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Unless you’ve been MIA on social media as of late, you’ve likely come across glycolic acid in your newsfeeds. It’s long been a mainstay in dermatologist offices, recognized as an effective anti-aging resurfacing ingredient for evening skin tone and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots. But the interest in glycolic acid for everyday use has spiked in recent years. As such, if you’re on the hunt for a new skin care product to add to your daily regimen, you have plenty of options formulated with this trendy ingredient that you can choose from, ranging from facial cleansers to moisturizers. But what is glycolic acid? Are there glycolic acid benefits you’re missing out on? Keep reading to get the rundown on the beauty benefits of glycolic acid—then stick around for some product recs to reap them.
Ready to learn what glycolic acid is? You’ve come to the right place! According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, glycolic acid is one of the most common alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) used in cosmetics. And in case you need a refresher, according to the Mayo Clinic, AHAs are a substance that can help exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Per the American Academy of Dermatology, AHAs can even contribute to the appearance of younger-looking skin. As you can probably guess, glycolic acid has quite a few skin care benefits, which we’ll dive into the details on below.
So, what exactly are the benefits of glycolic acid? The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that glycolic acid can help resurface the skin, even skin tone, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Glycolic acid sounds worthy of a spot in your skin care routine, doesn’t it? We agree, but before you add skin care products formulated with glycolic acid to your skin care routine, there is something you should keep in mind…
Before you start using a whole bunch of skin care products formulated with glycolic acid, listen up. AHAs like glycolic acid can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity, so you’ll need to take sun safety and protection seriously. The FDA recommends using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and limiting sun exposure, which means seeking out shade and avoiding the sun during its peak hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As for your sunscreen, you should reach for a broad-spectrum formula with an SPF value of 15 or higher and apply it as directed every day, which includes reapplying every two hours (or immediately after swimming or sweating).
If you’re interested in adding glycolic acid into your skin care routine, we know just the thing! Using a glycolic acid serum is one of the best ways to experience the benefits of this popular ingredient, as face serums tend to have high concentration levels, allowing you (and your skin) to reap the benefits of this powerful ingredient.
Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum, which was validated in partnership with an advisory panel of dermatologists and contains 10% pure glycolic acid and aloe. To use it, apply four to five drops to clean, dry skin every evening before moisturizing. (And don’t forget to use SPF in the morning!) For sensitive skin, start by using two to three times per week and build up to nightly use. Immediately, your skin will feel smoother and visibly refined. In one week, your skin will be resurfaced and younger-looking. Over time, your skin tone will be more visibly even, and dark spots and wrinkles will be visibly reduced. Sign us up!
Editor’s note: Yes, it’s true that glycolic acid can be harsh on the skin. What sets this serum apart are the other ingredients in its formula, like aloe, which help sooth the skin and make it suitable for daily use.
Want to learn more about our serum? Read our L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Glycolic Acid Serum Review for more of what you need to know.
Can’t get enough of glycolic acid? Beyond adding a serum to your routine, if done correctly, you can create a whole routine of skin care products formulated with glycolic acid. The L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal line contains an array of products containing glycolic acid, all of which are formulated to work together for your most beautiful complexion.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser: This daily scrub facial cleanser is formulated with glycolic acid and gentle micro-pearls to exfoliate dullness and impurities from the surface of skin. Immediately, skin looks brighter, while skin tone appears more even with continued use over time. Every morning and evening, lather the facial cleanser into wet hands and gently massage it onto your skin in circular motions, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Peel Pads: Never used a peel pad before? Prepare for them to be your next skin care product obsession! Formulated with glycolic acid, these multi-ply textured pads physically resurface dead skin cells from the surface of skin. Immediately, skin looks brighter and feels softer, while skin tone is more even and texture more refined with continued use over time. Use nightly on clean skin. Gently apply a peel pad in a circular motion to your face. That’s it!
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Dual Overnight Moisturizer: We’re suckers for multitasking skin care products (because who really has the time to layer on one skin care product after another?), and this one fits the bill. The dual-action moisturizer features an exfoliating concentrate formulated with glycolic acid in one chamber and a brightening infusion formulated with vitamin C and Pro-Retinol in the other. This deeply hydrating overnight moisturizer glides onto skin and absorbs quickly. Every night, smooth the moisturizer gently over cleansed skin. Immediately, skin looks more radiant and feels hydrated, while skin tone looks more even, and the appearance of dark spots is diminished with continued use over time.
L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30: Formulated with glycolic acid, Pro-Retinol, and vitamin C, this daytime moisturizer immediately makes skin appear brighter, while dull, uneven skin tone is renewed with continued use over time. This moisturizer is also formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30, so apply as directed, and don’t forget about the other sun protection measures you should be taking daily—scroll back up for a refresher on those!
Next up: You’re now an expert on glycolic acid, but what about expanding your skin care knowledge even further? We can point you in the right direction. Just head on over to our article on The Skin Care Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid.
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