Do you suffer from issues like sun damage, pigmentation, clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads and acne scars? It’s only natural if you live in a metro - with the dirt, dust and pollution in the air your skin tends to bear the brunt. What do you do? How do you deal with it? Some women swear by facials at the salon or at their dermatologist but if you would like to take matters into your own hands, we’ve found you the perfect solution and had it vetted by one of Gurgaon’s leading dermatologist.
Don’t be intimidated by the name, glycolic acid isn't supposed to be terrifying. It’s one of those ingredients that mildly urges your skin to shed, or in clinical terms exfoliate. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles, deep cleanses and minimises the appearance of pores, helps fade acne scars and helps deal with sun damage and pigmentation. Sounds like problems you could relate to?
So what really is glycolic acid? We asked Dr Siddharth, M.D at Garekars MD to shed some light on the ingredient. Here’s what he said, “Glycolic acid is the commonest used weak AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) in cosmetics and dermatology procedures. When used in low concentrations, it induces skin exfoliation. However, in specific formulations, it essentially functions as a moisturiser. It is used as a part of your daily skincare i.e. creams, serums and facewashes. It is also utilized in higher concentrations for procedures like chemical peels and hydra facials.”
“Usually, oily, sun-damaged skin responds well to glycolic acid. You should, however, be careful while using glycolic acid-based products if you have dry, patchy or sensitive skin. Do remember that your skin changes with weather conditions, so a glycolic acid-based product which was working well for you in summers might lead to dry patches or irritation in the winters. Glycolic acid is particularly beneficial for people suffering from skin issues like freckles and melasma. Multiple sessions of glycolic peels can reduce fine lines, wrinkles, open pores and early signs of ageing. When used along with salicylic acid it can address acne and post-acne spots as well,” added Dr Siddharth.
Dr Siddharth shared some quick tips and precautions associated with the use of glycolic acid.
“If this is the first time you are going to use glycolic acid, start with lower concentrations, use lesser of the product or dilute it with a moisturiser. Avoid using it on dry and flaky skin and sensitive areas like your eyes and around your lips. The best time to use glycolic acid is at night and using sunscreen (minimum SPF30) the morning after is essential. If your skin is dry and damaged, glycolic acid might sting. In case of any redness, itching or irritation stop using the product immediately” he adds.
Now that you know exactly what glycolic acid can do for your skin, here are a few products that contain the ingredient.
A combination of glycolic acid and vitamin C, this potent serum addresses dull skin and blemishes instantly. Vitamin C brightens and tones the skin, it’s one of the skincare ingredients that make your skin look younger, brighter and firmer over time.
A mild but effective way to incorporate the ingredient into your routine would be to use a toner that contains glycolic acid. Start slow if you have sensitive skin, use it once a day initially until your skin builds a tolerance to the ingredient.
If you are looking for a serum to use before your moisturizer, perhaps this might be the one. It helps refine skin texture while exfoliating and smoothening out fine lines and wrinkles.
This is personally a product that Dr Siddharth recommended to me and I swear by it. I use it for a few days every time my skin feels clogged and I can see results the very next day. It does have a 15% concentration of glycolic acid though so you might want to check with your dermatologist before you start using it. You can find it at your local pharmacy.
This face mask has a mild concentration of glycolic acid. Use it once a week to keep your skin clean and clear of any impurities. As a bonus, it also helps keep acne at bay while treating existing breakouts.
Have you used glycolic acid before? We would love to know what your favourite products are.
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