There’s an active ingredient out there making a lot of buzz: glycolic acid. Per the U.S. National Library of Medicine, glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps resurface skin, even skin tone, and reduce the look of wrinkles. Glycolic has long been a dermatologist favorite, especially for chemical peels, but as public interest in chemical exfoliation has grown, glycolic acid has become more well known—and consequently, more desired for everyday use. And yes, it’s deserving of all that attention and interest; as the smallest molecule in AHA family, it’s also the most effective AHA. Due to the concentration levels that face serums typically have, they are one of the best formats to benefit from this popular, derm-approved active ingredient. Below, we’re sharing a review of the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum, which is part of L’Oréal’s Derm Intensives line. For the full review and to learn how to use this derm-validated serum, read on.
The Birth of L’Oréal Paris’ Glycolic Acid Serum
First things first, to really understand why you should try our glycolic acid serum, you’ll need to understand what went into bringing the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum to life. Being part of the Derm Intensives line means that this serum was validated in partnership with an advisory panel of dermatologists (note the seal of approval on the packaging). The panel performed a thorough review of testing protocols and results, along with a comprehensive ingredient screening for efficacy, safety, and tolerance. Coupled with L’Oréal’s knowledge, backed by decades of scientific research, worldwide innovation, and powerful formulas, this makes it a must-have serum in your regimen. And yes, that holds true for everyone, as the serum is free of parabens, dyes, fragrances, and mineral oil, in addition to being allergy tested. It’s also suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin).
The Benefits of L’Oréal Paris’ Glycolic Acid Serum
So, what are the benefits that make this serum so amazing? Formulated with 10% pure glycolic acid and aloe, the daily resurfacing serum leaves skin clarified to reveal radiant skin and a renewed complexion. With daily use after two weeks, dark spots are visibly improved, and within four weeks, fine lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced.
Now, let’s talk about those ingredients for a moment longer. You expect glycolic acid to be in a glycolic acid serum, but what about aloe? As you likely know from your experiences with aloe vera gels, aloe has soothing properties. Those soothing qualities play an important role in this formula, helping to make the serum suitable for daily use.
What else can we tell you? The serum has a formula that absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel greasy, and won’t clog pores. Basically, it’s an all-around sensorial experience, applying smoothly and feeling great on the skin. Oh, and back to that 10% concentration, according to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), that’s actually the highest percentage that’s safe for use without a prescription. Hello, potency.
How to Use L’Oréal’s Glycolic Acid Serum
Step #1: Cleanse
Serums are typically intended to be applied to clean, dry skin—which means you’ll want to wash your face before reaching for our serum formulated with glycolic acid. If your skin is on the drier side, one of our favorite options is the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser. Start by moistening your face, then lather the cleanser in wet hands and massage onto your skin. Rinse thoroughly, and you’re ready to move onto the next step.
Expert tip: As an extra added boost, Dr. Rocio Rivera (Head of Scientific Communications at L’Oreal Paris), recommends using the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Daily Scrub Cleanser, which also has glycolic acid in its formula, once or twice a week to replace your daily cleanser. Do this at night only, once your skin has fully adjusted to using the serum on a daily basis.
Step #2: Apply the Serum
It’s time for the star of the show: your serum. Every evening (remember, you’ll want to skip the glycolic acid in the morning) after cleansing, apply four to six drops of the serum.
Editor’s note: Now feels like a good time to talk about AHAs and sun protection. According to the FDA, due to the potential for increased sun sensitivity, it’s advised to use sun protection anytime you use an AHA in your routine. Since you’ll be using the glycolic acid serum at night, you won’t need to immediately follow with SPF, but you will need to use broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin in the morning, opting for one with an SPF value of 30 or higher. (And no, a little foundation with SPF won’t cut it!)
Try using a moisturizer with SPF already in its formula, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30. Aside from sunscreen, the FDA recommends wearing protective clothing and limiting sun exposure while using products formulated with AHAs and for a week afterward.
Step #3: Follow with Moisturizer
Rounding out your routine should be your moisturizer. Besides using a night cream to complete your regimen post-glycolic acid, one other option is to use an overnight face mask. If your skin seems like it might be asking for a little extra TLC, try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Overnight Mask. Apply it and get your beauty sleep on.
Editor’s note: If you have sensitive skin, start by using the serum just two to three times per week. After that, you can build up to nightly use.
How to Layer the Glycolic Acid Serum with Other Serums
Already have a serum in your skin care routine? When it comes to face serums, you don’t have to make any impossible choices, picking one serum over the other. Applied correctly, you can use more than one serum in the same regimen, depending on your specific skin concerns. Here’s the general rule of thumb: Apply skin care products in order of thinnest to thickest. If you want to use the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum or L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum with the glycolic acid serum, you would apply the HA or glycolic, which have similar consistencies, first—then you apply the vitamin C serum. Allow time for each serum to absorb before applying the next one.
Next up: Think this might be the start of your glycolic acid obsession? Time to learn about other products formulated with it! Here are Our Best Skin Care Products Formulated with Glycolic Acid.