If you’re someone who has a habit of reading the label on your skincare products (which you most definitely should!), you’ve probably come across the term glycolic acid quite a few times. And it’s not surprising because it shows up in pretty much every hyped up skin care product, and rightly so, given its numerous skin care benefits.
In fact, it's often termed the ‘miracle ingredient’ by many, and today we’re going to explore why. So keep on reading to find out what glycolic acid is all about.
What is Glycolic Acid?
Derived from sugarcane, glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which is q group of acids that is found in everyday foods. For example, lactic acid found in milk, is also an AHA and so is malic acid is found in apples.
Glycolic said stands out amongst the group due to it's small molecule size, which gives it the ability to penetrate deeply into the skin to rectify and remedy skincare woes more effectively. With a plethora of skin care benefits and properties such as the ability to exfoliate dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and combating pigmentation, acne, and dryness, glycolic acid is considered the golden standard of AHAs.
How to use glycolic acid in your skincare routine?
Glycolic acid can make the skin sensitive to UV rays, and as such is best suited to be used during your nighttime skincare routine.
It is normal for your skin to sting or experience redness when you first start applying glycolic acid. This is why it is extremely important to start out by using any new exfoliant in a small quantity. Always do a patch-test to see whether your skin experiences any adverse reaction, in which case it might not be suitable for your skin type. Apply a very small amount on your wrist and if there is no irritation and redness in the next 24 hours, then you are good to use it in your routine. However, if you experience redness and stinginess, it is best to switch your glycolic acid to a milder one.
Applying a pea-sized amount and even less glycolic acid is more than enough because applying too much of it can cause excessive irritation due to its potency. And be sure not to go overboard and use it every day. Instead, glycolic acid must only be applied once or twice a week as applying it daily can lead to breakouts, dryness, and irritation.
Glycolic acid skincare benefits
As mentioned previously, the small molecules of glycolic acid penetrate deep into the skin, helping it do its job of cell regeneration and skin renewal to give the skin a brighter appearance, as well as keeping any wrinkles and fine lines at bay. It also promoted the synthesis of collagen, giving your face a lifted and firmer appearance.
Like other AHAs, glycolic acid can work wonders as an exfoliant. It works by removing the dead skin cells from the upper layer of the skin, in turn promoting the synthesis of newer skin cells. This not only helps to unclog pores, but also fade any acne scars and blemishes, leaving you with skin that looks radiant and bright.
Glycolic acid is also known as a humectant which means that it has a chemical ability to draw moisture to itself. This means, that despite being an exfoliant, it doesn't leave the skin feeling dry and flaky, and instead adds a subtle youthful suppleness to it.
This is probably the benefit that glycolic acid is most famous for. Not only does it help fade acne scars, but it also helps to combat even the most stubborn of acne breakouts by unclogging even the deepest blockages of dead skin cells and sebum through a peeling mechanism. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, meaning it keeps potential breakout at bay. All this makes it a great ingredient to be used by those who suffer from frequent and extreme breakouts, including cystic acne.
Touted as an elixir of youth, no wonder it’s also included in the Leovard Elixir. Especially formulated using the best of ingredients, including glycolic acid to give you skin that is not only youthful, but also radiant and supple, free of blemishes and scars. Smooth to touch and a sight to behold.
Summing up, glycolic acid with it’s wide variety of skincare benefits has rightly been termed a ‘miracle ingredient’ and the ‘elixir of youth’. Incorporating it in your skincare routine is bound to transform your skin drastically, giving you radiant, clearer and youthful skin.