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Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a naturally occurring substance that offers many benefits to the skin when used in skin care formulations. In its raw state, glycolic acid is a powder made up of colorless crystals that have no discernible odor.

When used in the preparation of skin care products, glycolic acid is usually produced in a laboratory by combining the chemicals chloroacetic acid and sodium hydroxide. The acid can also be extracted from plants that contain it, including sugarcane, pineapple and sugar beets. Glycolic acid is considered an alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. This group of organic compounds consists of acids derived from plants that have similar chemical structures.

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The first use of alpha hydroxy acids for skin care occurred in clinical settings during the 1970s when the substances were tested to determine if they were beneficial for the treatment of psoriasis. This common skin condition is marked by plaques that form on the skin due to a buildup of cells. The early clinical tests showed that AHAs, including glycolic acid, were capable of removing some of the excess cells, resulting in a thinning of the plaques and a reduction of symptoms for psoriasis sufferers.

After years of clinical testing and the use of glycolic acid in strictly natural skin care treatment formulations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved AHAs for inclusion in commercially produced skin care and beauty products in the 1990s. Since that time, AHAs have become incredibly popular as ingredients in many different types of skin care formulations. In fact, more than 200 companies in the United States alone produce products that use glycolic acid as an active ingredient.

One of the primary uses of glycolic acid is in products designed for skin exfoliation.

One of the primary uses of glycolic acid is in products designed for skin exfoliation, a term that refers to removing the outermost layer of dead cells from the complexion. Glycolic acid and other AHAs have the ability to destroy the bonds that hold protein molecules together. Since the skin tissue is mostly made of protein, glycolic acid is effective at eliminating patches of dry or discolored tissue from the skin. The ingredient is found in many over-the-counter formulations that usually contain the acid at 10 to 20 percent strength. Exfoliating products that feature glycolic acid come in many forms, including masks, pre-moistened cotton pads, lotions, creams and serums.

Glycolic acid is also used in clinical settings at strengths of 20 to 70 percent in chemical peels. These treatments remove either the epidermis (the outer layer of skin tissue) or the epidermis and part of the dermis (the middle layer of skin tissue). Chemical peels that contain glycolic acid are used to treat scarring, skin discoloration and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

In addition to its exfoliative properties, glycolic acid is also a hydroscopic molecule. This means that it attracts moisture from the environment. When used in skin care products, glycolic acid can transfer water molecules from the air into the skin tissue to replenish lost moisture, making it an effective ingredient in moisturizers when used at low strengths.

Studies show that the actions of glycolic acid also assist with boosting collagen production.

Studies show that the actions of glycolic acid also assist with boosting collagen production. Collagen is a vital structural protein, which helps the skin tissue remain firm and resist wrinkling. At low strengths, glycolic acid can be used as an ingredient in anti-aging skin care products that are meant to slow down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

As a treatment for skin care disorders, glycolic acid is still sometimes recommended for patients suffering from psoriasis. It is also used to treat the hormone-related discoloration of the face known as melasma. Since glycolic acid has the potential to cause side effects for developing and breastfeeding babies, women who suffer from melasma during pregnancy are advised to not begin treatment with the ingredient until after delivery and the end of nursing. Glycolic acid is also prescribed for eliminating skin lesions like those seen with actinic keratosis and seborrheic keratosis.

Glycolic acid is listed as "Generally Regarded as Safe" by the FDA; however, some people develop irritation from the ingredient. The most common side effects of glycolic acid are redness and minor swelling. For people who develop irritation from glycolic acid, switching to a product of a lower strength will sometimes eliminate the symptoms. Others must avoid the use of glycolic acid entirely.

  

Glycolic Acid Products

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An ultra-rich cream utilizing powerful antioxidants and glycolic acid.
REG $90.00  NOW $85.50
2oz | SM101
In Stock
 
This exfoliating wash visibly transforms skin for radiant results.
$25.00
3.4oz | CS152
In Stock
 
This exfoliating cleanser sloughs off the top layer of skin using eco-friendly micro-beads and a glycolic compound.
REG $50.00  NOW $47.50
6oz | SM102
In Stock
 
This silky serum hydrates and helps renovate the skin, revealing a more vibrant, luminous texture.
REG $120.00  NOW $114.00
1oz | SM103
In Stock
Transform your skin while you sleep for a softer, smoother, younger-looking complexion.
$90.00
1oz | KS077
In Stock
 
Super-charged formula renews and restores the look and feel of old tired feet.
$15.00
1.7oz | DT037
In Stock
 
Oil-free, fragrance-free deep pore clearing gel.
$45.00
3.4oz | PT251
In Stock
 
Multi-benefit serum combats skin eruptions, unclogs and refines pores.
$75.00
1oz | KU006
In Stock
Keep sign of aging at bay with this creamy Glycolic Acid based cleanser.
$33.00
6oz | DQ067
In Stock
 
Instantly smoothing and pore refining, this oil-absorbing primer leaves skin with a soft and velvety finish.
$42.00
1oz | DQ092
In Stock
 
A nemesis of breakouts, these clarifying pads help remove impurities and excess oil from your skin.
$32.00
50 pads | DQ072
Out of Stock
 
Self-tanning body moisturizer for subtle, streak-free radiance.
$38.00
5oz | DG168
In Stock
This daytime exfoliating moisturizer helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
$42.00
1.4oz | NS073
In Stock
 
3-in-1 micro-polish to refine, brighten and renew the appearance of skin.
$56.00
2.5oz | RD115
In Stock
 
An invigorating all-in-one body exfoliator.
REG $45.00  NOW $42.75
5oz | VB022
In Stock
 
This effective skin retexturizing and pore-refining gel acts like a powerful acne treatment.
REG $65.00  NOW $61.75
1oz | VB008
In Stock
For a smoother, silkier and more lifted appearance of the neck and décolleté.
$65.00
1.7oz | BT161
In Stock
 
Washes away dead skin cells, pore-clogging oil and build up.
$20.00
5oz | JA090
In Stock
 
Firms, lifts and provides intense moisturization for the face and neck.
$62.00
1.7oz | BS249
In Stock
 
Triple action resurfacing clay mask to deeply cleanse, exfoliate and restore the complexion.
$56.00
2.5oz | RD117
In Stock
Unveil a fresh, even and a more luminous complexion with this resurfacing facial peel.
$94.00
1.69oz | RD116
Out of Stock
 
A 3-step system inspired by dermatologists' treatment protocols.
$29.99 $48.00 value
LP110
No Longer Available
 
A one step, at home treatment that delivers professional level exfoliating and tightening.
$78.00
60 pads | GH009
In Stock
 
This cleanser has ultra-pure Glycolic Acid to promote smoother, more refined skin.
$39.00
6oz | DD233
In Stock
A fruit acid gel with no abrasive particles specially formulated to exfoliate mature skin.
$63.00
1.5oz | DC251
In Stock
 
This night cream delivers powerful antioxidant protection and anti-aging benefits.
$89.00
1oz | GT063
In Stock
 
A powerful foot peel specifically designed to exfoliate and renew skin.
$32.00
1oz | CS121
In Stock
 
An incredibly rich, fast absorbing exfoliating lotion that reveals younger, refreshed-looking skin.
$48.00
6.7oz | GH010
In Stock
An oil-control primer that creates flawless looking skin.
$49.00
1.7oz | BK131
In Stock
 
Refines skin tone and texture while providing protection against environmental exposure.
$42.00
1.7oz | EX116
In Stock
 
A dermatologist developed day fluid that expertly captures the power of 10% Glycolic Acid.
$42.00
1.7oz | EX110
In Stock
 
Removes dead, dull surface cells to reveal fresh, vibrant, healthy looking skin.
$56.00
2oz | PC099
In Stock
Hit the reset button and bring youthful clarity and vitality backto your skin in just seven days.
$75.00
BE770
In Stock
 
This dual action cleanser is formulated to help skin look younger by providing two kinds of exfoliation.
$46.00 $64.00 value
12oz | MR204
No Longer Available
 
A must-have exfoliant for those who want their skin to look and act younger.
$28.00
1.7oz | PN046
Out of Stock
 
This high strength two-step peel kit delivers noticeable anti-aging and skin smoothing benefits
$79.00
13 peels | NS069
In Stock
This powerful exfoliating gel accelerates the body's natural cellular turnover.
$50.00
1.7oz | YD007
In Stock
 
An antibacterial gel that removes dirt, oil, and cell buildup while normalizing the pH level.
$42.00
6oz | YD015
In Stock
 
Helps to even out skin tone and erase dark spots.
$65.00
1.7oz | YD011
In Stock
 
Leaves behind smooth, callus-free feet.
$30.00
2oz | ON090
In Stock
Advanced formula tackles the length, width and depth of a wrinkle.
$125.00
2oz | NV217
In Stock
 
Smoothes fine lines, reduces puffiness, firms & tightens while brightening the eye area.
$65.00
0.5oz | DG152
In Stock
 
A creamy, anti-aging body lotion that exfoliates skin and rids of discoloration.
$27.00
7oz | PN032
In Stock
 
A one-step express peel to exfoliate, brighten and resurface skin.
$48.00
1.7oz | OL084
In Stock
An exfoliating cleanser that removes makeup, excess oils, grime and toxins.
$36.00
6.7oz | TP065
In Stock
 
Reveal an instantly younger-looking, radiant you, as this gentle glycolic peel renews and recharges.
$24.99
OF056
In Stock
 
This serum was formulated as an injection alternative to smooth all expression lines.
$155.00
1oz | NV224
In Stock
 
This mask helps to reduce skin breakouts leaving the complexion clear and smooth.
$22.00
1.69oz | AE074
In Stock
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