Glycolic Acid in Skincare: Benefits, Use, and More

If you want to know how to best incorporate glycolic acid into your skincare, you have to know its uses and benefits first. Read this article to learn more!

The beauty industry is saturated with makeup and skincare products, and many more are being produced. This abundance can be overwhelming, especially for someone who's only starting to get into beauty and skincare.

It may be better to start with a simple skincare routine using products that provide multiple benefits. A contender for this claim? Glycolic acid. This ingredient has become widely known in the skincare world as it reportedly can help minimize pores and combat acne to achieve clear, radiant., and youthful skin.

However, as a precaution, there are a few things to know about glycolic acid, such as benefits and uses, to ensure that you're applying it correctly and receiving its full benefits. So, if you're curious to learn more, here's a guide to walk you through everything about glycolic acid.


What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) commonly used to combat acne, anti-aging, dryness, and hyperpigmentation. It is derived from sugarcane and is known for its effective penetration into the skin.

It exfoliates dead skin cells from the surface, which speeds up cell turnover to resurface new, healthy, and young cells. This exfoliation also reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne and fades acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots caused by skin aging and sun damage.


Top 3 Benefits of Glycolic Acid on the Skin


1. Helps treat and prevent acne


One of the great benefits of glycolic acid is its anti-acne properties. Glycolic acid is keratolytic, meaning it can break apart dead skin cells. And as mentioned, it exfoliates dead skin cells that can clog your pores and trigger breakouts. By removing all the excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells, you'll be able to achieve brighter and smoother skin.


2. Creates a youthful glow


Did you know that your body's collagen production decreases by approximately 1% each year once you turn 21? This reduction leads to a loss in skin elasticity, firmness, and plumpness, resulting in tired-looking skin.

Glycolic products help plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines that come with aging. Among the many AHAs, glycolic acid has the smallest molecular size, allowing it to penetrate deep within the skin and stimulate collagen production. When the top-most layer of the skin is shed after using the product, the body sends signals for cells to regenerate and resurface. 

3. Fades dark spots and hyperpigmentation


The body sheds its top-most layer every 28 days. It's a way to remove old and damaged skin cells and bring out newer, younger, and healthier ones.


However, several changes can disturb or slow down the process. Some factors affecting it are diet, climate, traveling, stress, and more. When the skin slows down its regenerative process, it can lead to a build-up of dead skin cells, which can cause uneven skin tone, discoloration, or hyperpigmentation.


Since hyperpigmentation is the darkest on the skin's surface, glycolic acid removes the skin's top layer via exfoliation to reveal the less pigmented layer underneath. As a result, the skin will resurface enough to "push out" the pigment and eventually leave you with a fresh layer with a more even skin tone. With consistent use, this process effectively fades hyperpigmentation.


What to Consider Before Using Glycolic Acid

Like all skincare products, glycolic acid should be used with the proper information in mind, such as its side effects, usage, ingredients, and more. Here are some frequently asked questions about glycolic acid.


Who can use it?

Don't worry; glycolic acid is suitable for all skin types! However, its primary purpose is to exfoliate, so if you have sensitive skin, it's best to consult with a dermatologist first to avoid adverse reactions.


What is the recommended use?


As cliché as it sounds, it would depend on your skin type and tolerance. Start small and build up the amount and strength if your skin reacts well.

If you're a first-time user, face washes and toners are great ways to incorporate glycolic acid into your skincare routine as they are lower in concentration in these forms and can be used every day. Meanwhile, there are other dedicated skincare products that have the optimum concentrations for daily use. The Glycolic Bright Instant Glowing Face Serum, for instance, consists of 1% Glycolic Acid and has been validated by dermatologists.

However, if you're bumping to a higher concentration level, check the product's packaging first to know how to use it properly.


Are there any side effects?


Glycolic acid can cause dryness. Moisturizing skin can provide you with extra hydration that is stripped when using glycolic acid. Also, since glycolic acid exfoliates and speeds up the cell's turnover process, your skin becomes more susceptible to UV damage, which is why you should never forget to use sunscreen.


Furthermore, this type of acid exfoliates, which means you may feel a slight burning or tingling sensation that should disappear after some time.


Can I use it with other products?


Yes, but with reservations. Here are some examples of ingredients you shouldn't mix with glycolic acid.

  • Vitamin C – vitamin C loses its efficacy with glycolic acid

  • Vitamin B3 – the vitamin needs a neutral pH to work well, and glycolic acid has a low pH level

  • Retinol


What are the basic dos and don'ts?

  • As a first-timer, use glycolic acid in low concentration levels. Higher strengths may cause redness and flaking.

  • Flaking of dry skin may happen. If so, do not pick it as it can cause hyperpigmentation and scarring.


How to Maximize Glycolic Acid's Benefits


1. Incorporate it into your routine


As mentioned, you can incorporate low-strength glycolic acids in your routine via facial washes. They're packed with just the right amount, gentle to use every day, but powerful enough to show results. Try L'Oréal Paris' Glycolic Bright Glowing Daily Cleanser Foam to exfoliate and remove dullness for even and glowing skin!


2. Learn about the products


Based on their formulation, products like face washes, toners, and treatments may contain glycolic acid. However, the best way to apply these is by knowing the type of product you'll be using. Remember that the higher the concentration, the less frequent the use and vice versa.


Consider the L'Oréal Paris' Glycolic Bright Instant Glowing Face Serum. It only contains 1% glycolic acid, making it the perfect everyday product.


3. Let your skin get used to it


Though the least powerful among the AHA's, glycolic acid is still acid. It might take a while for your skin to adapt and fully get used to the product. Glycolic acid can make your skin susceptible to sun damage, so make sure to slather on the SPF.


Using a product like L'Oréal Paris' Glycolic Bright Glowing Day Cream SPF 17 can effectively correct the appearance of dullness and reduce the appearance of dark spots. The added benefit of SPF will make it the perfect item for your daytime routine.


4. Moisturize after use


An important tip to maximize glycolic acid's benefits is to ensure that you let it do its job by doing your fair share of skincare. Since glycolic acid can be a bit drying and may cause stinging, use a good moisturizer to soothe the dry feeling in your skin.


The Glycolic Bright Glowing Night Cream is an excellent addition to your nighttime routine. Its exceptional formulation with brightening glycolic acid and anti-oxidant vitamin E helps fight the appearance of dullness. It also protects your skin's barrier as you sleep, so you wake up to visibly glowing skin.

It's About the Product and How You Use It


Glycolic acid can be daunting to try at first; however, seeing the results after use is well worth it. The trick is to research the products you'll be using and consult professionals who can help answer your burning skincare questions. Being informed is the best way to safeguard yourself from any of the side effects of glycolic acid.


L'Oréal Paris offers some of the best and most effective skin care products in the Philippines, including a full range of glycolic products to help bring back your skin's youth and glow! Let us help you address your skin concerns with our dermatologically-tested and clinically-proven effective products.

Find a wide range of skincare and beauty products in our online shop. Shop now!

{ "@context": "", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "" }
{ "@context": "", "@type": "Thing", "subjectOf": { "@type": "ItemList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "url" : "", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"beauty-magazine/hold-back-the-years-with-the-best-anti-ageing-active-ingredients", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2021-10-15T08:29:31+00:00", "dateModified": "2022-05-30T03:39:15+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"We all dream of smooth skin, a glowing complexion, a plumped-up face and well-defined contours. Get the skinny on active anti-ageing ingredients that will do the trick with minimum fuss." } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "url" : "", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"Hyaluronic acid a boost of hydration for all ages", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2021-08-18T01:00:54+00:00", "dateModified": "2021-08-23T07:10:52+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"Hyaluronic acid, it's not just for injections to fill in wrinkles! This Òmiracle moleculeÓ is also a fantastic moisturiser that works well on both younger and more mature skin." } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "url" : "", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"Why bother with a bi-phase cleanser?", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2021-08-18T01:04:38+00:00", "dateModified": "2021-08-23T07:10:52+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"If you want to take off the most stubborn of makeup - waterproof included - then a bi-phase cleanser's the one to choose. Your sensitive and/or irritated skin will also love its caring touch!" } } ] } }
{ "@context": "", "@type": "BreadcrumbList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@id": "/", "name": "Home" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "item": { "@id": "", "name": "Beauty Magazine" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "item": { "@id": "", "name": "beauty-magazine/glycolic-acid-skin-care-benefits-how-to-use" } } ] }