Glycolic acid is a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid that has been used for centuries to treat acne and other skin conditions. It can be found in many over-the-counter products, such as glycolic cleansers, moisturizers, toners, and masks. It also works well when applied topically by itself or with salicylic acid.
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The active ingredient in glycolic acid is the molecule H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide). When it comes into contact with moisture on the skin surface, it dissolves, leaving an exfoliating agent. This helps remove dead cells from your skin’s surface, which results in smoother, softer, healthier-looking skin. In addition, hydrogen peroxide can penetrate deep into the upper layers of your skin, destroying bacteria, fungi, viruses, and certain types of molds and germs. Here are the benefits of glycolic acid to the skin:
Glycolic acids are effective at removing dirt, oil, and makeup. They help break down excess sebum, which keeps pores clean and healthy. They also work well as foaming agents, washing away even the toughest stubborn makeup without stripping the natural oils from your face. This means less frequent cleansing, less irritation, and more time spent relaxing and enjoying yourself! Many different formulas are available today, including scrubs, creams, gels, lotions, tonics, and masks.
Cleansing your face gently and effectively removes the build-up of dirt and debris you may have accumulated throughout the day. After all, if your skin feels good, your confidence will shine through! Besides, facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries can be done safely and painlessly using glycolic peels. Learn more here for facial rejuvenation treatments.
Clogged pores are one of the biggest problems caused by oily skin, which leads to pimples and blackheads. These blockages cause bacteria and fungus to grow inside the pore, making our skin look unhealthy and inflamed. Exfoliating your skin regularly with a gentle chemical peel, preferably one containing glycolic acid, can dissolve these hard-built-up substances and heal your skin faster than just using soap alone. Over time, regular use of a mild chemical peel can even prevent breakouts and clear acne scars.
If someone bumps their hand against a sharp object, they may bleed and bruise the area. However, if there’s no bandage or medication to stop the bleeding, the wound becomes infected and turns red. If left untreated, the infection could spread and become serious, causing permanent damage. Luckily, applying alcohol directly onto scraped skin speeds healing by drying out the blood and encouraging new cell growth. Alcohol also kills bacteria, preventing them from growing and spreading.
This is one of the most common uses of glycolic acid. With regular use, you will notice your wrinkles diminish, and your skin appears a bit brighter, fresher, and plumper. While it doesn’t necessarily give you younger-looking skin immediately, studies show that continued use of glycolic acid slows down aging and improves overall skin health.
Sun exposure causes sunspots, freckles, age spots, suntan lines, photoaging, and cancer. Using sunscreen daily will protect your skin from harmful UV rays. A sunscreen product formulated with both SPF and PABA (paraben) free ingredients will best protect your skin for longer periods. Once again, using an alcohol-based solution such as glycolic acid is an excellent way to remove any dead cells on the surface of your skin, allowing the sunscreen to penetrate deeper into your pores. It works in conjunction with another method called exfoliation. Exfoliation involves applying a sugar or salt scrub to your skin before applying a moisturizer to promote absorption.
Using an alcohol-based solution like glycolic acid is extremely beneficial in treating infections. As mentioned above, it helps kill germs and bacteria while increasing circulation to bring nutrients and oxygen back into the areas being treated. This allows your body to heal itself naturally. In addition to killing off germs, glycolic acid penetrates deep into the skin to increase the body’s natural defenses, making it ideal for treating cold sores, herpes outbreaks, and other viral and bacterial infections. It also treats fungal infections, including athlete’s foot and jock itch. It can be used topically to treat wounds and burns, too.
In some cases, the pain of arthritis isn’t due to swelling or joint damage but rather due to inflammation that occurs when the joints are irritated and swollen. A topical gel or cream containing alpha-hydroxy acids such as glycolic and lactic acid is an effective way to relieve pain by soothing irritation. Studies have shown that using alpha hydroxy acids can reduce the number of white blood cells contributing to inflammation.
Hydrogen peroxide is great at cleaning up your hair, teeth, kitchen sink, etc. But did you know that it has anti-bacterial properties? When applied to acne-prone skin, hydrogen peroxide slows down the production of Propionic Acids, which cause breakouts. So how exactly does it work? First, the presence of oxygen increases the rate of oxidation reactions happening in the skin. Next, these oxidized molecules attach themselves to the DNA within the skin cells, altering their structure. Finally, this change leads to slower cell division and eventually cell death. That means fewer pimples!
The human body was designed to function optimally in a state of balance. Stress, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle choices, heavy metal toxicity, and certain medical treatments may throw our bodies out of balance, resulting in dry, dull, and damaged skin. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to help restore our skin to its optimal condition. One way is using antioxidants in foods like berries, dark leafy greens, legumes, tomatoes, beans, cruciferous veggies, and nuts. Glycolic acid is helpful because it stimulates collagen production, promotes elastin formation, encourages healthy new cell growth, and provides potent antioxidant activity.
Acne scars can often leave behind unsightly blemishes and discoloration. These marks are caused by the buildup of oils deep below the skin’s surface. Over time, the sebum collects around blackheads and clogs pores, causing them to become inflamed. With continued oil production, pore walls swell and block pores, leading to infection and scarring. Whitening agents, such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid, can eliminate excess oil and clear away the debris building up inside the pores.
Whether you’re looking to fight acne or want to add shine to your complexion, you’ll find all sorts of ways to get rid of zits without resorting to harsh chemicals. Keep your hands on the pulse of what works best for your skin, and apply those remedies regularly so that you can achieve clearer, smoother, healthier skin.