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What Is Glycolic Acid and Why Does It Make Your Skin Glow?

How does it really work?
What Is Glycolic Acid and Why Does It Make Your Skin Glow?
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/santiagoraymond
How does it really work?

PSA: Glycolic acid is the next ingredient you should look for in skincare products if you want a smooth, glowing complexion. This active ingredient is a type of AHA that exfoliates and renews the skin's surface. As a result, your skin tone is evened out, pores appear smaller, and signs of aging are diminished. Your face looks brighter and more refreshed!

Who can benefit from it?

Almost all skin types can benefit from products with glycolic acid. Oily and acne-prone skin, most especially, will love how it helps speed up the fading of acne scars. Also, based on my experience and my derma's recommendation, glycolic acid can dry up zits fast. It doesn't sting, too!

If you have sensitive skin, however, it's best to ask your dermatologist first.

So can I use it every day?

The period of usage varies. It can sometimes be thrice a week, 14 consecutive days, or even 28 days. It really depends on the product instructions or your dermatologist's advice. Also, you can't use glycolic acid products forever because it sloughs off a micro-layer of dead skin. You need to take a break and apply milder skincare to avoid irritation. You also better load up on sunscreen during the day to protect your face!

Convinced? Here are some glycolic acid-infused products you can add to your routine:

IMAGE Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, P990, Rustan's

The rich lather of this facial wash guarantees super clean pores, and it promises to improve skin texture and radiance with regular use.

IMAGE Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner, P1200, Rustan's

Aside from glycolic acid, this toner has papaya extract that fires up the skin's cell turnover—you'll get a radiant, smooth complexion in less than a month!


Pixi Glow Tonic, P1690/250ml; P990/100ml; P390/50ml, Glamourbox

This internet-famous toner is popular for a reason: it gives youthful, glowing results with daily use, and it refines the pores, too.

IMAGE Neostrata

Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Cream, dermatological clinics

Let this derma-approved cream take care of bumps and scars on your skin. I kid you not, this really works and is worth trying!

IMAGE In Her Element

In Her Element Glow Job 5% Glycolic Gel Cream, P775, In Her Element

This lightweight cream can fade dark spots and discoloration.


Belo Prescriptives Glycolic Soap, Belo clinics

This bar is available in five percent and 10 percent glycolic acid formulations, depending on your skin's need and tolerance.


*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.