Glycolic Acid Products
Glycolic acid has long been hailed as one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients on the market; as one of the gentlest forms of alpha hydroxy acid, it occurs naturally in sugar cane and is used in a variety of skincare products, both prescription products and those available directly off the shelf.
Glycolic acid is frequently used in anti-ageing creams, lotions and other products as it is known for effectively revitalising skin by exfoliating the surface layer and helping to reduce the signs of ageing by enabling the replacement of dead skin cells by healthy and thriving cells which help the skin stay smooth and supple.
When used in conjunction with the bleaching agent hydroquinone, it is also effective in reducing the appearance of discolouration such as hyperpigmentation or age spots; the application of lotion containing glycolic acid rids the skin of dead and unhealthy cells on the skin’s surface and allows the bleaching agent to go to work, ensuring that all new cells are void of colour.
Also highly beneficial to acne prone skin, it contains drying agents which help fight oily skin and it unblocks pores through exfoliation, ensuring that skin stays clean and clear; it is also used to treat a variety of other conditions such as rosacea.
As a very common ingredient in creams, lotions and a wide range of other skincare products, glycolic acid has been found to be safe for use in cosmetic up to a 10% concentration; in products where the concentration is higher than that amount the solution must be applied by a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist.
Glycolic acid products are approved for everyday use, however there are a couple of precautions that should be taken; in light of the product’s exfoliating abilities it should not be used in conjunction with a scrub or exfoliator and due to it’s potential to dry and irritate, it should be used with caution in the beginning in order to allow time to ascertain whether there will be any reaction to the application of the cream.
When using products containing this ingredient, it’s crucial to remember to wear sunscreen as AHAs are known to increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays; while this is temporary and will abate soon after you cease using any products containing AHAs, you should continue to use sunscreen for at least a full week after discontinuing treatment.
As one of the most safe and effective skincare ingredients for reducing the signs of ageing and helping to eliminate unsightly discolorations and spots, it is available in several over-the-counter products and may not be suitable for all skin types and if yours is known to be particularly sensitive, speak to your doctor or pharmacist before beginning use and discontinue if you become red, sore or irritated.