Glycolic Acid is a fruit acid and a member of the skin-friendly AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids) family. It is naturally derived from sugar cane, although most glycolic acid these days is created in a lab. What makes glycolic acid so special is that it contains teeny tiny molecules, meaning it can easily penetrate the skin. This is why glycolic acid is such an effective, and popular, ingredient in facial peels.
Glycolic acid works by gently ‘eating away’ at the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. By dissolving the bonds and exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells, glycolic acid allows fresh new cells to come to the surface. It also stimulates the production of new skin cells and can help with several skin woes; including hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, acne, blackheads, sun damage, and acne scarring.
If this all sounds amazing to you, we’ve got even better news. Glycolic acid is no longer restricted to your dermatologist’s office. There are loads of at-home products that work just as well as the peels in your doctor’s office, minus the downtime and having to find a parking spot in the middle of town. Here are just a few of our faves!
Murad Intensive Resurfacing Peel – If brighter, younger-looking skin is on your wish list, then look no further. This intense peel will gently, yet thoroughly, sweep away dead cells, debris, pollution, and excess oil to reveal a younger complexion. It will also stimulate the production of new, healthy cells for plump, baby soft skin.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel– The only thing we love more than great skincare is great skincare that is super easy to use. This two-step peel consists of pre-soaked towelettes, meaning all you have to do is swipe them over your face to treat dark spots, improve skin texture, even out your skin tone, minimize pores, and smooth out wrinkles.
Neostrata Oily Skin Solution – Anti-aging isn’t the only area where glycolic acid excels. This solution keeps oily, acne-prone skin clear and blemish-free. The glycolic acid exfoliates, treats acne, clears out clogged pores and gets rid of excess sebum. You won’t even recognize your skin anymore.
Derma e Refining Vitamin A and Glycolic Cleanser – Make glycolic an integral part of your daily routine with this sulfate-free cleanser. It contains glycolic acid, marine plant extracts, papaya extracts, and vitamin A to deep cleanse, lightly exfoliate, and renew your skin.