Through over 30,000 in-office peels and more than 100,000 patient visits, I have found that the key to the healthy, lustrous and even-toned skin my patients want is controlled glycolic exfoliation. So I want to explain what glycolic acid is, why it’s the gold standard, why you haven’t heard more about it, and why you should be exfoliating nightly with it.
What is Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid derived naturally from sugar cane. As a chemical exfoliant, it works by dissolving the glue between the dead cells in the uppermost layers of the epidermis, which then causes those excess dulling, clogging and unhealthy cells to fall off. I prefer glycolic acid to all other exfoliants for many reasons.
Reason 1: Chemical vs. Physical Exfoliation
First of all, it is a fact that chemical exfoliation is superior to physical exfoliation. This is because chemical exfoliants deliver consistent and reliable results, while the effects of physical exfoliants depend on many variables, for example, both how long and how you use them, as well as the actual material the exfoliant is made of. Think about how hard you are rubbing when you use your apricot scrub. The harder you rub, the greater is the risk of irritation. And rarely do you rub as hard and as long two days in a row. On the other hand, chemical exfoliants, such as glycolics, are formulated to be a specific strength no matter who uses them or how they’re used, so they eliminate many of these variables and deliver much more reliable results.
Reason 2: Different Types of Chemical Exfoliants
While there are many different chemical exfoliants, glycolic is the gold standard. Glycolic is a versatile treatment as it has a wide therapeutic range. It can be used in concentrations of 1-20% in at-home products. Salicylic acid, in comparison, can only be used from .05-2% without a prescription. Glycolic’s large therapeutic range means that it can treat a myriad of conditions, from facial rejuvenation to the removal of early abnormal cells that can go on to become precancerous actinic keratoses and can be tailored to your skin type and skin problem.
Reason 3: Glycolic is Gentle Yet Effective
My BeautyRx glycolic products deliver the results my patients expect. This is because they are modified in two ways. First, they are pH-adjusted, which means that even with high concentrations of acid, they won’t burn or sting. Second, glycolic can be precisely buffered to ensure the stability of the product. This means that the glycolic will be consistent throughout the lifetime of the product; its strength won’t degrade over time and it won’t become irritating. This ability to use higher amounts of acid without that burning, stinging feeling (or any peeling!) is one of the many reasons that glycolic is such a great ingredient.
Reason 4: Patient Proven
Most importantly, glycolic is patient-proven with an unprecedented level of patient and user satisfaction. Through over 100,000 patient visits, I have seen the results that glycolic has given my patients and heard them rave about their success, especially when they no longer need to use foundation because their skin color and texture is so smooth and even.
Reason 5: Benefits of Exfoliation
Glycolic is the single most important therapeutic treatment you can do for your skin. If your skin looks dull and tired, glycolic exfoliation will give you the glow and luster you’ve always wanted. It is a great way to treat and prevent acne breakouts. It can shrink the appearance of enlarged pores. It helps your makeup apply more smoothly and evenly. It also helps prevent precancer on your skin. And it is essential for facial rejuvenation.
Ahead of the Curve
You may be wondering: if glycolic is such a miracle ingredient, why haven’t you heard more about it? When glycolic was first developed, it was patented and its owner charged licensing fees for its use, so it became too expensive for mainstream commercial adoption. Recently, that patent expired so more skincare companies are now economically able to create glycolic powered products.
The incredible results that my patients and I have seen from glycolic exfoliation are the reason that gentle yet effective, precisely pH-adjusted and buffered glycolic exfoliants are the cornerstone of my line, BeautyRx. Developed from patient feedback from over 100,000 patient visits (including 30,000 in-office glycolic peels), BeautyRx is an authentic, hard-hitting solution to the most important skincare issues. Supplemented with best-in-class sunscreens, moisturizers and antioxidants, BeatuyRx glycolics give you the skin that you’ve always wanted. I don’t believe that you have to spend thousands of dollars and apply dozens of products to achieve healthy, beautiful skin. Glycolic exfolaints are the key to getting the fastest and maximum results with minimum products. I also have ensured that using the line is simple: every product has a unique Rx number, which takes all the guesswork out of application order. By using BeautyRx products from the lowest to the highest Rx number, products will always be applied in the correct order.
BeautyRx products, lead by best in class glycolic exfoliation, have for the past decade been giving my patients the more beautiful, healthier and younger looking skin they’ve always wanted and can now do the same for you.
About the Author
Dr. Schultz is a leading, board-certified dermatologist who for the last 30 years has maintained a thriving medical practice, Park Avenue Skin Care, on the Upper East Side of New York City. He focuses on general and cosmetic dermatology, seeing over 10,000 patient visits per year. Much of Dr. Schultz’s success can be attributed to his unique ability to interface with these patients on a personal level, first and foremost by listening, and then engaging them with his knowledge and accessible advice focused on authentic solutions to their individual skin needs. He proudly counts as patients multiple generations of the same families – some of whom unexpectedly bump into each other at the office – as well as skincare industry leaders, royalty, physicians, and individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds.
Dr. Schultz received his MD degree from The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and received his dermatology training and board certification at The Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, where he is appointed as a clinical professor. He is also the author of, “It’s Not Just About Wrinkles,” Founder and Host of DermTV, and formulator of BeautyRx Skincare.