“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
The dainty princesses from our fairy tales had it easy, and sure had the confidence to ask their reflections this question. Realistically, how many of us wish we could, even if it’s just playfully, look in the mirror, ask the question and then answer, “me”?
Unfortunately, all we see is pimples from the dust, pollution and stress, acne from the pimples, enlarged pores from the acne and the resulting skin robbed of all its radiance, glow and youthfulness.
But thanks to glycolic acid cleansers, we now have a safe and easy way to tackle all of these problems.
You must be wondering as to why is it that despite the availability of tons of skin lightening and fairness products available in the market today, we recommend the usage of products containing glycolic acid. This article will explain to you the benefits of using a glycolic acid cleanser and what to keep in mind before you choose a product containing glycolic acid.
Glycolic Acid Cleanser: A Natural Substance for Your Skin
Purely derived from natural substances like cane sugar, beet and pineapple, to name the most popular raw ingredients, glycolic acid is an excellent compound belonging to the alpha hydroxyl acid group that possesses properties that aid exfoliation by removal of dead skin revealing a layer of fresh, bright skin, and deep cleansing of the skin.
Unlike other harmful chemical acids such as salicylic acid, beta hydroxyl acid and the like, present in various skin care products, the presence of about eight to 10 percent glycolic acid enables a cleanser to cleanse effectively without damaging the skin. What’s incredible is that a glycolic acid cleanser benefits people with any skin type be it dry, normal or oily.
Having the smallest molecular size, glycolic acid is known for its ability to penetrate the skin. However, it works essentially by reacting only with the top most layer of the skin and is therefore a non-intrusive method of treating the skin.
Owing to many more such benefits as briefly set out below, various cleansing products including liquid soaps, face washes and wet wipes that contain an ideal amount of glycolic acid are preferred by more and more people today as opposed to heavier chemical peels.
Nine Benefits of Using a Glycolic Acid Cleanser
Repairing damaged skin is quite a challenge. While there are many ways to go about salvaging skin that has been adversely affected by external factors like pollution, dust and weather, and internal factors like hormonal imbalances, stress and certain food reactions, these benefits of using a glycolic acid based product are unmatched:
- Treats Different Skin Problems: Though the usage of glycolic acid face wash for acne is most popular, it also heals a host of other skin problems. Removal of blackheads and whiteheads, diminishing signs of aging and lightening sun spots is also possible. Glycolic acid is also proven to cure more serious disorders such as eczema, pre-cancerous growths and psoriasis, to name a few.
- Yields Faster Results: Undoubtedly, the biggest complaint that most users of skin care products have is that they take time to show visible results. Not in the case of glycolic acid cleansers. A majority of the users of glycolic acid cleansers have asserted that they have seen immediate results from the very first use onwards. Continuous usage of the right dosage of glycolic acid results in a dramatic improvement in the condition of the skin over time, with visible results at each stage.
- Safe for Use by Pregnant Women and Teenagers: The occurrence of bumps, rashes and random discoloration is common in pregnant women, as is the occurrence of pimples and acne in teenagers. Most skin care products contain harmful chemicals such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide which are harmful for pregnant women and children. The strongest reaction of glycolic acid is limited to the top most layers of the skin and thus there is no harm that is caused.
- Easily Available and Affordable: There are hundreds of products containing glycolic acid that are available in the market today, ranging from lotions to creams to toners. Walmart and Amazon, in particular, offer multifarious options in this department, with products that are priced economically starting from around $7 for a five-ounce bottle of glycolic acid cleanser. Depending on the requirements of the user, the market offers multiple variants in terms of product types and glycolic acid content.
- Unclogs The Pores: The root cause of a lot of skin disorders is the clogging of pores on the skin, thereby affecting its ability to excrete dead skin particles and other waste. Clogged pores give rise to the most common skin problems like pimples and acne, and sometimes last even after they have healed; hence, triggering more attacks. Glycolic acid washes away dead skin and opens up the pores post first application itself and therefore prevents breakouts before they even emerge.
- Effective Solution for Ingrown Hair: Ingrowth is a common problem faced by women post waxing or shaving. Ingrown hair is hair that grows back into the skin. It is visibly unpleasant, painful to remove and leaves behind scars and marks. Glycolic acid is an excellent way to treat ingrowths as it prevents skin from growing over the ingrown hair, thus making its removal easy and painless.
- Natural and Eco-Friendly: Derived completely from natural substances like sugarcane, beet and pineapple, glycolic acid is purely natural and eco-friendly. This being the case, the side effects caused by its usage are almost negligible while sugar acts as an excellent natural exfoliant. Glycolic acid is highly soluble in water and can therefore be washed off easily from the skin without leaving behind chemical traces.
- Suitable for All Skin Types: Glycolic acid, in varying proportions is absolutely safe and effective for all skin types, irrespective of whether it is oily, normal, sensitive or dry. It is a versatile compound and is incorporated in skin care products in different measures to yield best results and least damage. However, the higher the content, the better the effect of glycolic acid, is a misconception. Each skin type has a corresponding level of the acid that will work best.
- You Can Prepare Itat Home: Making a face pack containing glycolic acid is a piece of cake and can be done at home in a jiffy. The ingredients of the most common homemade glycolic acid face pack are sugar, lemon and honey. Followed up with chamomile tea and yoghurt, this easy pack could be a life saver in emergency situations.
- Helps in Firming YourSkin: Glycolic acid is proven to have the effect of thickening deeper layers of the skin, after exfoliation of the top layer, causing it to become firm. After the age of 28, the ability of the skin to repair itself and generate fresh cells diminishes considerably, leaving the skin saggy and wrinkly. This is in fact one of the main reasons why a lot of anti-ageing creams are glycolic acid based.
Eight Things to Keep in Mind While Picking and Using a Product Containing Glycolic Acid
Even with all the benefits that glycolic acid cleansers have to offer, given that it is in fact a chemical that is applied to the most delicate and susceptible part of your body, there are certain things you must be mindful when you shop for a glycolic acid face wash at a drugstore. Some tips and suggestions in this regard are mentioned below.
- Check for The Quantity of Glycolic Acid: The quantity of glycolic acid that is ideal for your product to contain depends solely on the nature of your skin. However, in any case, you must ensure that it is 10% or below so as to avoid a high concentration which would end up being counterproductive.
- Read the List of Ingredients: Carefully go through the other ingredients that are present in the product to ensure that you are not allergic to any of them. Particularly, lotion, cleanser and face wash with glycolic acid and salicylic acid, used mostly to combat ageing skin, must be avoided for salicylic acid is very harmful for the skin.
- Identify the Problem You Want to Address: In addition to focussing on skin type, also focus on the specific skin disorder(s) you are looking to treat when picking your product. Each disorder, depending on its severity will require a specialized product. Glycolic acid based products are highly adapted to suit different symptoms.
- Consult a Dermatologist if Required: It is but natural that you may be unaware of the levels of glycolic acid that are appropriate for your skin. Thus, do not hesitate to consult your dermatologist to seek proper advice in this regard. This is especially important in cases of severe skin problems.
- Follow The Instructions Carefully: Even though they all may contain glycolic acid, each product is designed to work differently and varies in its manner of application. Read the instructions carefully each time you use a new product containing glycolic acid. Follow them from beginning to end, as non-adherence may lead to delayed results.
- Test the Product: Like every other skin care product, glycolic acid cleansers too might not suit everyone. This may be due to various reasons, such as wrong choice of product, over sensitive skin or improper usage. Therefore, be sure to conduct a patch test before you start using it regularly.
- Hydrate Your Skin: Post exfoliation, glycolic acid also pumps in some amount of moisture into the skin. However, it is important to keep the skin as hydrated as possible after application of glycolic acid as the skin becomes very sensitive and may tend to dry up soon.
- Follow Up with Sun Guards: Like every other skin treatment, glycolic acid cleansing will also make the skin photo sensitive. You can address this issue by applying a good sun screen lotion after the exfoliation. Avoid exposing yourself to the sun for a while after using glycolic acid without adequate protection like an umbrella or sun glasses.
Six Popular Products with Glycolic Acid Content
Glycolic acid is incorporated in every imaginable form of skin care products, be it cleansers, moisturizers, toners or lotions. Based on glycolic acid cleanser reviews by users of various products with glycolic acid content, we note that the following are some of the most popular ones and recommend that you give them a shot, as well.
- Be Natural Organics AHA Facial Wash: Be Natural Organics is dedicated to the cause of creating organic skin care products that are safe to use and eco-friendly.
This glycolic acid face wash with 10 percent glycolic acid content is one of their popular creations, and is preferred by users for the absence of other harmful chemical content, quick reaction time and zero side effects.
Despite the organic tag, this face wash is priced at just $23 for a six-ounce bottle. It is economical and effective on almost all types of skin. Even people with sensitive skin are delighted with the results.
- Glytone Exfoliating Gel Wash: Glytone is a U.S.-based company which boasts of an enviable range of skin care products, particularly in the skin lightening department.Regarded as one amongst the best glycolic acid cleanser for oily skin, Glytone Exfoliating Gel Wash is a customer favourite for its easy to handle, gel-like consistency and its ability to deliver results without making the skin dry or itchy.
This product is priced at around $24 for a 6.7-ounce bottle. Its users assert that even the most pimple and acne prone skins have been repaired by it. Further, just a little bit of the gel is required to produce desired results.
- Life-Flo Body Cream: One of the most prominent names in the natural skin care research and development field, Life-Flo has been in the industry since 1995.The body cream introduced by Life-Flo is a highly innovative product in the glycolic acid domain. Users love the fact that it contains natural moisturisers like aloe vera and shea butter, which also give the cream a soothing, pleasant smell.
It is available for around $24 for a 1.7-ounce jar in leading online stores. Though it is slightly on the expensive side, it is well worth the price. Unlike many other body creams, this one does not leave the skin feeling sticky and greasy.
- Signature Club Advanced Formula 5 Essentials Cucumber Disposable Washcloths: Signature Club A is known for its wide range of modern, chic skin care products mainly in terms of glycolic acid based cleansing.These disposable washcloths are meant to be used for cleansing on a daily basis, to clean out make up and dirt that is accumulated every day. Their sweet smell and soothing effect make them a popular product.
Packaged in a user-friendly pack, 60 disposable towelettes of these wet wipes cost $11. These are convenient to use and come in handy especially while travelling. However, this product is not aimed at producing drastic changes in skin conditions.
- Glycolic Cleanser by Platinum Skin Care: Another U.S.-based skin care oriented company that has the distinction of being owned and run by women, Platinum Skin Care has some interesting products.The glycolic cleanser is a top rated item when it comes to treating daily skin problems like pimples and acne. Consistent use has produced astonishing results for most users of this glycolic acid cleanser.
This cleanser can be purchased at around $17 for a 4.5-ounce spray bottle. A few users suggest that they’d prefer bottles with slightly higher quantity for a lesser price. However, it is popular amongst all for its effectiveness.
- Glymed Plus Age Management AHA Accelerator: Headed by award winning expert, Christine Heathman, Glymed Plus has been a reputed company in the field of skin care for about 20 years.This anti-ageing solution by Glymed Plus works wonders on aging skin. It is designed to fight skin problems faced particularly by ageing skin, like wrinkles and breakouts.
A four-ounce bottle of Glymed Plus Age Management AHA Accelerator costs around $42. While clearly the product is priced steeply, customers cannot help but appreciate the remarkable difference in their skin and do not complain about the cost.
While usage of glycolic acid cleansers has their benefits, a highly concentrated dosage of glycolic acid used on sensitive skin can lead to undesirable effects, such as reddening, itchiness, dryness, pigmentation and damaged skin. Users must therefore be mindful of these aspects while using products containing glycolic acid.
You may also combine glycolic acid cleansers with other carefully chosen skin care products so as to boost their efficiency. We urge you to keep exploring these products till you find the one that is/are best suited for you, and experience the magic of glycolic acid in revealing your true inner beauty.