Glycolic Acid

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m sure you’ve heard of this skin care ingredient. Glycolic acid is one of the most common alpha hydroxy acids used today in skin products. It’s a workaholic on your skin when properly administered. However, there are some risks that you must take into account before using any products that contain this active compound. Before you use any products that contain this ingredient, you need to understand how it works and where it comes from.

glycolic acid

What Exactly Is Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is a well-respected member of the alpha hydroxy acids. This acid comes from sugar cane and it’s able to easily penetrate the skin because it’s such a small molecule. Its ability to penetrate skin makes it a great candidate for individuals looking to fight off blackheads, excess oil, deep fine lines and various types of acne.

Many people choose to apply a glycolic acid peel to their skin in an attempt to clear up their skin. What they need to understand is that the chemical peels are highly concentrated. They can be very effective if properly used but unfortunately, most people don’t know how to properly use most skin care products.

As an alternative, it would be better to find a product that contains a low concentration of glycolic acid. Before I get into the various product options, let me explain how it works.

How Does It Work

It’s pretty simple how this AHA works. Glycolic acid basically “eats away” at various areas of your skin. As a result, various substances that tend to bind are dissolved. This makes it easier to remove old skin and other substances that frequently build up and cause your skin to look dull and damaged.

Many skin care products contain glycolic acid and it often comes in various concentration levels. Best practice is to use a product that contains glycolic acid versus not. Assuming your skin condition is right for the ingredient.


There are plenty of benefits to using glycolic acid. I’m going to do my best to share them all with you. In the event that you have a question or comment related to any of them, feel free to reach out via email and we’ll be able to further clarify things for you. The first benefit that you need to be aware of is that glycolic acid is awesome for exfoliating your skin.

If exfoliation is on your agenda, then you need to purchase a product that contains this acid. I personally recommend looking for exfoliators that contain pure glycolic acid at a lower percentage. That’s just what seems to work best for me.

If you have bad acne scars or other types of lesions, then you might benefit from incorporating this into your daily routine. I’ve never personally used this ingredient for this reason because I’ve not had the reason to do so. However, it’s been said to work quite well to help reduce the appearance of acne scars. I’m sure the acids ability to break down cells within the body and in your skin help tremendously.

Another benefit is that glycolic acid is able to assist in unblocking skin pores and blackheads that may be present on your skin. It does this by dissolving the skin that’s dead on the surface. This skin clogs your pores to the point of no return and without incorporating this type of acid in a treatment or routine, it can be almost impossible to unclog them.

That said, this acid is also considered to be a very popular acne treatment, specifically cystic acne. This is a type of acne that is associated with dead skin clogging your pores deep as you can imagine. It’s also caused by an overabundance of sebum and dead skin cells.

Since the ingredient helps promote cell turnover, it makes it that much more effective in reducing lines and wrinkles that exist. The cell turnover means that healthy looking cells are at the top of your skin and not dead, dull cells.

Are There Risks? 

Just like using any other product, there are plenty of risks involved. Since it’s typically added as an active substance, it can really cause damage if not properly used and monitored.

For example, if your skin doesn’t adjust well to the ingredient and the percentage of glycolic acid is too high, it can really cause issues in your skin. I’m talking about excessive redness and irritation. It’s also been known to cause what’s known as “frosting” to occur. This is when your skin becomes flaky after using the ingredient. It’s a way that your body can react to the acid in order to prevent further damage and irritation.

It’s very important that you speak with a professional before combining products that contain this ingredient with others. For example, you should never use a product that contains glycolic acid and retinol at the same time unless your doctor approves the application.

Another side effect of using products that contain glycolic acids is that your skin may become very sensitive to sun exposure. This can actually cause pigmentation issues and I strongly advise that you apply sunscreen daily to your skin when using an AHA-containing product.

I will leave you with this final thought. When using products that contain this ingredient, it’s always best to take a long-term approach. By that, I mean that if you’re looking to work on improving your skin on a daily basis, you don’t want to use the strongest concentrated formula possible. It’s better to take a milder approach that will result in less irritation and side effects.

Best Glycolic Acid Face Wash

Now that I’ve provided you with enough information on glycolic acid itself, I want to share some additional information with you. After doing some extensive research, I’ve decided to share some of what I believe might be the best glycolic acid face washes and cleansers on the market today.

As you know, using cleansers that contain glycolic acid can help better remove built up skin and dead cells that often impact the development of pimples. They can really be a burden and cause serious issues such as blackheads and whiteheads. Not to mention, pimples, in general, are so unappealing. If you’re not taking action to try and remove dead skin cells then you’re doing your skin an injustice.

If you’ve decided to jump straight to this section of the page, then I suggest you head back up to the top and learn why this ingredient is so popular before purchasing anything. The anti aging properties alone can make a huge difference in your skin, helping reduce lines and wrinkles. Since it’s a part of the hydroxy acid group also known as the Alpha Hydroxy Acids, assuming you’re familiar with them then you know what they can do. Whether you opt for a cleanser or exfoliator, I’ve got your covered here.

It’s important that you find a glycolic acid face wash that’s reputable and effective. The best products on the market are not necessarily the most popular and for many reasons which I won’t get into. If you’re completely lost and haven’t got a clue where to start, then I suggest you keep reading because I’m giving you a few suggestions today. These products have not been presented in any particular order.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser


I’m sure you’ve heard of Mario Badescu as they are a huge skin care brand that’s been around for years. In fact, many of the products are available at your local Sephora today. This specific product happens to be herbal based with the main ingredient being none other than glycolic acid. If you do a little bit of research on the product, you’ll notice that it’s meant to provide users with the ability to reduce any dullness and excessive buildup on the skin. It’s meant to be used while performing a deep cleaning on your skin. The product works quite well and doesn’t seem to irritate or provide any type of discomfort to the skin. While the cleansing and foaming action take place, it begins to exfoliate. This whole process helps remove blackheads that may be difficult to remove. If you’re stressed out, then you might want to think about working this into your routine just to relieve stress.

As far as the application is concerned, you only need to use this a couple times each week. Doing so daily might be a bit excessive, especially if your skin tends to dry out easily.

Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser


Another popular brand in the online retail space as well as at major department stores. The Anthony skin care brand is known for producing products that are meant for vegan conscious buyers. The product consists of a blend which contains 4.9% glycolic acid, chamomile, aloe vera, calendula, and vitamins. If you have an allergy towards any of the ingredients mentioned, then I suggest you stay away from this. If not, then give it a shot! The product is said to be very invigorating and nourishing for your face. It helps you rejuvenate your skin back to health. It’s safe to use this product once or twice daily if you’re looking for quick results. Be sure to rinse your skin thoroughly after use.

Peter Thomas Roth Facial Wash

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid

Now, for those that might not be familiar with Peter Thomas Roth, he’s the creator of this brand and one of the most powerful individual’s within the industry. That said, the products that he creates are effective and popular. Specifically, the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid Facial Wash is made with 3% glycolic acid. The product is said to help exfoliate your skin and it does all this being 100% oil free. If you’ve got bad acne, then might I suggest using it daily. Aside from that, you can use it three times each week if you have normal skin. The cleanser is meant to help smooth your skin and eliminate lines.

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

This is a rather strong formula that contains 18% glycolic acid. If you’re looking for something that’s got some serious kick, then this might be the product of choice. It’s effective as a deep cleanser. However, it does contain chemicals if you’re looking to avoid them. The packaging is nice and the foam pump makes for the convenient no-mess application.

Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Facial Cleanser

Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Facial Cleanser

Last but not least, we’ve got a product by Body Merry. The product contains glycolic acid, tea tree oil, rosehip, jojoba and more. If your pores are clogged then this might be the product for you. It contains lots of natural oils which are known to help improve the condition of your skin. Let’s assume you have dark spots on your skin, aging spots aka liver spots, sun spots, and premature skin issues. If so, then you can combine the use of this product with serums, toners, and moisturizers to help restore the condition of your skin. It works based on the research and reviews that we’ve seen published on the Internet.

Those are what I’d consider being great options should you be on the market for a glycolic acid cleanser to help improve the condition of your skin.

Seek Help

Last but not least, if you have any questions feel free to present them to us by emailing them. In the event that your condition is serious, I suggest you connect with a dermatologist that’s certified and licensed to give medical advice. I for one am not! Whatever you do, don’t try and buy something on eBay containing this ingredient. Doing that would be the biggest mistake of your life!

The reason I say that is quite simple. There are so many beauty scams online that I read about on a daily basis. If I’m not getting them via e-mail, I’m getting them via social media messages. Just do yourself a favor and go directly through a reputable online retailer such as Amazon or just buy it locally at your dermatologist’s office.

Any questions or concerns or further product recommendations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re here to help whenever we can!

Glycolic Acid
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