Skin Care Ingredients

Best Glycolic Acid Lotion

The top 5 products strong enough to work

A glycolic acid lotion is an easy way to get the skin-clearing benefits of this AHA. Below we detail the 5 best products—based on quality, results, and reviews. From face moisturizers to body lotions and eye creams, these are the best glycolic acid choices for you.

Image of glycolic acid lotion containers on a table

Quick: what skin care ingredient should you use to get smoother, brighter, younger-looking skin? Glycolic acid! (Well duh, you probably know that already which is why you’re here).

Almost everyone should be using this alpha hydroxy acid. So in this article we detail the top 5 glycolic acid lotion products, explain why you want to use them over the numerous other products out there, and outline usage tips to help you get the best results possible.

Top 5 Glycolic Acid Lotions

1. Best Value: Alpha Skin Care Renewal Lotion 10%

This is a great product because glycolic acid is the second ingredient listed behind water (AHAs are water soluble so need to be in an aqueous solution).

Picture of Alpha Skin Care Renewal Glycolic Acid Lotion

See it here: Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion 10% Glycolic Acid

Why is it important glycolic acid is listed second? Because skin care ingredients are listed in order of amount from largest to smallest.

You can find products that say “10 percent glycolic acid” on the label, only to see it actually coming in at number 9 on the ingredient list. So that 10% really works like 0.05%… (useless).

Best for:

Oily skin or if you live in a humid climate, because this lotion isn’t as hydrating or emollient as a face cream.

Why this product works:

The reasonably strong amount of glycolic acid—in a formula where it isn’t too diluted—makes this a great treatment lotion. You can use it alone or underneath a more hydrating moisturizer.

How to use it for best results:

Use this nightly after cleansing your face. You might need to start by applying every second night until your skin gets used to it. Because of the reasonable price you can also use it as a body lotion to help smooth skin.

You can also use it as a spot treatment by applying only to the oily clogged areas of your face, for example you nose and T zone. Then use an anti aging or hydrating moisturizer for the rest of your face. This s good strategy for getting rid of blackheads because it still allows the area to be hydrated while preventing clogged pores.

See it here: Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion 10% Glycolic Acid

2. Sensitive Skin and Day Time Wear: Glytone Gentle Rejuvenating Lotion with SPF 15

See it here: Glytone Gentle Rejuvenating Lotion with SPF 15

Best for:

Sensitive skin and daytime use.

Why this product works:

Even sensitive skins can benefit from glycolic acid, but peels and stronger products may be too irritating. And because this lotion contains sunscreen, and you should use sunscreen with glycolic acid anyway, it is just simple and easy.

How to use it for best results:

Apply each morning to cleansed skin. Wait a few minutes after cleansing your face to ensure skin is really dry. This will help the product sink in.

See it here: Glytone Gentle Rejuvenating Lotion with SPF 15

3. Best Cream for Dry and Aging Skin: Mederma AG Face Cream

Image of Mederma Face Cream

See it here: Mederma AG Face Cream (formerly Aqua Glycolic)

Best for:

Dry or dehydrated skin, and anti aging concerns that come from dryness, such as fine lines and dullness.

This is also a great cream to use if you want to minimize your skin care routine. Just use this as your regular moisturizing cream morning and night.

Why this product works:

This is the most emollient of the glycolic acid lotions on this page. This helps counteract the naturally drying effect of glycolic acid, so you get the exfoliating and clearing effects with a soothing, hydrating base.

It is a non-greasy formulation so won’t clog pores—and therefore works for that difficult dry-acne-prone skin type.

How to use it for best results:

You can use this morning and night. However it might be best to start with night use only and see how your skin reacts.

See it here: Mederma AG Face Cream

4. Best Glycolic Acid Eye Cream: Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream

Image of Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream

See it here: Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream

Best for:

Your eye area, especially if you are noticing signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles under your eyes.

Why this product works:

Fine lines around the eyes are often caused and definitely exaggerated by dehydration. The glycolic acid in this eye cream provides a double anti aging whammy: the skin-renewing, smoothing effects of the acid with the hydration of an eye cream.

How to use it for best results:

Use this at night to start. Apply only to just over the orbital bone. If needed, wait a few minutes after applying and then layer with another moisturizer. This can help your skin get used to it for the first week or two.

See it here: Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream

5. Best Body Lotion: Glytone Exfoliating Body Lotion

Image of Glytone Body Lotion

See it here: Glytone Exfoliating Body Lotion

Best for:

Dry, dehydrated, rough, dull skin on your legs, arms, chest, feet, hands…. everywhere! It is particularly good for those extra dry patches like elbows, knees and hells.

Why this product works:

This is a hefty amount of glycolic acid in a body lotion. While simple hydrating lotions are good for body skin, the exfoliating action of the AHA here helps to remove dead skin cell, which ultimately increases hydration.

How to use it for best results:

Apply all over on clean dry skin. For extra benefits exfoliate your skin gently in the shower before applying, then wait a few minutes for skin to really dry and massage this lotion all over.

This a great product for problem body skin, such as acne on your back or shoulder acne.

Remember—when using this as a hand cream, apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands daily. Actually, always apply sunscreen to your hands anyway. It can make a noticeable difference to any dark spots, sun damage, or rough, loose skin on the backs of your hands.

For even better results: Bona Fide Skin Care Glycolic Acid Exfoliator 7.5%

Lastly, our pure glycolic acid exfoliator has no other ingredients to dilute its effectiveness. This works like a daily peel to unclog pores and smooth skin. You get the full benefits of glycolic acid at a strong percentage, and it can be used with any moisturizer of your choice.

See it here: Glycolic Acid Daily Exfoliator 7.5%.

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