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Glycolic Acid For Skin: 5 Genuine Reasons Why We Still Think It’s Great

I didn’t know glycolic acid was THAT great for your skin.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 18, 2023

Women With Perfect Skin After Using Glycolic Acid For Skin For Several Months

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By now, you have probably heard famous people and influencers raving about glycolic acid for skin.

Moreover, you might own a skincare product that has it in its composition already without even knowing.

But was does it do, exactly?

How does it work?

If you want to learn more about this skincare multitasker, read on to find out what exactly glycolic acid is and how it helps to improve your skin.


Glycolic Acid For Skin: The Skincare Star We Still Love, After All These Years


What Is Glycolic Acid?


Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant featured in various skincare products.

It’s part of the alpha hydroxy acid or AHA family – a group of exfoliants naturally found in fruits, milk, or cane sugar.

This colorless and odorless ingredient is perfect for almost any skin type, and it’s proven to be very effective in treating a bundle of skin conditions, starting with acne and ending up with signs of aging.


5 Glycolic Acid Benefits For Skin


1. Glycolic Acid Exfoliates VERY Thoroughly


One of the most important parts of skincare is regular exfoliation.

Glycolic acid is gentle, yet strong enough to penetrate the top layer of your skin to dissolve the dead skin cells, dirt, or excess oil – without damaging your skin.

If you aim to get brighter skin and a healthy-looking complexion, using glycolic acid might be the best solution for you!

You can also try using glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation issues.


2. Glycolic Acid Is Gentle With Your Skin


Even though glycolic acid is an excellent exfoliator, it’s important to note that this acid is also much gentler on your skin than any other exfoliator.

Glycolic acid has the power to break down impurities on your skin without irritating it too much, due to its very small molecular structure.

The molecules of glycolic acid are small enough to penetrate the pores effectively and gently remove the dead skin cells that could otherwise be clogging your pores (and causing blackheads, pimples, and even cystic acne).

However, you should be extra careful with using glycolic acid for skin if your skin is extremely dry, damaged, or has lost its protective barrier.

Any acid can bring more harm to skin that is already suffering…

So if you feel like your skin is very sensitive lately, work on rebuilding its protective qualities first.


3. Glycolic Acid Is a Great Moisture Source


Yes, it is true!

Using glycolic acid for skin helps to exfoliate and hydrate your skin at a cellular level.

Glycolic acid acts as a humectant, which means that it can help your skin to retain water for longer and preserve moisture in several layers of your skin.

No matter what skin type you have, this is a major benefit for your skin’s health.

Proper moisture in skin cells prevents various skin conditions and helps your skin to look a lot better.

On top of that, proper chemical exfoliation can allow other products to absorb much easier, thus enhancing the moisturizing and nourishing benefits of glycolic acid on your skin.

Note: despite its hydrating abilities, glycolic acid can make dry or sensitive skin even drier.

Be careful and monitor how your skin feels about it.


4. Glycolic Acid Can Increase Collagen Levels


Another important benefit of glycolic acid for skin is its anti-aging effect on your skin.

We are all aging every day and our skin is the first place where you start to see the signs of aging.

It’s nothing to fear though – skin aging is a natural process!

Yet if there’s something we can do to slow this process down, there’s no reason not to do that.

Glycolic acid can boost collagen production in your skin, so using it regularly can improve the skin’s texture, lead to a smoother and healthier appearance, and even minimize fine lines and wrinkles.


5. Glycolic Acid Deals With a Multitude Of Skincare Conditions


Acne-prone skin, dull skin, rough skin, and extremely dry skin are the most common issues that glycolic acid can treat easily due to its exfoliating properties and thorough pore cleansing.

Moreover, it is a great remedy for those experiencing ingrown hair because glycolic acid diminishes inflammation as well.

Those with acne-prone skin should note that sometimes with using glycolic acid for acne, things can get a little worse before it gets better.

It is because when you use glycolic acid for skin of any type, it acts as a cell turnover accelerator.

It means that glycolic acid can significantly speed up the processes that happen in your skin.

The result?

Every pimple that is still under your skin is going to reveal itself a little faster, resulting in an increase in breakouts on your skin.

This is normal and it should resolve itself in a few weeks of glycolic acid usage, leaving you with beautiful skin that is cleaner and brighter than ever.

However, if you experience a rash, extreme redness, or breakouts in places where you usually never get pimples, it might be a sign that glycolic acid is a little too strong for you at the moment.

In this case, use it less frequently or work on rebuilding your skin barrier before you enjoy glycolic acid as your skincare superstar.

Beautiful Asian Woman After Glycolic Acid For Skin Treatment


Things To Note Before Using Glycolic Acid For Skin


  • If you are using glycolic acid for skin, applying sunscreen every day is mandatory since glycolic acid makes your skin a lot more sensitive to the sun.

    And honestly, sunscreen is mandatory every day, even in the cold season.

    The sun, our incredible source of light and warmth is also harmful to our skin cells… Thanks, sun!


  • Apart from that, use glycolic acid in the evening to minimize irritation and enjoy waking up with younger-looking, glowing skin.


  • Avoid using glycolic acid and retinol products together, as they might be too irritating for your skin.



We hope you loved this short overview of why how to use glycolic acid for skin.

Scroll down for more tips below – there’s so much more we want to share with you.

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