You might have heard that glycolic acid is a great product for the skin. It reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles, can help restore the skinâ€™s PH to a normal and balanced level, and can help to clear up acne.
What you might not know is that not all glycolic skin care products are created alike. Some are going to work well for your skin while others might be useless. Letâ€™s look at what you need to know about glycolic skin care products.
Why use a glycolic acid skin care product
Glycolic acid is highly effective for the treatment of acne, as well as a wrinkle reducer. Glycolic acid exfoliates the skin and helps to remove that top layer of skin so the younger, more supple (and balanced) skin beneath can be revealed.
Glycolic skin care products are hailed as the next great thing in skin care products because as more and more people discover their usefulness, the studies and reports about the effectiveness of glycolic skin care products continue to stack up.
What to look for in a product
First, itâ€™s important that when you go shopping you know what youâ€™re shopping for.
When you head into a store intending to buy a glycolic acid skin care product, you might find that there are a variety of products with a variety of glycolic acid concentrations. Some might have 2% glycolic acid, while others have 10%.
Because glycolic acid might be corrosive in larger quantities, you generally canâ€™t find glycolic acid skin care products with a concentration higher than 10%. If you get a glycolic acid peel, it will have a higher concentration than that, but in a skin care product, 10% is generally the highest concentration you can get.
And 10% should be enough, if you are using a product daily. In that case, you are getting a good amount of glycolic acid in each dose and your skin will see improvement.
While too much glycolic acid can be dangerous to the skin, too little glycolic acid in a product can just be ineffective. A product with just 3% concentration, for example, might not have any effect. Itâ€™s best to find a product that has a concentration of about 8 to 10 percent. If you think your skin is very sensitive, go with the lower concentration to start.
Glycolic acid is a possible ingredient in a wide range of products.
- Glycolic Acid Wash
- Glycolic Acid Cleansers
- Glycolic Acid Toners
- Glycolic Acid Lotions
- Glycolic Acid Moisturizers
- Glycolic Acid Creams
- Glycolic Acid Serums
Glycolic acid skin care products can make the skin more sensitive to the skin so any application of a glycolic acid product should be followed by an application of sun block. If you are using glycolic acid treatments for acne, make sure you apply a sun block (or moisturizer with sunscreen) that is labeled â€œnoncomedogenicâ€ and that is oil-free.
If you use a glycolic skin care product at home, itâ€™s unlikely that you will have many side effects, but some people (those with very sensitive skin) report some light burning or itching after using a glycolic product. It usually diminishes within a few minutes.
As is true with any product, overuse of glycolic acid can be damaging to the skin. If you have irritation that continues after treatment and doesnâ€™t go away, be sure to stop using that product. Try a different product with a different formulation to see if that works better for your skin.