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August 20, 2021 2 min read

Glycolic acid — you’ve probably seen it on the back of multiple skin-care cleansers, serums, and gels you have in your collection. We can’t seem to escape the ingredient, and there’s a good reason why, glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and works as a mild exfoliant. It’s a small molecule, and this is important because it helps it to penetrate deeper into the skin and work more effectively. Like other acids, it works to brighten the skin’s appearance by removing dead skin layers that live on top.

While all skin types can use glycolic acid, it may work best on oily and acne-prone skin. It’s harder to tolerate when you have dry or sensitive skin. If that sounds like you, stick to products that contain it in lower percentages or reduce the frequency with which you use it. On the flip side, glycolic acid is highly effective for evening out your skin tone and altering discoloration, which is why those with acne-prone skin generally respond well to it.

What’s the Best Way to Incorporate Glycolic Acid into Your Routine?

There are a variety of ways to incorporate glycolic acid into your skin-care routine as it comes in cleansers, serums, toners and even peels. “If you are drier, a lower percentage product around 5% in a wash off product, will be more tolerable. SkinCeuticals glycolic wash. A higher percentage (closer to 10%) that’s a leave-on can be used for normal to oily skin. One of our favourites include the SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight Treatment. When used correctly, glycolic acid is a great adjunct to help even out pigment and skin tone, minimise the look of fine lines and combat the signs of ageing skin.

Glycolic Renewal Cleanser - Gel wash with 5% Glycolic.

Glycolic Renew Overnight 10% Glycolic night time treatment.



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