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You might have seen the anti-aging ingredient “glycolic acid” mentioned throughout the skincare community recently. Many are boasting about its powerful abilities to help minimize acne and acne scars, signs of aging (like pesky wrinkles and fine lines), dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and much more.
While that sounds great, is glycolic acid really a miracle-working skincare ingredient?
At the Center for Surgical Dermatology, our professional dermatologists know better than to listen to social media and unqualified influencers… so we looked into the research behind glycolic acid to see if this rising star of the anti-aging ingredient world is worth the hype.
Science-Backed Benefits of Glycolic Acid
Before we jump straight into the benefits, what is glycolic acid?
Derived from sugarcane, glycolic acid is the smallest molecule of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs are a class of naturally occurring chemicals that gently exfoliate the skin by breaking down the bonds between cells in the epidermis (top layer of skin).
Glycolic acid is especially good at penetrating the skin – primarily due to its small size – and breaking down the bonds between skin cells. Paired with its unique keratolytic properties, glycolic acid is remarkably effective at sloughing away dull, dead cells for an overall brighter complexion.
Furthermore, when glycolic acid removes all of the gunk clogging up pores, it allows other anti-aging ingredients to sink deeper into the skin where they can work more effectively.
Similar to hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid is a humectant. This classification means that it has the unique ability to draw moisture to itself and amplifies hydration for soft, supple skin. Regarding anti-aging, hydration is essential for enhancing the skin’s resilience and preventing fine lines and wrinkles!
One of the top benefits of glycolic acid is its remarkable ability to fade dark spots, age spots, and melasma. Hyperpigmentation mainly impacts the top layer of skin. When glycolic acid is applied, it removes and exfoliates the darkest skin cells to reveal fresh, more even-toned skin underneath.
In fact, according to Science Direct, eight percent glycolic acid significantly improves skin brightness and fades discoloration after 22 weeks, and a five percent glycolic acid product smoothes out texture and evens discoloration.
With consistent use of glycolic acid in your skincare routine, you’ll find it effectively fades any unwanted hyperpigmentation for a more youthful appearance.
Boosts Collagen Production
As mentioned above, glycolic acid is the smallest molecule of AHAs, which means it can seamlessly go deeper into the skin. This is thought to improve one’s complexion by increasing the thickness of epidermis and boosting collagen production, both of which prevents the development of fine lines and wrinkles.
Glycolic Acid – False Hype or Miracle Anti-Aging Ingredient?
After looking into the research and learning more about glycolic acid, we’ve come to the conclusion that this anti-aging ingredient is definitely worth the hype!
In fact, our board-certified dermatologists offer glycolic acid peels to help our patients improve their complexion, reduce signs of aging, and simply look and feel more youthful!
To learn more about our chemical peels, as well as the glycolic acid skin care products we recommend, get in touch with our clinic today by giving us a call at (614) 847-4100 today or sending us a message online. We can’t wait to help you achieve the skin of your dreams!
Center for Surgical Dermatology is passionate about healthy, beautiful skin! If you’d like to visit with a dermatologist to find out what the best way to treat acne scars and discoloration are for smooth, clear skin, call (614) 847-4100 to schedule an appointment.