In recent years, beauticians have been looking everywhere for the answer to more natural and ageless looking skin. There have been a number of solutions tossed around the community, but one of the most recent and intriguing is glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is natural and a terrific way to exfoliate the skin, refining it in the same process.
Many beauty products have glycolic acid as an ingredient because it helps remove dead skins cells when applied topically. It’s also great for reducing and eliminating acne because it breaks bonds in unneeded skin cells which clog up pores. Once you begin to use glycolic acid to exfoliate your skin, you should see a more revitalized, healthier look in very little time.
What Exactly is Glycolic Acid?
Many skincare products on the market today use both alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) to remove toxins and strengthen skin. The most common of the beta hydroxy acids is salicylic acid and many of the most common alpha hydroxy acids are glycolic, malic, and lactic acid.
Because they’re AHAs, as opposed to BHAs, these acids are active compounds and therefore considered some of the most effective ingredients on the market. Glycolic acid itself is a colorless and odorless alpha hydroxy acid which is most often derived from sugar cane, though it can often be made synthetically, in a lab.
Glycolic acid is considered a hygroscopic crystalline solid, which simply means retains moisture naturally and easily. It’s the absolute smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids and has a simpler structure than nearly all of these acids, which it allows it to penetrate the skin without much trouble or effort. If you’ve seen the acid listed on beauty products, you’ll see it listed as a percentage.
Glycolic Acid Benefits
The acid provides many benefits for its most ardent users. Firstly, the acid is effective in removing outer layers of dead skin cells, which makes it a great exfoliant. It can also remove excess oil from the skin which makes it great with eliminating or greatly reducing acne.
Because it’s an active ingredient, the acid is great for speeding up the process of skin renewal, meaning it improves skin’s texture and appearance while removing the dead skin. Glycolic acid is one of the most recommended ingredients in skincare products and is particularly great at removing acne, blackheads, whiteheads, large pores, and dullness.
It’s great for fighting hyperpigmentation and sunspots and often reduces the effects and external factors of skin aging. Finally, glycolic acid speeds up the production of collagen, which makes skin firmer and smoother.
Using Glycolic Acid Effectively
As with most exfoliators, it’s a good idea to start with small doses of glycolic acid in order to see how your skin reacts to its use. Those with sensitive skin may react intensely or negatively to alpha hydroxy acids, so starting off slowly is imperative if you’ve had trouble with other skincare products. If you’re absolutely not if glycolic acid will work for you, consult your dermatologist before using. Dampening a cleanser with glycolic acid can also be a great way to test out the product before moving on to higher doses.
Once you know the product will work for you and won’t cause any unwanted side effects, it’s time to move on to higher doses. Products which use higher percentages of the acid will show faster and more intense results on your skin, but they’ll also make the skin more sensitive over time and to other skincare products.
If you’re planning on getting a strong glycolic acid peel, you should do so no more than one every month and a half and ensure you have adequate supervision. You can also use glycolic acid in a number of other ways, such as in a face wash, toner, pads, cream, and lotions. This type of acid is most commonly recommended to those with skin that is oilier than average, and should not be used by those with chronically dry skin.
An Effective Product
One of the most effective products currently on the market is Hygieia’s Crepe Repair Neck and Skin Firming Cream. This cream is considered highly effective because it’s the best in its class at firming up loose or saggy skin while also hydrating the skin from the inside out. Finally, the increased collagen production possible because of the cream helps restore your skin cells and allows them to regenerate at a more rapid and efficient pace.
This cream is recommended to anyone who wants to hydrate the skin at a deeper, cellular level, as well as firm and tighten the skin. Wrinkles become a thing of the past and fine lines such as crow’s feet disappear after only a couple of weeks of use. Overall, this cream is the best available because of its use of glycolic acid to stimulate collagen production.
Every alpha hydroxy acid will have its own set of side effects, from mild to severe. The main concern when using any of these products is the increase in sensitivity to your skin, especially when exposed to sunlight. You should always wear sunscreen after using any product with a high percentage of alpha hydroxy acid to avoid potential skin burning or a milder sunburn.
Many experts have said that glycolic acid products should only be used at night, so there is no chance of burning and the extra sensitivity becomes irrelevant. You should always consult your dermatology to check on how to best use all alpha hydroxy acid products, including glycolic acid. Always stop using these products if irritation frequently occurs.