Holy Grail : Glycolic Acid

So as promised from my last post, I mentioned that I would talk about the physiology and importance of glycolic acid. Something you need to know first: you will sometimes see glycolic acid used interchangeably with the acronym AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). AHAs are a group of acids that are used often in skin care products and are derived from foods we eat (please do not eat your products)! Glycolic acid, in particular, is derived from cane sugar. Its molecular makeup is so small that it easily penetrates the skin and gets the job done. Unlike topical retinols which promote skin healing by causing immediate inflammation, AHAs (glycolic acid) actually promote skin healing more gently over a longer period of time!

How does it work & what are the benefits?

  • It dissolves the top layer of skin, making your topical products absorb easier. 
  • After dissolving the top layer of skin, it allows your pores to open and be cleared of the dead skin and sebum that was trapped in them. 
  • By doing this, glycolic acid helps clear out those blackheads and pimples! It will also decrease the appearance of pores (which we all could use, even Regina George😉)
  • When used consistently, it also works to lighten sunspots and acne scars overtime! 
  • It will give you that vibrant, dewy glow we all long for by inducing cell turnover (skin regeneration) and increasing blood flow to the skin. 
  • Because it’s a chemical exfoliant, it’s less abrasive than physical exfoliants. This makes it a great option for people with sensitive skin! 


One misconception I notice is anytime someone hears the word “acid” they immediately become hesitant/resistant to trying the product because they think it will burn their skin. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Glycolic acid is actually very gentle in most over the counter products. Also, because it works so slowly you may not see any irritation for the first few days (or at all). This is a common ingredient in chemical peels you would get at your dermatologist or medspa (containing 30-40% glycolic acid); however, most over the counter products contain about 10% or less glycolic acid. These are safe and easy to use at home. When choosing a good glycolic acid or AHA product, read the labels and try to stay close to that 10% mark to see the best results. Two of my favorite products with glycolic acid/AHAs in them are Dr. Murad’s Rapid Resurfacing Peel and Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Mask by Fresh. Check them out and search around at any beauty supplier for products containing glycolic acid or AHAs. You won’t regret it! ☆

Here is me wearing my mask while getting ready for work! Rub into skin and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes then rinse with cool water! As simple as that! Check out the links below to buy these products!