Today, we’re shining a spotlight on one of our favourite ingredients – glycolic acid. You can find it in many of our exfoliating products, like our AHA Gel, Solution I and Solution II, Renewal Complex and even a small amount in our Cleanser II. We pride ourselves on packing our formulas with active ingredients that will truly transform your skin and give that sought-after skin radiance, and glycolic acid is just one of many that do some serious heavy lifting.
So, what exactly is glycolic acid and what does it do? For starters, it’s an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) which means it’s an ingredient that exfoliates, helping your skin to shed dead cells and facilitate new skin cell generation. This is a key to skin radiance, as it means your skin is turning over new cells more frequently and giving you that glow we all love to see.
AHAs can also help brighten skin, boost collagen and elastin levels, and combat sun discolouration. Moreover, they’re a helpful ingredient in combating fine lines and wrinkles and in the case of glycolic acid, can even help with treating acne.
Glycolic acid in particular is a beloved AHA because it’s a small, lightweight molecule, meaning it can penetrate the skin quickly and easily, and it can go deeper. Those with normal to oily or acne-prone skin can benefit from glycolic acid, but ultimately its strength in any given product will determine how you might react to it and benefit from it.
If you’re new to Glycolic Acid (or AHAs in general), you should treat it like you would a retinol – start slow and small and work your way up to avoid irritation. If you have delicate or dry skin, glycolic acid may be too strong for you and you might consider an alternative AHA like lactic acid, which is found in our gentler products like AHA Cream (which is an excellent place to start if you’re completely new to AHAs in general).
If you’re ready to add this to your routine, you can incorporate it in a few ways:
- Use Cleanser II both morning and night, which has a mild 1% concentration of glycolic acid helping to facilitate ongoing cell renewal and skin radiance
- Follow your cleanser with Solution I which has a 3% concentration of glycolic acid and will help balance your skin’s pH levels, minimize oil production and brighten skin – if you are more oily or acne-prone, use Solution II which has 5% glycolic acid and partners up with salicylic acid to really combat acne
- Use AHA Gel I two to three times per week in the evening after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing – it has 8% glycolic acid to provide a more intense exfoliation a few times per week to maximize the impact of this powerhouse ingredient
With regular use, you’ll see the impact of this amazing ingredient in no time and get that Miracle 10 glow.
Hi Charlene – thanks for asking! In your case, I would recommend a few things. Having a routine that incorporates regular chemical exfoliation is important to mitigate flaking skin, and using a great moisturizer in partnership with that will help your skin absorb and benefit from your products even better. I would suggest starting with Cleanser I, followed by Solution I and trying our Firm moisturizer. In the evenings, use the same Cleanser I and Solution I but consider adding Stem Cell Serum in the mix with Super C added in – this will help add amazing hydration and the Super C will combat the sun damage. Finish with an evening moisturizer like Night, and consider topping everything off with Botanical Oil Concentrate to lock in lots of moisture.
I am 52 and have very fair and dry skin. I have sun damage especially on my forehead and the skin is very thin and becoming blotchy and is always flaky no matter how much moisturizer I put on it. What do you recommend?