I have recently noticed a lot of products are using glycolic acid as an ingredient; everything from cleansers to serums to eye creams. Glycolic acid isn’t just for peels anymore, it is now an active ingredient in skincare. What is glycolic acid anyways?
Glycolic acid is defined as ‘a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane and one that falls into the set of ingredients called AHA’s, or alpha hydroxy acids’.
There are five ingredients that fall into the AHA category, which Dr. Brannon, Guide to Dermatology explains as: glycolic (sugar cane), lactic (milk), citric (oranges and lemons), malic (apples and pears) and tartaric acids (grapes).
The main function of a glycolic acid is that it is an exfoliator. Instead of using a rough exfoliant such as a scrub, we can use a natural acid to reveal smoother and brighter skin. Glycolic acid works to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells and can also help with hyperpigmentation issues.
I have two products that contain glycolic acid. One is Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Pads which contain 2.8% of glycolic acid-a very minimal amount of glycolic acid which shouldn’t upset the skin but instead provide it with a gentle exfoliation.
Generally products that contain less than 10% of glycolic acid are quite safe and should work for most people. It is when you are considering a more serious glycolic fix that you should consult a dermatologist, as in the case of getting a glycolic acid peel which can contain very high levels of the acid.
The pads also contain hyaluronic acid + soothing blue daisy that helps to reveal brighter and smoother looking skin. I like using them as a toner after washing my face. They are available from Boots for £12.99.
Another product that I have is GlycoWash from Beauty Lab. It is recommended to use this wash only 2/3 times per week as it contains 5% glycolic acid. The first time I used it I felt a light tingle on my skin but after that I didn’t feel anything because most likely my skin got used to it. I like this product because it is suitable for acne-prone skin and works to unclog pores and prevent future breakouts with triggered release technology that works longer and deeper to remove impurities. I use it every other day in the evening-making it a three times a week habit. The 100mL bottle retails at £32.00.