Glycolic acid is a kind of water-soluble acid derived from sugar cane. It is one of the most popular alpha-hydroxy acids that is used for skincare. Some other examples of alpha-hydroxy acid include citric acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, and malic acid among others. This ingredient is applied in the form of chemical peels.
How does it work?
Glycolic acid has the smallest molecules of all alpha-hydroxy acids. These tiny molecules are thus able to penetrate the layers of the skin and exfoliate it more effectively than other acid-based chemical peels. It increases the rate at which dead skin is removed and replaced by new skin. It does this by dissolving the bonds that exist between skin cells, which allows dead skin to slide off the face. It also increases collagen production in the skin making it firm and plump and increasing its elasticity. Collagen production in the skin slows down with age and with the effects of the sun, glycolic acid can be an effective treatment to stop this slowing down of collagen production.
Advantages of glycolic acid
- It has anti-ageing properties
- Smoothes wrinkles
- Improves skin tone and texture
- Helps with skin hydration
- Fights sun damage
- Helps with hyperpigmentation
- Prevents ingrown hairs
- Keeps skin pores clean and prevents acne
How to care for your skin after a glycolic acid treatment
While the glycolic acid peel is an extremely safe and effective skincare procedure, there are certain precautions and care-tips one must follow after getting a peel. The most important precautions that must be taken after a peel is using sunscreen and avoiding the sun. Your skin can be prone to sun damage after this treatment. Always start slow and in little quantities while using glycolic acid and build up the amount slowly. If any kind of skin irritation is noticed then one should immediately scale back their amount.
Glycolic acid is an extremely safe and effective skincare treatment that has been around for a long time. While it is compatible with most skin types, it is still wise to consult a dermatologist before going for it.