Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), widely used in skincare for its exfoliating properties.

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid, derived from sugar cane, stands as one of the prominent members of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). It's a go-to ingredient in many skincare products due to its small molecular size that allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin layers.

How Does Glycolic Acid Work?

Glycolic acid works by dissolving the bonds between older skin cells on the surface, enabling their removal and revealing fresher, younger-looking skin underneath. Thanks to these exfoliating effects, glycolic acid can help address various skin issues such as acne scars, pigmentation, and signs of ageing.

Benefits of Glycolic Acid for Skin

1. Exfoliation

By removing dead skin cells from the surface, glycolic acid acts as a powerful exfoliant that leaves your skin looking brighter and feeling smoother.

2. Anti-Aging Effects

It promotes cell turnover and stimulates collagen production helping reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Improved Skin Tone

Regular use can help lighten discolouration such as sun spots or age spots enhancing overall skin tone.

Using Products with Glycolic Acid

If you're interested in incorporating glycolic acid into your skincare routine, consider starting with a lower concentration product like a toner or a face wash. Higher concentration peels and serums should only be used under the guidance of a dermatologist to avoid skin irritation.

Remember, glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun's harmful UV rays. Always use sunscreen when using products with AHAs.


Glycolic acid is a versatile skincare ingredient that offers numerous benefits including exfoliation, anti-aging effects, and improved skin tone. However, it’s important to consult with a skincare professional before changing your skincare routine.

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Book your appointment with Nancy Park, RN, BSN
Nancy Park, RN, BSN
Certified Aesthetic Nurse