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Friday, 03 May 2013 11:35

Ingredient Spotlight: Glycolic Acid

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In our ingredient spotlights, we like to give you the run down on powerhouse ingredients that could be a great addition to your skin care regimes. Today, it’s all about Glycolic Acid.  Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) derived from sugarcane and is part of a group of acids that are extracted from natural sources. Not only is glycolic acid one of the most popular AHA’s but it is also one of the safest and most commonly used…

Glycolic & Your Skin

Glycolic is commonly used as an exfoliant to remove the build-up of dead skin cells. It works by dissolving the intercellular lipids (known better as oils) that hold dead cells on the skin’s surface. Out of this group of acids, glycolic acid is the most useful for cosmetic treatment because of its small molecular structure allowing for greater penetration in the skin. Factors that determine whether AHA peels result in shedding of the outer skin are the concentration of the acid, the pH of the formulation, the amount of acid put on to the skin, frequency of use, and most importantly the duration of time the acid is left on the skin. Glycolic provides an excellent exfoliation and is great for all non-sensitive skin types.

Glycolic Acid Treatments

In clinic treatments with glycolic are usually going to be formulated with a higher potency so it is likely you will see greater results from your visit than from just glycolic use at home.  Glycolic peels are intensive and will work to refine your skins texture. It accelerates exfoliation and stimulates the cell renewal process. By shedding dead skin cells and speeding up the regeneration of new, fresh skin cells, age spots with be lightened, pores will be decongested, and collagen will be tightened. Because glycolic helps your skin to produce collagen, a glycolic treatment is amazing to treat fine lines. Also, it is successful for oily to combination skin types, excessively oily, active acne, congested and photo-damaged skin. Recovery time for a glycolic peel can range from 24-48 hours and your skin may experience a feeling of being slightly irritated, have a reddish hue, and some flaking may occur.

Glycolic Acid at Home

From toners, serums, body wash, and lotions, there is a range of products you can incorporate in your skin care routine at home to receive the benefits of glycolic.

Glycolic offers something for most skin conditions. Are you dealing with hyperpigmentation or brown discoloration? Try incorporating a toner formulated with Glycolic to brighten your skin tone and prepare the skin for a lightening serum.  Glycolic acid is a free radical inhibitor and will reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.  Keep in mind it is okay to combine products containing glycolic acid or even layer serums containing glycolic every other night to intensify the treatment.

Are you having acne issues, breakouts, or blackheads? A serum with glycolic can help you gain control of your skin by decongesting and detoxifying clogged pores to reduce blemishes and leave your complexion clear.

body wash formulated with glycolic acid will clarify and soften the skin to make it smooth and soft. Look for one including shea butter to nourish and increase skin softness. Try applying a glycolic lotion after the shower to reduce those dry spots and small bumps on the body. Keep in mind your skin might get a red flush or feel a slight tingle after using these products.

While glycolic products and treatments can have amazing benefits for your skin and can be an amazing addition to most skin regimes, consult with your esthetician on the best skin care plan for you.