Glycolic Acid

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Glycolic Acid is a derivative of sugarcane and is considered the most potent alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It helps slough away old, dead skin cells on the surface to reveal improved skin texture and appearance. Glycolic acid has anti-inflammatory, keratolytic (desquamation of excess skin or lesions), and antioxidant effects.1 Plus, it stimulates skin cell proliferation to boost elasticity, vibrancy, and clarity.

Glycolic acid has the smallest molecular size of all the AHAs making it the most bioavailable and active, allowing it to penetrate the skin easily. Since it effectively resurfaces skin, glycolic acid makes emerging cells more susceptible to sunburn and UV damage.2 Extra care should be taken to avoid sun exposure and wear broad spectrum sunscreen when using glycolic acid and for at least a week post-treatment (really, though—wear sunscreen every day. No exceptions).

The intensity of a glycolic acid treatment is determined by the concentration of the acid, the supporting ingredients it’s blended with, and the pH of the formula.1 Those with sensitive skin or new to AHAs should begin with lower doses and/or less frequent usage. Glycolic acid is great for treating a range of skin issues, such as acne, acne scars, melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), photoaging, and seborrhea (scaly, flaky skin).1

[1] Sharad J. Glycolic acid peel therapy – a current review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013;6:281–288. Published 2013 Nov 11. doi:10.2147/CCID.S34029
[2] Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin. Molecules. 2018;23(4):863. Published 2018 Apr 10. doi:10.3390/molecules23040863


Products with Glycolic Acid

  • Ctrl Z

    replenishing overnight facial: plump + reset

    Ever wish for an “undo” button for your skin? This multitasking facial is it. Powerful actives gently slough dead cells, plump and smooth, deeply detoxify, intensely hydrate, and diffuse the look of tonal and inflammatory imperfections. It’s an all-in-one reset for a juicy, bright, renewed appearance.


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