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This week we’re investigating the mystery that is glycolic acid. Here we spill the beauty beans on what we found out…
What is it?
“Clear-Skin Cate lent Sara Spotsville some of her glycolic acid cleanser to clear things up. Kind Clear-Skin Cate.”
Glycolic acid is one member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) gang – but don’t let the ‘acid’ part put you off, it won’t burn away your skin and this type of acid is actually one of the gentler forms of AHA. It’s derived from sugar cane and gently exfoliates away any congestion build-ups as well as any radiance-snatching dead skin cells. The result? Clearer and brighter skin. Double win.
Who needs it?
Glycolic acid is a bit of a multi-tasker. If you’re acne prone, its exfoliating properties help reduce any dead skin cell blockages in your pores that lead to pimples. If discoloration, pigmentation or age spots are your bugbear, glycolic acid can help fade them away too. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also great if you’ve got some wrinkles creeping up, as once the dead skin cells are cleared out of the way, your new skin revealed below will leave you well on your way to looking more radiant and youthful. Sorted.
Where do we find it?
To scoff: Grapes, pineapples and cantaloupe melons. Fruity.
To smother: Toners, serums, moisturisers, facial peels and cleansers.
When should it go on our face?
Night time is your best bet, as your skin is naturally doing its thing while you sleep by regenerating new skin cells. So, applying glycolic acid before bed (either using a glycolic acid cleanser or a topical cream or toner) will help boost this process. It’s worth noting that glycolic acid will make your skin more susceptible to sun damage though, so be sure to wear an SPF the next day.
Glycolic acid comes in different strengths (normally labeled with a percentage) so start off with products with a lower concentration if your skin is sensitive (3 to 5% is a good start). If you’re after something a little stronger, 10% is ideal. And don’t forget that SPF!