What is Glycolic Acid and How does it work?


What is glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is a skincare ingredient also known as an Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Glycolic Acid is an exfoliator which helps to remove the dead, top layers of the skin. Although an acid may sound a little worrying, glycolic acid tends to cause less irritation than a facial scrub, some of which can cause small micro tears in the skin.


Will glycolic acid leave my skin sore or peeling?

No, glycolic acid works on the top, dead layer of skin and doesn’t touch the healthy, living skin underneath and so providing you don’t over use glycolic acid, you will not noticing any negative results, only healthy, beautiful and glowing skin.


Is glycolic acid natural?

Glycolic acid was originally derived from sugar cane but these days it tends to be man made, a lot of sugar cane is needed to create a small amount of acid which creates a higher cost, man made glycolic acid is more cost effective and each batch is consistent without the variations which can occur with some natural products.


What positive effects can I see from Glycolic Acid?

The top dead layers of our skin are dull, dry and grey and don’t reflect the light. By using the glycolic acid to remove this dead skin, you will have a natural and beautiful glow, fine lines will start to soften, blemishes and mild sun spots will fade and your skin will just look so much healthier and more youthful.


How does glycolic acid work?

The dead skin on our face and body is held on by a glue like substance, glycolic acid helps to dissolve this glue which then causes the dead skin to simply fall off, you won’t see the dead skin but you will notice your skin looking fresher instantly.


How does Glycolic Acid help spots, blackheads and enlarged pores? 

The most common form of acne is caused as hair follicles get clogged by dead skin cells and sebum - the oil your skin naturally produces. Bacteria multiply within the clogged pores and so spots and blackheads form. By removing the dead skin cells you are also removing the grime and excess oil that's blocking up the pores and exposing fresh, new skin that can breathe. Most people report that with regular use of AHA products, their once very oily skin becomes more balanced, the less oil your skin produces, the less oil there is to get trapped. 


How does Glycolic Acid help mild scars and wrinkles? 

When new layers of skin grow they are following the pattern, or blueprint of the skin above them, so if you have fine lines in your skin that is the blueprint the new skin is following. By removing the top layers of skin regularly, you are reducing that blueprint and so the lines become less visible, slowly over time. Using glycolic acid every other evening means you are constantly renewing and regenerating the skin, so you get much better results than a peel used once a week.

No topical treatments can reverse deep scarring but the Glycolic Acid peels will help to make your skin smoother, and the scars a little softer. The treatment also stimulates the production of collagen, which keeps your skin smooth and firm. It also allows your moisturiser to penetrate the deeper layers of skin, and so the skin’s own regeneration process can happen more efficiently


How often do I need to use Glycolic Acid?

You really don’t need to use glycolic acid often, our 10% glycolic acid for example is used no more than once every other day. If you want to alternate it alongside other acids, you would alternate between each acid every other day, leaving a day break from exfoliating.

Why does the PH matter for Glycolic Acid?

The PH of glycolic acid is important and needs to be low enough to work efficiently but not so low that it causes irritation. Our glycolic acid has a PH of 3 (which is around the same PH as citrus juice) which we find is the optimal strength.


Can I use retinol while using Glycolic Acid?

Yes, you can use over the counter products. Depending on the strength, if it’s a low strength some people can use it directly after the acid, a higher strength is best used on the days that you don’t use your glycolic acid. If you have been prescribed a high strength retinol, speak to your Dr regarding the use of acids alongside your treatment.

Can I use Vitamin C alongside Glycolic Acid?

Again the same as the retinol, it depends on the strength. Depending on the strength, if it’s a low strength some people can use it directly after the acid, a higher strength is best used on the days that you don’t use your glycolic acid.


I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, can I use Glycolic Acid?

This is all down to personal choice. There are no safety concerns regarding the use of glycolic acid during pregnancy or breastfeeding but anything applied to our skin can be absorbed in to our bloodstream and so some people prefer to avoid acids because of this potential.

Can I just use Glycolic Acid and nothing else?

A daily skincare routine is very important, although glycolic acid is an amazing product, it won't give you the best results if you only use it a few times a week but don't cleanse and moisturise daily.


Here are some before and after pictures from customers that have used our glycolic acid alongside a great, daily skincare routine.