Knowing how to use glycolic acid properly will ensure you get the amazing benefits… and none of the unwanted side effects.
This page will show you exactly how to do it!
Some people purchase the highest percentage of glycolic acid they can find and use that, thinking the higher concentration means better results, faster…
This isn’t true, and skin that isn’t used to glycolic acid or is already sensitized can react severely. Continue reading for detailed information on how to use glycolic acid to ensure clear, healthy, awesome skin!
How To Use Glycolic Acid – A Summary
- Start with a product containing between 5 – 8% (our Glycolic Daily Exfoliator 7.5% is ideal)
- A daily exfoliator is one of the best choices, as this provides easy consistent use and the right way to build up your skin’s tolerance.
- Monitor how your skin reacts – if it becomes red or irritated at all, reduce usage to once every 2 or 3 days for a couple of weeks
- Increase application frequency or time left on skin if your skin no longer reacts as it did at the beginning (eg. tingling sensation is less, there is no redness)
- Monitor your skin! You may not need to increase anything – plenty of people find using a good product with 5 – 8% concentration every day is enough to keep skin healthy and clear of blackheads and fine lines
- Make sure you use a good sunscreen everyday !
- BONUS TIP: try “dermaplaning” before hand to increase results. See this page for details
The Importance of Concentration (%) And Building Up
Over the counter products containing glycolic acid range in concentration from 1% to 30%.
Chemical peels performed by dermatologists range from 30% to 70%.
In order to get the benefits of using glycolic acid at home, it’s recommended to use a low percentage consistently as part of your skin care routine and get great results:
- Evaluate how your skin feels while you use it – a mild tingling is normal the first few times, and is an indication it is working. It should not be painful or cause peeling/flaking after use
- If this is too much you can decrease the usage to every second day – or you may need to start at a frequency of every few days. This is fine, as along as you listen to your skin.
- After a 3 or 4 weeks you can increase the frequency or application time. By now your skin will be used to the acid and will be able to handle higher concentrations. This is optional – regular use of your favorite 5 – 8% product is absolutely fine!
- Some people claim anything lower than 20% concentration isn’t worth doing – but this is dangerous as it can cause long term damage to skin if not used correctly.
- Low doses used consistently work best at helping to restore normal health, keeping it clear, and providing a fresh ‘glow’.
Who Shouldn’t Use Glycolic Acid?
Don’t use if you:
- Are or recently stopped using prescription medication for acne
- Have recently had a microdermabrasion treatment
- Use sun beds or are in the sun frequently without adequate protection
- Have thinned or sensitized skin
Using glycolic acid in your normal skin care routine is easy once you know how – and remember the importance of building up your skins tolerance.
Nothing beats consistency in skin care, and this is especially true when it comes to using this AHA.
It can remarkably improve the condition of skin by balancing the acid mantle, providing an even and deep exfoliation, and increasing cell turnover resulting in a healthy fresh face.
Follow these guidelines (and specific product instructions…) and enjoy the benefits!