Home Lifestyle Why you should be using glycolic acid on your skin – AOL

Why you should be using glycolic acid on your skin – AOL

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You’ve heard from your dermatologist, aesthetician, makeup artist and probably your mother time and time again just how important exfoliation is for your skin. But it’s important to note that merely splashing your face with cleanser and water twice a day doesn’t guarantee you’re doing it right.

There’s a crucial ingredient your skincare routine is probably missing — and you can probably blame your clogged pores, fine lines, pimples and dullness on it. Hello, glycolic acid! 

“The reason I say look for glycolic acid is because it has one of the smallest size molecules of the fruit acids and is able to penetrate deeper into your skin giving you the best results,” explained Dr. Lamees Hamden, CEO and founder of luxury skincare brand Shiffa, to AOL Lifestyle. 

7 PHOTOS

Our favorite products with glycolic acid

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ALPHA-H Liquid Gold Resurfacing Treatment, $60

The potent formula packs in 5 percent cosmetic grade glycolic acid to support natural skin cell renewal and remove unwanted cells. With 3500 “loves” on Sephora, it’s sure to become a routine essential.

“This stuff is holy grail status. It’s the best chemical exfoliant I have ever tried,” one customer wrote. 



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Shiffa Tri-Acid Radiance Peel, $68

The luxury skincare brand boasts quite the line of effective products under its belt, including the Tri-Acid Radiance Peel, which promises brighter, clearer skin. 

“Amazing mask which gave me baby soft skin and firms, also smells heavenly!!!! I use it once a week and it gave me amazing results,” wrote one user. 



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Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, $18

This toner is formulated with 2 percent glycolic acid and grapefruit extract to help refresh and stimulate dry skin and clogged pores.

“This product truly changed my skin this winter. I had extremely dry skin and couldn’t get rid of my dry patches,” wrote one Ulta customer.



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THE INKEY LIST Glycolic Acid Toner, $10.99

There’s a reason this cult-favorite brand’s popular toner has 2K “loves” on Sephora. The affordable buy is packed with 10 percent of glycolic acid to exfoliate and reduce the redness of pores. 

“I have blackheads, and clogged pores and I can feel and see this work its magic pretty quickly,” wrote one reviewer. 



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Glo Skin Beauty Glycolic Resurfacing Cleanser, $44

The exfoliating face wash is made with 10 percent glycolic acid to loosen surface cells to promote glow and appearance of the skin. 

Wrote one reviewer on Dermstore’s website, “I love how soft my skin feels after using this was. Because I have sensitive skin it’s hard to find something that will exfoliate without irritating my skin but this does the job.”



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“I also love how easy it is to get a radiant complexion by using glycolic acid. It’s been widely studied and the effects are cumulative, so the longer you use it, the better results you will be,” explained the expert. 

While glycolic acid has long been an essential part of the beauty industry — it’s commonly found in chemical peels — it’s most recently surged in popularity. More and more skincare brands are realizing the potential of the ingredient and, consequently, are integrating it into more of its products. (There are now hundreds of products made with the ingredient and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites above.)

Hamden and other dermatologists agree that the list of benefits of glycolic acid is extensive. “Glycolic acid enhances skin shedding and helps correct skin discoloration,” began Dr. Hamden. “It also stimulates new cell generation and the production of collagen and elastin, so the ingredient can help reduce signs of environmental damage (sun, pollution, etc.). It gives your skin the boost it needs without weakening it.”

However, because of how potent the acid is, Hamden explains that sensitivity to the sun and dryness is also increased. “Like everything, too much, too strong, or too often, is not necessarily better. I don’t advise daily AHA use, I prefer once or twice a week. If you’re using it for the first time, try using it at night,” she said. 

“Glycolic acid can increase sun sensitivity, so please use a good broad-spectrum sunscreen every day — I like Elta MD,” she suggested. 

Related: Skin concerns by state

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Skin Concern By State

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Alabama

Skin Concern: Rosacea 

Photo Credit: Getty

Information Provided by Skinfo

Alaska

Skin Concern: Age Spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Arizona

Skin Concern: Aging skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Arkansas 

Skin Concern: Age Spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

California

Skin Concern: Oily Skin

Photo credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Colorado

Skin Concern: Aging Skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Connecticut 

Skin Concern: Dry Skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Delaware

Skin Concern: Age Spots

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Information provided by Skinfo

Florida

Skin Concern: Aging Skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Georgia

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo Credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Hawaii

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Idaho

Skin Concern: Age Spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Illinois 

Skin Concern: Oily Skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Indiana

Skin Concern: Age Spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Iowa

Skin Concern: Dry Skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Kansas 

Skin Concern: Acne

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Kentucky

Skin Concern: Age Spots

Photo Credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Louisiana

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Maine

Skin Concern: Rosacea 

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Maryland

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo Credit: Alamy

Information provided by Skinfo

Massachusetts

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Information provided by Skinfo

Michigan

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Minnesota

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Information provided by Skinfo

Mississippi

Skin Concern: Oily skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Missouri

Skin Concern: Age spots

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Information provided by Skinfo

Montana

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Nebraska

Skin Concern: Dry skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Nevada

Skin Concern: Dark circles under eyes

Photo Credit:

Information provided by Skinfo

New Hampshire

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

New Jersey

Skin Concern: Dark circles under eyes

Photo Credit:

Information provided by Skinfo

New Mexico

Skin Concern: Age spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

New York

Skin Concern: Acne

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

North Carolina

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

North Dakota

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Ohio

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Oklahoma

Skin Concern: Age spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Oregon

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Pennsylvania

Skin Concern: Dry skin

Photo credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Rhode Island

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

South Carolina

Skin Concern: Age spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

South Dakota

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo Credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Tennessee

Skin Concern: Age spots

Photo Credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Texas

Skin Concern: Oily skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Utah

Skin Concern: Acne

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Vermont

Skin Concern: Enlarged pores

Photo Credit: Getty    

Information provided by Skinfo

Virginia

Skin Concern: Age spots

Photo Credit: Getty 

Information provided by Skinfo

Washington

Skin Concern: Rosacea

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

West Virginia

Skin Concern: Dry skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Wisconsin

Skin Concern: Age spots

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo

Wyoming

Skin Concern: Dry skin

Photo Credit: Getty

Information provided by Skinfo




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