Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). This is an effective ingredient renowned for its exfoliating and skin brightening properties. It is used to help loosen dead skin cells and open pores to help give you noticeably smoother looking skin. It has been known to reduce or improve numerous skin issues, including:
+ Actinic keratosis
+ Seborrheic keratosis
This improvement to the skin is thanks in part to glycolic acid’s interaction with the upper layer of the epidermis, diminishing the strength of the binding properties of the lipids that connect dead skin cells. The effect of glycolic acid varies depending on the amount used.
Glycolic acid is highly effective for deeply and easily penetrating your skin, making it ideal for the clearing of blackheads and breakouts. It also helps minimize the appearance of pores by keeping them clear and encouraging nearby cells to strengthen and regain their spring.
Any treatment containing glycolic acid will, essentially, remove the outer layer of dead skin cells and allow new cells to populate your skin, giving it a thorough exfoliation. This exfoliating process can also help with discoloured skin or sun marks.
Glycolic acid works by loosening dead skin cells, boosting the exfoliation of the skin’s surface and, within the opening of pores, helps uncover the healthy living cells underneath. This reveals smoother, brighter, younger looking skin.
Glycolic acid comes in a variety of forms, including:
+ Eye creams
+ Facial peels
Originally derived from sugar cane (although it is now usually made synthetically), glycolic acid is part of a group of active compounds known as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA).
Glycolic acid is suitable for most skin types and there should be no side effects when using it. In fact, products with a lower concentration of glycolic acid are generally more effectual. If you do experience any side effects, consult your GP immediately.
To help blackheads, breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles, you can find glycolic acid in a wide range of Proactiv+ products, including the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, Mark Fading Pads and the Retexturizing Toner.