WHAT IS GLYCOLIC ACID?
Glycolic acid is the most common alpha hydroxy acid. Lower percentages of glycolic acid (6-8%) can be used as part of a skin care regimen to exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin and enable deeper penetration of other active ingredients into the skin for corrective measures such as accelerating the resolution of acne comedones.
It is also used as a chemical peeling agent in higher concentrations: – 30-50% generally used in light peels and up to 70% can be used in inducing a medium depth peel. It needs to be followed by a neutralizing agent (e.g sodium bicarbonate, water) to halt the effect of the acid on the skin.
HOW DOES GLYCOLIC ACID WORK?
Alpha hydroxy acids work by causing exfoliation or shedding of the surface skin. The extent of the exfoliation depends on the type and concentration of the AHA, its pH, and other ingredients in the product.
Glycolic acid works has the smallest molecular weight among all the alpha hydroxy acids and so penetrates the skin easily.
“WHY” IS GLYCOLIC ACID IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Glycolic acid is useful in treating various skin conditions such as acne, lightening skin discoloration, dry skin, and removing scars.
It is important that you know your skin type prior to using glycolic acid on your skin as it can cause hyperpigmentation in darker skin types, depending on the concentration of glycolic acid used.
Also, applying AHAs to the skin results in increased UV sensitivity, so be sure to use sun protection if you are using glycolic acid containing products.
Be sure to consult with your skincare expert for their advice about using glycolic acid for your skin.