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.
How to use Glycolic Acid in Skincare Routine?
Too much of anything good is not good and this holds true for our hero Glycolic acid. Please keep the 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 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.
Best Glycolic Acid Products of 2021
Best Glycolic Acid Cleansers:
1. AHA Glow Skin Rejuvenating Face Wash Gel
Are you 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 the goodness of glycolic acid, Vitamin E, and Aloe Vera. This is one of the Best Glycolic Acid Face Wash and is a must-buy especially for those who are going to use glycolic acid products for the first time. It has a low concentration of 1% Glycolic Acid, which is unlikely to irritate your skin. This product is a steal for the job it does at such a cheap price.
2. Rejuglow Face Wash
Rejuglow Face Wash is a Dermatologist Recommended Glycolic Acid Face Wash that is more powerful than the AHA Glow. It had got 2% Glycolic Acid and 1% Salicylic Acid making it the best bet for oily, acne-prone skin types. The face wash noticeably reduces sebaceous filaments and reduces whiteheads. It’s truly a glow treatment product that lightens acne marks, removes tan, rejuvenates the skin, and makes it glow from within.
Best Glycolic Acid Toners:
3. 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. But it does have fragrance in it. Nonetheless, it’s loved by so many people for its effectiveness.
4. 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 pepper berry (weird I know, this one sounds like a reptile rather than a beauty ingredient).
5. Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
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 a spot treatment on small ones. It has hyaluronic acid for hydration because the exfoliating effect of glycolic acid can make your skin dry. It also has niacinamide that brightens the 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 on Korean Beauty Online Stores.
6. Isntree 8% AHA Essence
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 Isntree Essence is as effective as AHAs in this concentration can be. It has 4% Glycolic Acid and 4% Lactic Acid making it a great combo to exfoliate and reveal a smoother, brighter complexion. Not very harsh but it exfoliates to perfection if we might say so. They also have added ingredients like Centella Asiatica and Hyaluronic Acid to soothe, hydrate, and prevent inflammation of the skin. It’s excellent for removing dullness from the skin and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Best Glycolic Acid Creams:
7. Avene Triacneal
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 (a 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. If you have any of the skin woes mentioned above TBIO strongly recommends this product.
(Note: It’s a pretty strong product. 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.)
8. Demelan Cream
Another gem that will make you swoon after seeing the effects. It is a powerful pigmentation cream with 10% Glycolic Acid, 5% Arbutin, and 2% Kojic Acid. It treats skin colorations caused by sun rays, hyperpigmentation due to acne, dark spots, patches and has anti-aging benefits as well. The Demelan Cream, just as its name suggests is an anti melanin cream that reduces melanin production in the skin, so it’s recommended to be used with precautions after consulting your physician.
Best Glycolic Acid Peels & Masks:
9. Innisfree Green Barley Gommage Peeling mask
Trust Koreans to find words that will make 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.
10. 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.