Glycolic Acid: Benefits And How To Use This Acid


This season show some extra love to your skin. (Image: Shutterstock)

Derived from sugar cane, this alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is known for its exfoliating properties

Glycolic acid is a popular ingredient in skincare and hair care products due to its numerous benefits. Derived from sugar cane, this alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is known for its exfoliating properties.

Dr Naznin Holia, Aesthetic Physician and Founder, Amber Cosmetology and Vandana Mathur, Cosmetologist and Makeup Artist Director, Perfect Point share all you need to know about glycolic acid:

Mathur shares how to use glycolic acid effectively in our beauty regimen:

  1. Patch TestBefore incorporating glycolic acid into your skincare routine, perform a patch test to check for any adverse reactions or sensitivities.
  2. Start SlowBegin with a lower concentration of glycolic acid, typically around 5-7%, to allow your skin to acclimate gradually.
  3. CleanseStart by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, and impurities, preparing your skin for the glycolic acid treatment.
  4. ApplyUsing clean hands or a cotton pad, apply the glycolic acid product evenly onto dry skin, avoiding the eye area and any open wounds or cuts.
  5. Follow InstructionsFollow the specific instructions provided by the product manufacturer regarding application frequency and duration.
  6. MoisturizeAfter allowing the glycolic acid to absorb into the skin (usually a few minutes), follow up with a moisturizer to help hydrate and protect your skin barrier.
  7. Sun ProtectionIt’s crucial to apply sunscreen daily, especially when using glycolic acid, as it can increase skin sensitivity to the sun. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  8. Avoid Other ExfoliantsRefrain from using other exfoliating products, such as physical scrubs or other chemical exfoliants, while incorporating glycolic acid into your routine to prevent over-exfoliation.
  9. Monitor SkinPay attention to how your skin responds to glycolic acid, adjusting usage frequency or concentration as needed to avoid irritation or over-drying.
  10. Be PatientResults from glycolic acid may take time to manifest, so be patient and consistent with your skincare routine to achieve the desired benefits.

Dr Holia shares some benefits of glycolic acid for the skin of the face and body, as well as for hair:

For Face and Body Skin

  1. ExfoliationGlycolic acid effectively removes dead skin cells from the surface, promoting a smoother, more radiant complexion.
  2. Acne TreatmentBy exfoliating the skin and clearing pores, glycolic acid can help reduce acne outbreaks and improve the appearance of existing blemishes.
  3. Anti-agingRegular use can help stimulate collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  4. HyperpigmentationGlycolic acid can help fade dark spots, age spots, and melasma by accelerating the turnover of skin cells.
  5. Improved TextureIt can improve the skin’s texture, reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and making the skin feel softer and smoother.
  6. Moisture RetentionBy removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells, glycolic acid can enhance the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leading to more hydrated skin.
  7. Enhanced AbsorptionIt helps other skincare products penetrate more deeply and effectively by removing the barrier of dead skin cells.

For Hair:

  1. Scalp HealthGlycolic acid can exfoliate the scalp, removing dead skin cells and product buildup, which can promote a healthier scalp environment.
  2. Dandruff and Seborrheic DermatitisIts exfoliating properties can help in reducing flakiness and symptoms associated with dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
  3. Enhanced Hair GrowthBy improving scalp health and unclogging hair follicles, glycolic acid can potentially create a better environment for hair growth.



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