Q&A: Skin Care: Glycolic Acid

Becky asks: Has any one used glycolic acid on your face?  Did it work? What all did it do for you and what results did you get?

Massagewallah answers:

Glycolic acid is an Alpha Hyrdroxy Acid (AHA) and is a popular method of chemical exfoliation, due to its excellent capability to penetrate deep down in your skin.

Chemical exfoliation (vs mechanical) gives a much more complete removal of dead skin cells, not only removing them from the surface, but also from within the pores, ducts and follicles of the skin. Chemical exfoliants do not cause bruising or tearing of the skin and if used properly and in the correct dossage should not irritate, either.

You can get a low dosage cleanser w. Glycolic in it at a drug store or skin care shop, like Sephora. There are also “at home peels, available as well.

I recommend getting a glycolic peel done by a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist FIRST, before attempting at home care. Plus they will also have higher concentrated dosage at the (med) spa.

There are contraindications to AHA peels such as: use of accutane, oral herpes, pregnancy, sunburn, sun sensativity, etc.

If you are looking for something to assist with acne, Salicylic Acid (BHA) products better.


As for glycolic acid working, yes it does, and I personally use a daily low dose treatment, with alternating peels (AHA/BHA) every other month.

If you are under 16 I wouldnt recommend starting a AHA regimen just yet. But ask your local aesthetician.

Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen (esp when using a AHA product)!

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