Benefits of Glycolic Acid for Your Skin
Acid, for the skin? To the uninitiated, that word just doesn’t seem to fit in for something friendly on the skin. But the reality is that many skincare products out there do come with this type of substance. So there is really nothing usual as regards the use of glycolic acid for promoting radiant skin. What should rather matter more is how it does help. We discuss that here. You can read on to learn more about the uses and other things you need to know about this ingredient, which some have described as a “miracle” beauty solution.
What is glycolic acid?
Glycolic acid is a member of a group of chemicals known as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). It is probably the most popular of these substances, which more and more people are talking about these days. It is the smallest of the AHAs. This enables it to be more effective in promoting younger appearance. Many beauty enthusiasts will rave about its awesome benefits if you ask them about how it helps.
The name of the colorless, odorless and water-soluble substance is credited to French chemist Auguste Laurent. He called it “acide glycolique,” suggesting that glycine, then known as “glycocolle”, might be its amine.
A naturally occurring substance, glycolic acid can be found in certain foods. These are foods of plant origin, in particular sugar crops. Examples include sugar cane, sugar beets, cantaloupe, and pineapple. It is isolated from these natural sources for diverse uses.
Glycolic acid used in products is mostly prepared synthetically. The chemists Adolph Strecker and Nikolai Nikolaevich Sokolov were the first to produce the compound. They made use of nitrogen dioxide, hippuric acid, nitric acid, and sulfuric acid to achieve this.
A wide range of methods are being used today for preparing the substance. The most popular one in use involves a catalyzed reaction of formaldehyde and synthesis gas. The affordability of this approach makes it the most preferred for production.
Glycolic acid and the skin
As we already stated, glycolic acid is widely used for anti aging purposes. It may interest you to know that this is a constituent of many chemical peels. It is used to improve look and feel of the skin. The substance helps to deal with acne scarring, wrinkles and hyper pigmentation.
You can get help from glycolic acid in dealing with a variety of other skin conditions. These include:
- Actinic keratosis
- Seborrheic keratosis
Glycolic acid is able to penetrate deep into your skin due to its very small structure. This enables it to work effectively in dealing with fine lines and wrinkles as well as oily and dull skin.
This substance is a powerful exfoliant. It helps to eliminate non-living skin cells that can cause your skin to look dull and unattractive. A reaction with the top layer of the epidermis occurs when you apply glycolic acid on your skin. This loosens the binding properties of lipids holding together the dead skin cells. In addition to revealing younger skin, the sloughing off of the dead cells makes it easier for ingredients in skincare products to penetrate deeper for improved results.
Research also suggests that glycolic acid may be beneficial for boosting collagen production. The loss of this structural protein is a factor in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as people get older. Collagen plumps up the skin for a firmer, younger skin.
What is more? Glycolic acid can enhance the moisture of your skin. It is said to draw water molecules into the skin tissue from the atmosphere. This means it can help guard against dry skin, also considering the effect on collagen synthesis. It is for this reason that moisturizers on the market often have it included.
What can you expect after using Glycolic acid on your skin?
You should note that glycolic acid could make the area treated with it to turn red. It is also possible to observe your skin become somewhat irregular. If you experience any of this, you really do not need to become uneasy. It shows the substance is getting to work. This reaction will eventually lead to dead skin cells falling off.
Glycolic acid is available at different levels of concentrations. The greater the strength, the more likely the substance is to deliver desired results. The strength of the industrial variant is usually greater than that found in consumer products. This can be as high as 60 percent, or higher. The higher concentrations are more commonly used for chemical peels.
It is relevant to point out here that higher concentrations, however effective, exposes you to more severe side effects. You may be better off with offerings that feature pure glycolic acid in lower strength, rather than those that include it with other ingredients, even in higher amounts.
Other uses of glycolic acid
There are other applications of glycolic acid beyond the use for promoting firmer, younger skin. It is used for ink and paint making. Makers of these products include the substance in emulsion polymers and solvents to improve gloss and flow properties.
Its industrial uses also include tanning and dyeing of textiles. Food manufacturers use it as a preservative and flavoring agent. Other applications include water treatment and industrial cleaning.
Glycolic acid is a powerful irritant. The scale of the issues you can expect depends on the concentration used. It can burn your skin when you apply a concentration that is too high. The burn can potentially be very severe as well. This side effect may also result from leaving the substance on your skin for too long.
Other adverse reactions that can result from applying glycolic acid on your skin include:
- Skin discoloration
Some of these are “normal.” This is because they are usually temporary and are followed by improvement in skin quality.
Glycolic acid is not meant to be consumed. It turns into oxalic acid in the body. This can pose significant risk to your health.
It is important to apply sunscreen when using this substance on your skin to reduce the risk of photosensitivity. Also, note that there may be a reaction when used together with other AHAs, vitamin A or acne medication.
You should consider speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, for guidance on the appropriate strength that can help you get the sort of result you desire.
There are numerous products on the market that offer you opportunity to enjoy the amazing benefits of glycolic acid. Those that come with the pure ingredient at low concentration, without any other additives, may be a better choice. This might not produce jaw-dropping results overnight, but consistent usage can make all the difference. When Combined with HGH the powerful exfoliant can help you get rid of wrinkles, dead, dry skin cells that give you a dull appearance. It also plumps up the skin for a much younger look.