What is glycolic acid and what are its properties?
Glycolic acid is a naturally occurring fruit acid that belongs to the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, a group of acids widely used in cosmetics for their exfoliating properties.
The advantage of glycolic acid? It has a low molecular weight. In other words, it has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin, making it all the more effective and powerful.
A molecule with powerful exfoliating power, glycolic acid "nibbles" at the dead cells on the surface of the epidermis and slightly below, helping to smooth, even out the complexion and deeply unclog pores.
Les bienfaits de l'acide glycolique
Particularly recommended for treating pigmentation spots, blotchy complexions, as well as for getting rid of blackheads and other imperfections, glycolic acid also promotes cell renewal, as well as the synthesis of collagen and elastin. Multi-action, glycolic acid is an essential ingredient in an anti-aging beauty routine.
Glycolic acid can be found in various types of beauty products: it is easily found inexfoliating lotions and very commonly in the form of glycolic acid peel. It can also be found in targeted care products such as night care products designed to boost the radiance of the complexion or to eliminate old imperfections... However, at Oh My Cream, you won't find a glycolic acid cream.
Why and how to perform a glycolic acid peel?
When we talk about peeling, we mean a chemical exfoliation based on fruit acids. The most common peel is the glycolic acid peel. A glycolic acid peel is used to exfoliate the skin in order to get rid of dead cells to promote cell regeneration and thus obtain a clearer, smoother and more even skin.
There are different degrees of peel strength, more or less deep, depending on the concentration of glycolic acid (but also other exfoliating active ingredients such as retinol or salicylic acid). There are both gentle peels with 5% glycolic acid and more concentrated peels with 15% glycolic acid.
So if you have sensitive skin or have never used this type of exfoliant before, it is best to turn to gentle peels. On the other hand, if you are used to using exfoliating products on your face, you can easily use more concentrated peels.
Obviously, the more concentrated the peel, the more important it is to space out the uses. You should never use a glycolic acid peel more than twice a week (unless it is very gentle), as this can sensitize your skin.
Finally, as with any exfoliating product, and to prevent it from being counterproductive, it is preferable to use it in the evening to limit any risk of photosensitization. We also recommend that you always use a sun protection product as a complement.
Our favorite glycolic acid products
The Glycolactic Radiance Mask for New Skin Ren Skincare, a cocktail of fruit acids (including glycolic acid) to give your skin a new look almost instantly! This mask should be applied once or twice a week and left on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
The Radiance Renewals Pads Indie Lee, cotton pads soaked in a solution of glycolic acid and vitamin C for a real instant radiance boost!
What are the contraindications to the use of glycolic acid?
As with any exfoliating agent, redness may appear with the use of a glycolic acid peel, especially if the peel is highly concentrated in acid. The application of a glycolic acid peel may also cause a slight tingling sensation. This is completely normal! However, if you feel intense tingling or a burning sensation, it is likely that your skin does not tolerate glycolic acid. Don't panic, immediately rinse your product with clean water and switch to products with a lower concentration or another exfoliating active ingredient such as BHA.
Glycolic acid and the sun do not mix well... In fact, it is a photosensitizing active ingredient. Therefore, it is advisable to apply glycolic acid products in the evening and to wear sun protection in the morning. As a general rule, do not perform this type of peel when you are going to be exposed to the sun for a long period of time. In other words, glycolic acid should be avoided during the summer vacations, and reserved for the beginning of the school year!
Our favorite glycolic acid treatments