Glycolic Acid Creams

If you’re looking to ramp up your glycolic skin care regimen, consider adding a glycolic cream to the mix.

These creams, which generally contain a higher concentration of glycolic acid than basic cleansers or washes do, can do much to improve the look and feel of your skin. They can be a compliment to a glycolic skin care regimen, or a stand alone glycolic component of a skin care regimenn that otherwise doesn’t include any glycolic acid.

Why use a glycolic acid cream?

Unlike other products, a glycolic acid cream is not washed off the face, so your skin gets to drink in the benefits of the glycolic acid all night or all day (or both).

These creams also often contain a sunscreen, which is beneficial since using a glycolic acid product nearly quires you also use a sunscreen when you go out. That ability to remove the top layer of skin to reveal fresh skin underneath means the glycolic products can also make your skin more vulnerable to the sun.

If you are accustomed to using glycolic acid washes and cleansers, you might find the creams provide much more dramatic results.

Most glycolic acid creams contain a significantly higher concentration of glycolic acid than cleansers or washes do. As a result, the results are usually more dramatic. While a wash might contain just 8 to 10 percent glycolic acid concentration, a cream can contain up to 30%, which is similar to the concentration you might get if you received a glycolic peel at a doctor’s or aesthetician’s office.

How to use a glycolic acid cream

When you first start using a glycolic acid cream, it’s best to begin by using it only at night. Put on a light layer of the cream and follow that with moisturizer (if you usually wear moisturizer to bed). Do that for up to four weeks.

If, after four weeks your skin is in good shape and shows no signs of side effects, you can begin using the cream during the day. You apply the glycolic acid cream first to bare and freshly cleansed skin. Then apply any moisturizer and sunscreen (or use a moisturizer with sunscreen in it) and makeup. Many of the glycolic acid creams contain sunscreen as well.

When first starting on a glycolic acid cream regimen, it’s best to start with a product that has a low concentration of glycolic acid, say, somewhere around 10% or a bit more. If your skin takes to that well, you can find a product with a higher concentration, though 30% is the maximum concentration recommended for at-home use.

Why glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is an ideal skin care product for all skin types. For those with dry skin, it helps to replenish and balance the skin, sloughing off the top layer of skin so the newer, suppler skin beneath can be revealed. For those with oily skin, glycolic acid can help to balance and soothe the skin, ultimately evening it out enough so the oils dissipate and the skin is more balanced.