Ingredient Focus: Glycolic acid
Taking good care of your skin is not only about eating right and living a healthy life but also by applying the right products on your skin that are going to keep it young and healthy-looking. For many, that means using Glycolic acid.
WHAT IS GLYCOLIC ACID?
Glycolic acid belongs to the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) family. Being the smallest AHA molecule, it penetrates faster and deeper than any other AHA molecule. Dermatologists have used it in their practice for decades.
This miracle skincare ingredient is medically recognized as a superior option for removing skin impurities and improving the appearance of maturing skin.
MECHANISM OF ACTION OF GLYCOLIC ACID
The main function of Glycolic acid is to exfoliate the skin by dissolving the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together. With nothing forcing these cells to hang out together, they’re free to finally slough off your skin. As the superficial, damaged layer of skin gives way to the newer layer underneath, your skin gets smoother and brighter. Wrinkles look smaller. Dark spots slowly fade away. Your whole complexion subtly glows.
THE BENEFITS OF GLYCOLIC ACID
All acne concerns, whether it’s small blackheads or big acne cysts start from dead cells getting plugged up within our pores. And since glycolic helps to loosen those dead cells from each other, it helps to reduce acne.
Dead skin cells that stick together clog pores and also make our skin look less vibrant. As you get older, your skin has a harder time turning over new skin cells, particularly on the face. The regeneration still happens, but at a much slower pace than when you’re younger.
Glycolic acid gets rid of those dead skin cells on a microscopic level. This results in a more vibrant and luminous complexion, with smooth skin texture.
If it doesn’t already sound like a magical ingredient, glycolic acid also stimulates collagen production and fibroblast proliferation which will help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and fight overall signs of aging.
Glycolic acid also contributes to even skin tone. The extra pigment we get from old acne scars, age spots, sun damage or melasma is stored in our dead cell layer. Glycolic removes a good amount of the stores of excess pigment, helping to even out overall skin tone.
Glycolic acid acts as both a moisturizer and an exfoliator. It increases the skin’s supply of hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1000 times its weight in water. It’s a powerful humectant, acting as a moisture magnet that attracts water from the environment into your skin.
Glycolic acid also makes your other products absorb better. The exfoliating properties of glycolic acid make it great for prepping the skin for other products. You will get better absorption of other acne medications, like retinol, and other anti-aging products and antioxidants, like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Medical professionals even use Glycolic acid in their rooms to prepare the skin for other types of procedures.
Glycolic acid sets up your skin for better makeup application. Makeup looks much smoother and more flawless on Glycolic acid-treated skin.
Not all glycolic acid products are the same. Apart from the correct percentage to look for, the pH level is equally important. The most effective glycolic products will have a lower pH, which means they’re more acidic.
The pH level isn’t always listed on product labels, but some terms you can look for are “low pH” or “medical grade pH”. Studies show that the ideal home-use glycolic acid formulations contain 10 % glycolic with a pH of 3.5.
WHO SHOULD USE GLYCOLIC ACID?
The nice thing about glycolic acid is that it’s good for almost every skin type, except patients with very sensitive skin and patients with rosacea.
Glycolic acid at the above concentration is safe to use on darker skin tones and can be used from the teenage years onward.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I USE IT?
Use it as often as you can tolerate it. It really depends on your skin type and sensitivity levels. Incorporate Glycolic acid into your skincare routine once a week, slowly up titrating frequency of use as tolerated. If you’re seeing desired results without irritation, keep it up with that same frequency. Leave-on Glycolic acid-based products should not be applied on the same night as Retinol based products.
It is very important to keep in mind that glycolic acid makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Don’t use glycolic acids regularly if you’re not going to apply sunscreen daily, or if you are spending a significant amount of time in the sun.
Glycolic acid products can also cause a slight tingling ― not burning ― sensation when applied. It’s normal to feel a tingle, some people describe it as pins and needles. However, if your skin burns – glycolic acid is too much. Discontinue use and slowly start using your glycolic acid product again after a few days.
DERMEXCEL™ PRODUCTS CONTAINING GLYCOLIC ACID
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