What Is Glycolic Acid? What Are The Benefits Of Glycolic Acid On Your Skin? Acids for Skin Care

What Is Glycolic Acid? What Are The Benefits Of Glycolic Acid On Your Skin? Acids for Skin Care

As surprising and scary as it might sound Acids in skincare can do wonders to your skin. There are a plethora of acids to choose from and each can solve a different skin concern. Hi I’m Shruti and today we will be discussing a popular Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA - Glycolic Acid So sit back and relax! Alpha Hydroxy Acids are derived from plants and other natural sources such as fruit, milk and sugar cane. AHA’s are widely used in beauty products in a variety of forms ranging from cleansers, toners to even scrubs. AHA’s are chemical exfoliants that are water soluble in nature. This means that it allows significant exfoliation and sloughing off dead cells by breaking the glue that holds the dead skin cells together. This makes them the go-to ingredient in anti-aging beauty products to combat the signs of ageing, pigmentation and even enlarged pores. The different types of AHAs include:

Glycolic acid Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Mandelic Acid and Malic Acid. Whichever acid you choose to opt for, the concentration should be at a maximum of 15%. Now that we know the basic outline, let's dive into how Glycolic acid - the popular AHA is used in skin care products. This is the most common type of AHA which is naturally derived from the sugar cane, sugar beets and even pineapple plants. It is known to be the best performing acid from the lot because of its ability to penetrate deep into the skin due to its small molecular size. Our skin tends to become pigmented over time due to age spots, sun damage or even old acne scars. What Glycolic Acid does is get rid of this excess stored pigment by exfoliating this damaged layer which helps evening out the skin tone.

Mature Skin tends to suffer from skin wrinkling and which is why Glycolic Acid is perfect, as it prevents transepidermal water loss and helps in drawing and locking the moisture from your skin. Some even say that this penetration is so deep that the acid stimulates collagen production reducing pigmentation and making the skin look plump. It works best on normal, oily combination and mature skin types. People with dry and sensitive skin are often left with irritated skin upon its use, since this is a slightly harsh exfoliator. All these reasons make Glycolic acid the strongest but also the harshest of the AHA's, especially if your skin can't tolerate the strength. Hence if you are a first timer, allow your skin to acclimate with the product and start with smaller concentrations of 2-3%, just once a day.

Scrubs, masks, moisturizers and serums can also be infused with this acid and its best to follow the instructions and method of application, designated to each product. If you’re applying as is, use it post your cleansing and toning routine. In liquid form, it's best to use a cotton pad for application. If you’re just starting off, its best to begin with a glycolic acid cleanser which does not sit on your skin for too long and will be washed off easily.

Because of the exfoliation that this acid offers the skin becomes more sensitive to sun damage so it’s imperative to include sun protection in your regime. Facial peels and lotions with a concentration of AHA’s upto 10% should always be used under the guidance of a dermatologist. Apart from a slight tingling sensation, peels can also cause mild to severe skin irritation and if left on the skin for a prolonged period of time, it can cause burns as well. Also keep in mind that since glycolic acid is an exfoliator pairing it with other exfoliating ingredients can be a little problematic for your skin.

Although they are best used in conjunction with gentler acids like salicylic acid, using it in tandem with stronger ingredients like retinol should be completely avoided. It’s also important to note that if the use of products with these acids leads to flaking. So never ever pick your skin as this can lead to scarring and even hyper pigmentation. Like I've said before, the key to any successful skin care regime, especially in the use of acids is understanding the needs of your skin. Even though people might use it for the same purposes, the quantity, frequency and concentration could vary on their skin types and skin concerns. I hope this video was helpful and informative Until next time, Stay Tuned and Stay Glamrs! 
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