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Understanding Skin Care Ingredients: Glycolic Acid


Source: user jpmatth

Glycolic acid, a staple in most anti aging skin care products, is a key ingredient to keep your skin looking young, but do you know how it works its magic?

Let’s start with its ability to absorb into the skin. The smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid quickly penetrates into the skin layers and dissolves the glue that holds dead skin cells onto your skin. This allows those cells to shed off and exposes new, healthy skin underneath.

Dead skin cells are often the culprit for dull, rough, uneven and aging complexions. By removing this layer of skin, a younger, more radiant appearance can shine through.

Usually found in the best anti wrinkle creams, as well as the best moisturizers, glycolic acid also has the potential to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles if used on a continuous basis.

The initial exfoliation removes the dead skin that settles into lines, improving the appearance of fine lines. However, to attack the deeper wrinkles, high concentrations of glycolic acid are used to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which in turn makes your skin appear fuller and firmer.

But if you think only people with older skin are in need of glycolic acid, think again. It’s also great for any skin condition that benefits from exfoliation. It can be found in acne treatments, as well as body lotions that treat keratosis pilaris, dry skin, and rough skin and calluses on the elbows and feet. Make sure to look for glycolic acid in your skin care products.



  1. Pam
    Posted June 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I use glycolic acid in my products before bed given that is the time our skin repairs the best (while we are at rest); in the a.m. I don’t use much glycolic acid unless I am really in need because of the need for additional sunscreen and my face feels too greasy, so I am a very strong advocate of using it. My face is glowing since the day I started with the program.

  2. Jacqueline Cheney
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Pam, thanks for your comment. Yes, glycolic acid is in many anti-aging night creams and does wonders when you apply it at night.

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