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What is glycolic acid? We’re explaining all with SkinCeuticals

What is glycolic acid? We’re explaining all with SkinCeuticals
Team LF
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Team LF's profile

Glycolic acid is one of the most used ingredients in exfoliating products, and is loved by beauty editors, bloggers, celebrities, and dermatologists.

No matter what skin type you have you should be incorporating it into your routine, so we teamed up with SkinCeuticals to understand why.

What is glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is a form of AHA, otherwise known as an alpha-hydroxy acid. Derived from plant sugars, it's also commonly referred to as a "fruit acid", and is one of the most effective chemical exfoliants you can use to achieve a healthy complexion.

Due to its extremely small molecule structure, it can easily penetrate the top layers of the skin better than other AHA acids. This makes it one of the best acids to give a visibly renewed and fresh look to dulling skin.

How does glycolic work?

Unlike BHA's (beta-hydroxy acids), AHA's work on the top layers of the skin cells to dissolve dirt, oil, impurities and dead cells.

If you suffer from combination skin, glycolic acid can be a a brilliant alternative to a physical exfoliant. Its non-abrasive texture gently resurfaces the skin without the need for an overly-harsh scrub.

What are its benefits?

If you have particularly mature, sun-damaged, blemish-prone or oily skin, glycolic acid works wonders, but it can be used for all skin types as a general rule.

Due to its incredible abilities at dissolving dead cells and impurities on the skin's surface, it helps to increase cellular turnover so that the complexion appears brighter, fresher and more luminous. By removing this surface dirt, it means that all other products can be better and more easily absorbed into the skin, so you actually get more from your skincare.

What is SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight?

The SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight is where all the glycolic acid magic happens.

Glycolic Renew Overnight is one of the most (gently) powerful and effective formulas we have ever tried. Unlike many other glycolic acid products, this potent night crean delivers a true 10% concentration of glycolic acid to skin (known as free acid value if you're a science whizz).

Containing 10% glycolic blended with 2% phytic acid, which helps to improve skin clarity and brightness, and soothing botanicals such sunflower seed wax, glycerine and jojoba oil, the cream also aids in nourishing and calming the skin as its potent acid gets to work on your skin, while salicylic acid helps to calm and reduce the appearance of blemishes.

Over an 8-week clinical study period conducted on 52 females aged 35-64, SkinCeuticals observed incredible results of the Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight.

Across all participants, they saw the following improvements:

  • 36% average improvement in radiance
  • 37% average improvement in skin texture
  • 19% average improvement in skin tone

To use, apply a pea-sized amount all over the face and neck (an area often neglected but one of the first to show signs of ageing), and let it sink in.

When using glycolic acid, always make sure you follow with a broad-spectrum SPF the following morning, as your skin can become more sensitised and prone to sun damage when using an acid.
Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.