Glycolic Acid is a product that I believe everyone should have in their skincare routine. Whether you choose a serum, cream or lotion, this magic ingredient will forever change your skin. Having said that, it's also an ingredient that if not used properly, can deter you from ever wanting to use it again, so if you have sensitive skin like I do, it's important to find the right product for you, and to integrate it slowly into your routine.
Glyclic Acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that is derived from sugar cane that exfoliates the skin. When it's in a serum, cream or lotion, not only does it exfoliate, but it also will hydrate so you'll have none of that flaking or peeling skin that we often associate with using an acid. Glycolic Acid is found in many different concentrations in skincare products so it's important to chose a lower concentration if it's your first time using it or if you've taken a break from it. You'll also want to start off slow - use it once a week, then twice a week, then three times a week until you're using it daily. It's important to give your skin a chance to build up a tolerance - otherwise you could be left with red and irritated skin. I know that when I get new products, I'm eager to jump in full force and integrate it into my routine - but Glycolic Acid products really need to be integrated slowly.
I have very sensitive skin so I started using Glycolic Renewal 5% Smoothing Cream by NeoStrata (and eventually moved up to the 10% formulation) every other day and I now use it twice a day (it took me about 2 months to tolerate it well). It eliminated my black heads, smoothed my skin, and left it glowing every day. I even had my husband ask if I was doing something different with my skin! When my husband notices a change - I know it's for real :)
Glycolic Acid is a great complement to anti-aging routines as well as acne routines because it will help eliminate dead skin cells and allow the active ingredients in your other products to better penetrate the skin! It will also help (in the case of acne) to dry out your pimples or blemishes. Unfortunately, it's not safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding so I had to stop using it for the past year but I am so excited to be starting again now!
If you have sensitive skin, I recommend going to your local pharmacy or Sephora and getting a sample of a Glycolic Acid product before investing in an entire bottle. It will take about 2 - 3 weeks to see the difference in your skin, but once you do you will never go back!
These are some of my other favourite brands that have Glycolc Acid other than the NeoStrata one that I use!