Glycolic Acid: The New Skincare Star Everyone Raves About
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When I think about self-improvement, I can’t help but admit that as much as it is great to improve your inner world, it’s also essential to work on your looks as well. Feeling pretty can significantly boost your confidence + a soothing beauty routine can be one of the favorite parts of your self care time.
I’ve always been a beauty junkie since I was a teenager. Different beauty products, makeup, skincare and ingredients always made me curious and over the years I’ve collected a huge baggage of knowledge that helps me find effective solutions to enhance my looks without looking fake or “overdone”.
This is why I decided to include a Beauty topic on ShineSheets Blog and the thing I want to start with is skincare – the first thing that can add a huge difference in the way you look and feel about yourself. I’m going to feature various tips, products and techniques that you can try yourself.
P. S. – if you have any questions – don’t hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of this page – I’ll answer as much as I can.
I decided to start this new topic with my latest obsession. I bet you have probably already heard about the so-called glycolic acid – moreover, you might own a skincare product that has it in its composition. But, if you are still clueless in regards to why glycolic acid is a skincare superstar, read on to find out what it is and what wonders can work on your skin!
Glycolic Acid: The New Skincare Star Everyone Raves About
WHAT IS GLYCOLIC ACID?
Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant featured in various skincare products, being part of the alpha hydroxy acid or AHA family, a group of exfoliants naturally found in fruits, milk or cane sugar.
This colourless and odorless ingredient is perfect for almost any skin type and it was proved to represent a great aid in treating a bundle of skin conditions, starting from acne and ending up with aging signs.
GLYCOLIC ACID BENEFITS
1) It Exfoliates Thoroughly
One of the most important parts of skincare is regular exfoliation. Thus, glycolic acid is said to be the best in penetrating the top layer skin in order to dissolve dead skin cells, dirt or excess oil.
If you aim to get bright skin and a healthy complexion, using glycolic acid might be the best solution for you.
2) It Is Gentle With Your Skin
Even though it is a wonder exfoliator, a great characteristic of the glycolic acid is the fact that it is gentler with your skin than any other exfoliator.
This acid has the power to break down impurities from your skin without irritating it too much due to its very small molecular structure.
It penetrates the pores effectively and gently removes dead skin cells that could otherwise be clogging your pores, creating blackheads, pimples and even acne.
However, you should be a little careful with it 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 (more on that soon!).
3) Glycolic Acid Is a Great Hydration Source
Yes, it is true! Glycolic acid is gentle, it exfoliates and it hydrates your skin at a cellular level.
Basically, the glycolic acid acts as a humectant, which signifies it aids your skin in retaining water and preserving moisture.
No matter what skin type you have, this is a major benefit for your skin’s health, as proper moisture in skin cells prevents various skin conditions.
On top of that, a proper chemical exfoliation can also allow other products to absorb much easier, thus enhancing the moisturizing and nourishing factors.
4) It Increases Collagen Levels
Another important benefit of glycolic acid is the fact that it has anti-aging effects on the skin. We are all aging every day and our skin is the first place where you can start to see the signs of these changes.
It’s nothing to fear, because aging is a natural process but if there’s something we can do to slow this process down, I don’t see any reason to not do that.
Due to the fact that glycolic acid can boost collagen production in time, using it regularly can aid in improving the skin’s texture, leading to a smooth and healthier appearance, with less lines and wrinkles.
5) It Deals With a Multitude Of Skincare Conditions
Acne-prone skin, dull skin, rough skin, extremely dry skin are the most common issues that glycolic acid can treat due to its exfoliating properties and thorough pore cleansing. Moreover, it is a great remedy for those experiencing ingrown hairs due to the fact that it diminishes inflammation and dead skin buildup.
Those with acne-prone skin should note that sometimes with glycolic acid (and probably with any other acid too), things can get a little worse before it gets better. It is because acids act as cell turnover accelerators, which means they 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 at first, resulting in a little increase of breakouts on your skin. This is normal and should resolve in a few weeks, leaving you with 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 a particular product is a little too strong for you at the moment.
In this case, use it less frequently or work on rebuilding your skin moisture + barrier before you enjoy this extremely effective skincare superstar.
BEST GLYCOLIC ACID PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET
Have I convinced you about the beneficial effects of glycolic acid on skin? Great! You should also check out these top skincare products that use glycolic acid in their ingredients, such as:
This is one of the most popular glycolic acid products all over the world and I use it myself (also purchased myself). It is a wonderful, not too weak and not too strong solution, even though it contains 7% glycolic acid which is pretty rare for non-salon products.
Since I have very dry skin, I used it only once a week at first in order to prevent any possible irritation and let my skin accustom to it slowly. After a few weeks, I saw a huge improvement in my skin – it was more even, smoother, softer and overall my face is looking younger than ever. You can also use this solution to treat Keratosis Pyliaris (also known as strawberry skin) and it works great!
Another thing I love about it is the incredibly affordable price (like all of The Ordinary products) for such an effective product. You can get it on Amazon here >> The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
If you check Reddit or other online skincare communities, both The Ordinary and Pixi Glow tonics seem to be the most recommended gentle glycolic acid products.
Probably competing with one another, both of them are great products that have a ton of raving reviews. This tonic revives and brightens your skin, helps control acne, and fights the effects of aging on your skin. It also has moisturizing and soothing ingredients to minimize possible irritation from the acid.
It is a little more expensive than The Ordinary Tonic, but you get slightly more of the product which already lasts a pretty long time (a little goes a long way).
Check it out on Amazon >> Pixi Glow Tonic With Aloe Vera & Ginseng
If you’re not a fan of tonics, you can also try the Nip+Fab exfoliating serum. This is a very effective serum that will leave your skin looking younger, fresh and glowing – reviews are reporting a massive difference in skin appearance after just a few applications. It’s also a very affordable product so if you want to just try glycolic acid first, this won’t break your bank even if it doesn’t fit you. Nip+Fab serum is also available on Amazon here >> NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Serum
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE USING GLYCOLIC ACID
If you are using Glycolic Acid, applying sunscreen every day is mandatory since glycolic acid makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. And honestly, sunscreen is mandatory every day, even in cold seasons. The sun, our incredible source of light and warmth is also harmful to our skin cells… unfortunately.
Apart from that, use glycolic acid in the evening to minimize irritation and enjoy waking up with a clear, younger and glowing skin!