Glycolic Acid for Skin
Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard we try, our skin is never on the same page as we are. Acne strikes just when it’s time for the family holiday photo, or fine lines and wrinkles speak up on you as your class reunion approaches. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine as well as a regular skincare regimen can keep your skin on the right track, even when it’s a bit stubborn. With a wide variety of curveballs that our skin throws at us from acne to wrinkles, there are also an abundance of natural elements that can help us combat these blemishes. One potent and effective ingredient that can yield noticeable results for a variety of skincare problems is glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid is a natural exfoliant, derived from the sugar cane plant. It is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and one of the most researched, effective, and safest of the various alpha hydroxy acids available to consumers. Glycolic acid benefits the skin by working as an exfoliator to remove the top layer of skin to reveal a fresher, glowing layer of skin underneath. This renewal process is beneficial for a multitude of skin types. For those with acne prone skin, the glycolic acid helps to remove excess oils and buildup that can cause unwanted blackheads, blemishes, and the appearance of shiny skin. Similarly, with age, the skin does not naturally remove dead skin cells at as rapid of a rate as when it once did during younger years. This is where glycolic acids comes in to provide skin with an extra boost and helps shed dead skin cells. By removing excess skin cells, a more youthful and supple layer of skin is brought to the surface.
Glycolic acid has shown to produce a number of natural benefits for the skin. One of the positive results one can expect to see after integrating glycolic acid into a skincare routine is improved skin texture and tone. Due to free radicals and the harsh elements that we’re exposed to on a day-to-day basis, our skin can be negatively affected, resulting in dryness, rough patches, and uneven skin tone. These unwanted factors are caused by uneven buildup on the skin’s surface layer. By integrating a natural exfoliant such as glycolic acid into your routine, a more even skin tone and smoother texture is revealed.
Glycolic acid benefits do not stop with a more even skin tone. Using glycolic acid for skin has also been shown to help increase collagen and elastin. Collagen is the primary structural protein found in connective tissue, which is what keeps skin looking lifted and youthful. Over time, collagen is diminished and signs of aging become more apparent. However, collagen can be given a helping hand from glycolic acid. Multiple scholarly studies have tested the effects of glycolic acid on the skin and found that it naturally stimulates collagen production, reversing signs of premature aging caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun. Integrating glycolic acid into your skin care practice is a great way to help boost collagen production and reverse signs of premature aging caused by free radicals and sun damage.
The exfoliating properties of glycolic acid also allow it to naturally fade acne scarring and skin discolorations. By safely removing the outer, damaged layer of skin, a new, more youthful layer is brought to the surface. As glycolic acid becomes part of your regular skincare routine, scars and discolorations will slowly lighten and fade as new, healthy skin is revealed. It is important to keep the new layer of skin protected from further damage by actively applying sunscreen to keep the skin safe from harsh ultraviolet ray exposure. Although this is not a process that happens overnight, the organic exfoliation from glycolic acid has shown to improve the appearance of discolorations and scarring over time.
With such a wide range of restorative benefits, you are probably wondering what is the best way to integrate this naturally rejuvenating ingredient into your skincare regimen. Glycolic acid is a product that can be found both in professional skincare offices and as an off-the-shelf product. Glycolic acid peels can be done both professionally or done yourself at home. Although having a professional administer the glycolic acid certainly is not harmful, it can also be done more gently and at a more cost effective price point from the comfort of your home. Treating yourself to a glycolic acid peel at home is quick, easy, and cost-effective. A glycolic acid serum such as OZNaturals’ 50% Glycolic Acid Peel delivers results without the hassle of squeezing an appointment into your already busy schedule
Maintaining healthy skin can be a challenge, and it is crucial to do adequate research before using chemicals on your skin. Although we believe natural products are always the safest route to go, it is still important to ensure that you are using these products properly to avoid any irritation. In the case of glycolic acid, this natural ingredient is not recommended for those with highly sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin and often experience irritation after using basic products, it is best to avoid toners and exfoliating solutions with glycolic acid. If you have normal to oily skin, taking part in a glycolic acid peel at home is a safe, natural way to exfoliate and revitalize skin.
-- Angela Irish, Certified Aesthetician & Co-Founder OZNaturals