoliate and hydrate the skin.

In this article, we’ll talk about what glycolic acid is, the benefits of glycolic acid, and how to use glycolic acid.


Ingredient Category: Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

Main Benefit: Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant that works to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to slough off and reveal new, healthier skin.

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What is Glycolic Acid?

Known primarily as an exfoliant, glycolic acid is part of the AHA (or alpha-hydroxy) group of acids. Found naturally in sugarcane, glycolic acid for skin is a gentle, but highly effective exfoliant that helps break the bonds that hold the skin together, letting new, healthy skin shine through. Glycolic acid is also a humectant, which means it helps draw the moisture that’s already found naturally in skin to the top layer, helping it stay hydrated.

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Benefits of Glycolic Acid

It exfoliates skin and provides a fresh and revitalized appearance. Glycolic acid’s small molecular structure also allows it to penetrate skin easily, which is part of what makes it so effective as an exfoliator. It will help to smooth your skin by removing dead skin cells, revealing new skin underneath. It will also help to rid the skin of dirt and oil that can clog your pores.

It minimizes the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The older we get, the less our skin naturally exfoliates itself. If you don’t exfoliate, those dead skin cells really accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. The exfoliating action of glycolic acid helps minimize the look of all those fine lines and wrinkles. 

It helps other products function better. Well-exfoliated skin will allow your skin to absorb your other skincare products better.

It helps hydrate skin. In its role as humectant, glycolic acid helps draw moisture from the deeper levels of the skin up to the top layers. This will also help it to plump the skin, and visibly reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

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How to Use Glycolic Acid

If you’re looking to benefit from glycolic acid, look for an exfoliant with glycolic acid, or seek a glycolic acid peel conducted by a professional.

Most skincare products can utilize glycolic acid, including cleansers, serums, and masks, like our Prince Charcoal detox mask, making incorporating glycolic acid into your skin care routine incredibly simple.

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Just be sure to follow up any exfoliant with a rich moisturizer, such as Crème de la Cream.

Ingredients to Use and Not Use with Glycolic Acid

Because glycolic acid is so effective, you need to be careful what ingredients you use with it. That said, whether or not an ingredient works well with glycolic acid depends on the concentrations used and what kind of skin specific individuals have, so make sure you’re paying attention to what your own skin needs and/or can and cannot tolerate.

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Some ingredients that work well with glycolic acid are: hyaluronic acid, as it helps the skin retain moisture; lactic acid, which is another gentle exfoliating AHA; and salicylic acid, which is an exfoliating BHA.

Some ingredients you should avoid using together with glycolic acid are niacinamide and vitamin C. When combined in the same product, it’s thought that this combination can make the pH levels in skin unbalanced.

Ready to work towards smoother, brighter skin? Exfoliation is one of the fastest ways to give skin back its glow, and glycolic acid does it like nobody’s business. Give it a shot with our Prince Charcoal detox mask.