You know how Kryptonite bestows superhuman abilities to Superman on the Earth? What Kryptonite is to Superman; Glycolic acid is to skin. Superman is super because of the kryptonite inside him but as soon as kryptonite surrounds him externally, i.e. kryptonite in excess makes him loose his powers. Similarly, Glycolic Acid Products will bestow that dewy look, elasticity, fight off wrinkles, but if used in excess will cause more damage and harm. So, TBIO team has decided to help you with the kryptonite of skin, so that while you kill everybody with jealousy because of your beautiful skin, you shall not suffer harmful effects of over application.
Glycolic acid is a carbon-based acid compound, the smallest member of a group of hydrocarbons called Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids (AHAs are renowned for their exceptional properties that are used in fields of medicine, dermatology and cosmeceutical industry). Due to its high skin penetrating capacity it is most sought-after ingredient for chemical peels at dermatologists or safe at home peeling kits (with lesser concentrations). Glycolic acid reacts with the upper layer of epidermis(skin) that weakens the bonds of dead skin cells ultimately giving a uniform exfoliation that reveals the living glowing skin. Because of this action, it is an ideal ingredient to look out in an anti-ageing product for plumping your skin. It is also used to treat Melasma, Psoriasis and Seborrheic keratosis. Glycolic acid, as an active ingredient, if used properly will give you the best results you can ever hope to get from commercial beauty products. If you are going to use Glycolic Acid Products for the first time, we suggest you buy one of the products mentioned in this post so that you can build tolerance of your skin to it and then move on to products with higher content.
Pixi Glow Tonic
This beauty find is one of the exceptional products out there that probably work within days if not instantly. This product not only contains 5% glycolic acid (a safe lower concentration), it also includes other impressive ingredients like aloe vera leaf extract, witch hazel, horse chestnut seed extract and ginseng root extract. This toner is alcohol free and is suitable for all types of skin. Though the brand has not been launched in India formally, but you can find it on Instagram stores and Amazon. Retail price varies for various sellers, but Instagram stores may offer better deals.
The Ordinary 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary brand does not need an introduction; its products have become cult favorites and this 7% glycolic acid toner probably wears the crown in their sales. Competing with Pixi glow toner and hailed as the best toner amongst all, this will give your skin a great experience, if you are used to glycolic acid products. Ginseng root extract clears blemishes and Tasmanian pepperberry (weird I know, this one sounds like a reptile rather than a beauty ingredient). Retails at 598 INR for 240 ml of product at lookfantastic.com also available at Instagram stores
AHA Glow Skin Rejuvenating Face Wash Gel
Cringing at the thought of spending money because glycolic acid stuff sounds expensive? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. We present to you this facewash loaded with goodness of glycolic acid (present at 1% concentration), vitamin E and aloe vera. This retails at 250 INR for 50gm or you can find it at even lower rates at medical stores. This product is a steal for the job it does at such a cheap price. TBIO recommends this as a must buy and especially for those who are going to use glycolic acid products for the first time.
Ever wondered if you could find a find a product that deals with acne, anti-ageing, skin firmness and spots? What would you call it then, God maybe? Because we sure as hell have never found one glove fits all solution for all the skin problems. But maybe God of skin has come in a tube for you in form of Avene Triacneal. Ladies, this product has glycolic acid to give a gentle peeling effect, retinaldehyde (precursor of retinol) for quick healing of skin which also prevents ageing, Effectiose(patented substance that regulates influx of irritants on skin) and the famed Avene thermal spring water which soothes irritated skin. The effects take time to come but they come surely as a Labrador dog will hound for food. If you have any of the skin woes mentioned above TBIO strongly recommends this product. For the dent it may create on your pocket, we are giving you some pointer for this product; can be used as a spot treatment, use a moisturizer with this for even application for entire face, finally little goes a long way. (retinol and glycolic acid together can irritate your skin, do a patch test first and if you are on acne medication DO NOT APPLY WITHOUT ASKING YOUR DOCTOR.) Retails at 1475 for 30 ml
Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
This brand needs no introduction with that cute girl who has specs and hair and mustache (real girls like us do have hair, nobody can come in this world with reptile like hairless skin). Cosrx has impressive AHA and BHA lines starting from toners, liquids (which are like essence), ampoules and creams. This AHA 7 whitehead power liquid has 7% glycolic acid and apple water as major ingredients. This product is especially useful when you are suffering from major acne or use it as spot treatment on small ones. It has hyaluronic acid for hydration because exfoliating effect of glycolic acid can make your skin dry. It also has niacinamide that brightens skin. After application of this product (after toner) you should wait for 20-30 minutes to get some time for glycolic acid to work its magic. Its 3.8 pH makes it acidic so make sure you do a patch test first and maintain skin’s pH with toners and creams. This product can be found out on instagram stores and other Korean Beauty Online Stores.
Innisfree Green Barley Gommage Peeling mask
Trust Koreans to find words that will makes us wonder what the heck this product does? Well, gommage orginates from a French word that means “to erase” and hence gommage products are basically gentle exfoliators that will give you instant results. This peeling mask will give a chemical peel like effect because of the three AHAs (includes glycolic acid), salicylic acid and barley extracts. Barley extracts also prevent drying of skin that may occur due to AHAs. It will deal with stubborn acne and give you a glowing bouncy skin. Trust TBIO team, you shall be back to thank us for suggesting this product. Retails at 1000 INR for 120ml
Reviva Labs 5% Glycolic Acid Cream
Another gem that will make you swoon after seeing the effects. Check out its impressive portfolio: anti-ageing, prevents sun damage and dermal filler. TBIO team was impressed to notice that it has a non-chemical substitute for retinol (retinaldehyde precursor of vitamin A) which has anti-ageing effect but together with glycolic acid can cause irritation. This product is probably one of the safest glycolic acid products mentioned in this post without compromising on it effectiveness. Now the price may become a deterrent but a little goes a long way with this cream so keep this product in your mind when you go out for shopping. TBIO gives this product a big thumbs up. Retails at 2189 INR for 42 gm.
Elizabeth Arden Peel and Reveal Revitalizing Mask
Want to have that pampered feeling of salon but hate the time wastage and gossip? Fear not beauty buffs TBIO team has come to your rescue. Consider this product’s ingredients-Glycolic acid and salicylic acid to exfoliate your skin, grapeseed extract for that brightening effect, Sugar extracts to stabilize the alpha and beta hydroxy acids and aloe vera to prevent drying. Need we say anything? This is a product which is worth the splurge. Retails at 2680 INR for 50 ml.
Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum
You can never have enough K-beauty products, right? Well TBIO team is obsessed (that’s why there are so many K-beauty mentions on, well, every post) with them and rightly so because their effectiveness is off-the-chart. This Mizon serum is as effective as AHAs in this concentration can be. Not very harsh but it exfoliates to perfection if we might say so. They also have added ingredients like aloe vera, panthenol and arnica extracts that moisturize your skin and prevent inflammation. Since this is a peeling serum you need to wait for half an hour at least before applying any other layers of make-up or moisturizers, or your dead skin peels will stand out on your made-up face or cause inflammation if they sit on your face. Retails at 2050 INR for 40 ml (may come at higher or lower price at Instagram stores and the websites mentioned at our K-beauty post).
Insta Natural Glycolic Acid Peel
This product contains 30% glycolic acid and vitamin C to give antioxidant effect. This is extremely effective on fine lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and sun tans. We recommend this product only if your skin is used to Glycolic Acid Products at higher concentration and your doctor has given no contraindications whatsoever for using such high concentration glycolic acid peels. Since this product is acidic we suggest that you also use toners and creams that fix the pH of your skin to normal. Retails at 3635 INR for 1 ounce.
Too much of anything good is not good and this holds true for our hero Glycolic acid. Please keep following pointers in your mind when you buy products with glycolic acid.
- Skin needs to get used to glycolic acid, use low concentration build your skin’s resistance, irrational use may lead to “frosting” of your skin which is a flaky crusting as a preventive response to glycolic acid
- Retinol and glycolic acid can be used together but always seek medical advice before doing so. In short do it right and do it smart.
- AHAs make your skin very sensitive to sun. Make sure that you regularly use sunblocks with good spf and especially on the day you have used peeling products.
- Anything above 10% is high concentration and you need to use it with caution.
- Always, always seek professional and medical advice before going for content higher than 20%. Prevention is always better than cure. Don’t mistake highest percentage for best results.
- Little goes long way and smaller concentrations used regularly are bound to give you great results. As it is with any other skin product, you need to have consistency with this ingredient as well.
- pH of 2-3 is best for at home peeling kits and products, do not take lower pH products than this range.
Guest Author: Sneha Goley