We bet you have heard about it many times, but have never found the time to take a closer look at its properties. Glycolic acid (found in cosmetics as Glycolid Acid) - because it is what we are talking about - is commonly used in cosmetology as a brightening and smoothing product. How exactly does it work, who is it recommended for and how to use it? You will learn about it in today's post.

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha hydroxy acids (abbreviated as AHA; Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are a group of organic compounds belonging to hydroxy acids. They occur naturally in nature, e.g. in fruits, which is why they are also called fruit acids. You probably know that some cosmetics contain, among others: AHA acids such as: tartaric, malic or pyruvic, but the most common is glycolic acid, which is obtained from sugar cane.

Characteristics of glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is an acid of medium or high strength (depending on concentration) and with... the smallest molecule of all AHA acids, which makes it easily dissolved in water. What does it mean? Therefore, it very easily penetrates the stratum corneum and is used primarily as an exfoliating, brightening and seboregulating agent. However, this is not the end of its beneficial effect on our skin! Check out our Glycolic Acid Tonic

The action of glycolic acid

In the case of 5%/10% glycolic acid in the cosmetic, we will achieve the effect of improving hydration - by reducing the relaxation at the boundary of the lipid and water phases in the intercellular cement, we increase the hydration of the stratum corneum of the epidermis.

In higher concentrations, glycolic acid inhibits the activity of enzymes that are responsible for the cohesion of epidermal cells, thus facilitating its exfoliation. The result is an improvement and evenness of the skin tone and lightening of discolorations. And pigmentation changes.

When used regularly, it stimulates cell renewal and the production of collagen and elastin, which in the long term results in improved skin firmness and smoothing of fine wrinkles.

In high concentrations (50-70%) and at low pH, glycolic acid strongly stimulates the regenerative processes of the dermis, which is why it is recommended for aging skin and for the "treatment" of stretch marks. By increasing the stimulation of fibroblasts for the synthesis of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans, it stimulates the reconstruction of fibers, improves skin elasticity, reduces wrinkles and reduces scars.

ATTENTION! Even though glycolic acid is recommended for oily and acne-prone skin (evening the skin, regulating sebum, fighting discoloration after acne scars), the acid should not be used for acne with purulent lesions. It is perfect for comedonal and nodular acne. In the case of purulent lesions, we recommend seeking the opinion of a dermatologist before using any cosmetic, including those containing acid.

Using glycolic acid at home

Low concentrations of glycolic acid are safe. The acid can be used on your own, at home, without consulting a specialist. Higher acid concentrations, including strong chemical peels, should always be performed under the supervision of an experienced cosmetologist.

Please remember that during acid treatment it is necessary to use sunscreens during the day, also under makeup. Owners of oily skin can use products with acid every day, but their introduction into the therapy should take place gradually - at the beginning twice a week, then 3 times a week, etc. This will allow the skin to get used to the action of active substances. In the case of sensitive, dry skin with a tendency to break blood vessels, we recommend introducing the acid gradually (e.g. 2-3 times a week) and observing the skin's reaction. It may turn out that this frequency will be optimal.

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