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Glycolic acid and its properties – can it be used at home?

glycolic acid treatment

Imperfections, enlarged pores, acne, first wrinkles? The glycolic acid is all you need to take care of this collection of skin problems. What kind of cosmetics are you going to find it in – and what do you need to know about professional chemical exfoliation using glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid – a handful of information

The glycolic acid, with the chemical formula C2H4O3, is a colorless and odorless organic compound that is naturally present in sugarcanes, beets, pineapples and vines. It can also be obtained from chemical reactions and that’s exactly the product we buy to have a glycolic acid treatment at home. The acid can be purchased at three different concentrations:

  • 15% or below glycolic acid – mild moisturizing and exfoliating action, invisible to the eye;
  • 50% or below glycolic acid – exfoliating action on the epidermis;
  • 70% glycolic acid – strong exfoliating action within dermis.

Glycolic acid action

It mainly consists of relaxing the intercellular bonds in Dead epidermis, which makes it possible to exfoliate dead cells. Another advantage of glycolic acid is deep cleansing, which is removing the things that skin doesn’t need. Cleansing allows skin to mobilize cells to regenerate, it also improves blood circulation in skin, which results in Increased production of Elastin and collagen, and ultimately in improvement of skin’s elasticity and firmness.

A glycolic acid exfoliation makes skin fresh, rejuvenated, free from dead cells. It is also properly moisturized, richer in blood and oxygenated, plus wrinkles become less visible.

Exfoliation significantly reduces the risk of blemishes and blackheads appearing, pores get tighter as well. When it comes to treatments performed at home, however, one has to exercise extreme caution.

It is not difficult to notice that this type of treatment comes with multiple advantages, one has to remember, though, that the skin requires adequate care after the treatment.

For discolorations and scars

The glycolic acid has very small particles, which allows it to penetrate really deep (below 0.45 mm) into the skin. Thanks to that, it is used mainly to reduce stubborn discolorations and post-acne scars. The best results can be achieved by getting a glycolic acid treatment at a cosmetic parlor – at concentration of 70% this substance is perfect for making deeper wrinkles and scars more shallow.

glycolic acid treatment

At lower concentrations (5-15%) it Increases the level of skin’s moisture and slows down the aging processes, which makes it a good idea to use glycolic acid cosmetics at home as well. As a result of using glycolic exfoliation for 6 months, skin might Increase its thickness by as much as 25%.

Glycolic acid within the comfort of home

When at home, you can easily use products with added glycolic acid. In creams it mostly serves as a “transporter” for moisture, in exfoliation its concentration will help remove the upper layer of epidermis and stimulate cellular restoration of skin. In anti-acne gels, the acid will contribute to removing dead cells of epidermis and regulating the functioning of sebaceous glands. The same goes for Sebum-regulating liquids and tonics, and on top of that it will make it easier for other active ingredients to penetrate into skin, such as creams applied at later stages of skin care.

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