The Skin Ingredient That Fights Acne AND Wrinkles At The Same Time

Some heroes are born without capes.

Grace Gold |

Your 30s are a strange time. Your friends are settling down and getting married and having kids, grey hairs start popping up in the mirror, and you experience a strange skin care phenomenon: acne AND wrinkles. Cute.

And while the stuff that you used when you were 16 might not cut it anymore, there is something you can use to nip both skin issues in the bud. It’s called glycolic acid, and there’s a reason why it’s in every peel and exfoliator.

What Is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is an exfoliant in the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) group that’s found naturally in plants like sugar cane, beetroot and pineapple. It has the smallest molecule of the acid group, which means your skin can absorb it quickly — making it produce the most visible results in less time than other AHAs.

READ MORE: Why Layering Your Skincare Products Like This Will Save You Money

Cool, So What Exactly Does It Do?

The acid is commonly used to unclog pores and treat acne, says dermatologist Dr Debra Jaliman. That’s because glycolic acid is a powerful exfoliant, clearing away the dead skin cells that can fill up your cells and lead to blackheads and whiteheads.

READ MORE: 3 Women Share What Finally Worked To Clear Up Their Eczema

How Do You Use Glycolic Acid?

Dermatologist Dr Jennifer MacGregor says as with other AHAs, you should use a product with glycolic acid in the morning on a clean face, then use an antioxidant serum and sunscreen.

Since it’s such a powerful ingredient, you’ll likely want to stay away from using potent exfoliating compounds like retinol or other alpha hydroxy acids on the days when you use glycolic acid (otherwise, you’ll risk drying out your skin). Either stick with it as your main treatment, or alternate days with other ingredients.

MacGregor says that sensitive skin types are generally pretty tolerant of glycolic acid. However, if you’re worried about it, try starting out at a lower concentration, or using it every other day, to see how your skin deals.

3 Of our favourite products containing the active ingredient:

Buy It

Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate 15ml

R 400

Buy It
Buy It

dermalogica sound sleep cocoon 50 ml

R 1 450

Buy It
Buy It

Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine

R 410

Buy It

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READ MORE ON: Acne Beauty Beauty Tips Skin Skin Issues

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