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Style Everything You Need To Know About Glycolic Acid

07:11  25 july  2022
07:11  25 july  2022 Source:   elle.com.au

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The beauty industry is rife with jargon, obscure ingredients and technical terms. In light of the confusion, we've gone ahead and done the research on vitamin C-infused skincare, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and retinol.

Next term on the list? Glycolic acid.

First thing's first, what is glycolic acid?

In short, glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and has a whole bunch of same-same-but-different AHA siblings, including: lactic, citric and mandalic acids.

What Is Glycolic Acid Used For?

Primarily, glycolic acid is used for getting rid of dead skin cells. It's also popular for its exfoliating properties, making it beneficial for un-clogging pores and thoroughly cleansing your face.

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What Does Glycolic Acid Do, Exactly?

As a chemical exfoliant, glycolic acid breaks down the substance that holds dead skin cells together. While some skin treatments cleanse the upper layer of your skin, glycolic acid penetrates deeper and un-clogs your pores from their base level.

This process of 'waking up' the skin leads to higher cell turnover and more youthful looking skin. Yes please!

How Does Glycolic Acid Compare To Other Chemical Exfoliants?

Compared to, say, salicylic acid, glycolic acid can be a little harsh. While glycolic acid peels were once at go-to for facialists, they've since fallen in popularity.

Instead, other popular, at-home products involving glycolic acid have become readily available on the market, including cleansers, toners and pads. While still good for your skin, these products involve a lower concentration of glycolic acid, so as to avoid damaging and wearing out your skin.

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How Do You Apply Glycolic Acid Products At Home

While glycolic acid peels are quite harsh, there are plenty of glycolic acid-infused skincare products that only use a small amount of the acid. This means skin is exfoliated (win!) without causing too much aggravation (win x2!).

If you'd like to introduce glycolic acid to your skincare routine, good for you—you've made the right choice. However, don't go too gung ho from the start. Introduce it slowly. Start with a glycolic acid toner/cream/etc once a week. If your skin starts to look more glow-y—and not at all ouch-y—increase the application to twice a week and then three times a week.


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Where Do You Use Glycolic Acid?

All over your face! Avoiding the eyes, that is.

The Best Glycolic Acid Skincare Products You Can Buy In Australia

  Everything You Need To Know About Glycolic Acid © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd

Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution by The Ordinary, $16.30 at Adore Beauty

Formulated to target uneven skin texture and lacklustre tone, this toning solution contains a potent 7% of glycolic acid, as well as amino acids for skin repair, aloe vera and Tasmanian pepperberry to soothe irritation and redness, and ginseng root for a touch of radiance.

  Everything You Need To Know About Glycolic Acid © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd

Resurfacing Glycolic Pads by Malin + Goetz, $66 at MECCA

If you're in need of something quick and travel-friendly, these resurfacing glycolic pads by Malin + Goetz has got you covered. Boasting 10% glycolic acid, they work fast to slough away dead skin and encourage cell turnover. What you're left with? A healthy glow and clearer visage, without the irritation of an aggressive chemical peel.

  Everything You Need To Know About Glycolic Acid © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd

Glycolic Cleansing Fix by Nip + Fab, $21.99 at Priceline

Glycolic acid may be the hero, but it's gotta a couple of serious sidekicks in this little potion! Here, apple amino acid adds a foaming and softening effect, while olive oil ensures long-lasting hydration and a smooth visage.

  Everything You Need To Know About Glycolic Acid © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd

Glycolic Renewal Cleanser by SkinCeuticals, $64 at Adore Beauty

By adding glycolic acid to the much-maligned cleansing step, this formula helps to ensure all your treatments and serums that follow get the most bang for their buck. In addition to glycolic acid, this radiance-enhancing cleanser also features 1% phytic acid to boost clarity and aloe leaf extract, as well as glycerin, to keep any inflammation at bay,

  Everything You Need To Know About Glycolic Acid © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd

Glycolic Acid Toner by Mario Badescu, $27 at MECCA

A gentle toner that resurfaces and brightens, it combines glycolic acid with grapefruit to remove surface build-up that leaves the skin looking tired, while also helping to minimise the appearance of discolouration and scarring.

Note: Products that include glycolic acid as an ingredient are occasionally very potent and should be used sparingly. Make sure you have purchased the right product for your skin type and follow all instructions on packaging to not cause damage to your skin.

Main image: @ninapark/Instagram

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