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How Glycolic Acid Works On Skin

How Glycolic Acid Works On Skin

2 minute read


Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxyl acid (AHA) that is produced from sugar cane. It helps to join other acids that you may be familiar with, such as lactic acid (produced from sour milk and said to be a favorite of Cleopatra), tartaric acid (from grapes), and citric acid (derived from citrus fruits).


When glycolic acid is applied to the skin, it dissolves the connections between the outer layer of skin cells, including dead skin cells, and the next layer of skin cells.

The peeling actions of glycolic acid result in less "gunk" that clogs the pores, which is beneficial for acne patients. This is made up of oil and dead skin cells. When there is less to clog the pores, the skin clears up and breakouts are reduced. Furthermore, glycolic acid has the potential to change the outer skin barrier, helping it to retain moisture rather than drying it out. This is advantageous for acne patients because many topical anti-acne therapies, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, are drying.

What It Can Do for Your Skin:

Glycolic acid is a very popular therapy due to the numerous advantages it offers for the skin. Because of its excellent skin-renewing qualities, it is frequently utilized in anti-aging treatments. Because of its exfoliating properties, it is also an excellent preventive against ingrown hairs. If you have big pores, glycolic acid might help make them smaller.

Glycolic acid is also found in several acne treatment treatments. It isn't an acne therapy in and of itself, but glycolic acid can help keep pores free of obstructions, avoiding the formation of comedowns, blackheads, and inflammatory outbreaks.


Glycolic acid is not suitable for everyone. Some people have allergic responses to glycolic acid, which can include swelling, stinging, and burning sensations. Glycolic acid is a multipurpose skincare component that can help you combat acne while also improving the look of your skin. Because of the possibility of irritation, it is recommended to consult with your dermatologist before beginning use. Starting with lower percentage formulations can help your skin acclimatize and decrease the chance of irritation over time.

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