Exfoliating is a way to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Doing so can help reach a more even and brighter complexion. There are different ways to exfoliate your face. It can be done mechanically with a granular substance or specific tools, or you can exfoliate chemically. Chemical exfoliation is possible with particular ingredients such as Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid or Salicylic Acid, for example. In this article, we will focus on Glycolic Acid and explain its advantages.
Glycolic Acid is an Alfa Hydroxy Acid (AHA) derived from fruit’ sugar, this is why we can also call it fruit acid. Its principal function is being keratolytic, meaning that by simple contact and without rubbing, it will weaken the top layer of the skin (Stratum Corneum), allowing multiple benefits, find a snapshot of them here:
- A powerful exfoliating ingredient
The first and most known advantage of this product is indeed exfoliation or peeling. Glycolic acid will remove dead cells from your face and activate cell regeneration. Your skin will literally be renewing itself, meaning a smoother look and a brighter complexion. It is a powerful and fast active ingredient, in fact, the first time you will apply a product containing Glycolic acid, you might feel a slight tingling on your face (which is normal).
- Helps boost the absorption of other ingredients
As briefly mentioned above, the principal action of Glycolic Acid is to weaken the top layer of your skin. By doing so, it allows other ingredients to penetrate easily to your lower skin layers, and optimize their benefits. Vitamin C, Collagen, retinol and other great active components will be more likely to be properly absorbed with glycolic acid.
- Boosts hydration and firmer skin
Glycolic Acid contributes to the synthesis of Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen and Elastin. All of those will contribute to giving your skin its best dazzling look.
- A good stain remover
As you stimulate cell regeneration of your skin, with time, the pigmented cells will also start to be renewed. The small spots and pigment stains that we can all have on our face will then slowly fade away.
- Helps regulate sebum
Glycolic acid will unclog pores and maintain a clean surface of the skin. By maintaining such good conditions, oily skins will generate less sebum and regulate themselves after a few weeks of regular use.
Glycolic acid is suitable for almost every skin types (people with very sensitive skin may want to ask specialists before using it). This ingredient is widely used in skincare, however, the concentration highly varies depending on products, around 10% is safe to use every day. Beauty salons can usually propose peelings with much higher concentrations (up to 70%), that you can do every once in a while. But it is important not to overuse this ingredient, mixing high concentration levels with high frequency is where you could harm yourself. Possible side effects being redness, blisters, discolouration… This ingredient is also highly photosensitising, so you should always use a good sunscreen when you apply Glycolic Acid (in fact we should always use sunscreen, but even more in these cases).
Moonlight, our exfoliating night protocol is an “exfoliating moisturizer” containing 10% of glycolic acid. To give you the best benefits we’ve formulated it with aloe vera, shea butter, melissa officinalis water and other great ingredients to combine exfoliation and hydration at the same time. Combining chemical exfoliating with mechanical exfoliating, every once in a while is also a pretty good idea. Doing so once a week will help you remove the resisting impurities and smoothen your skin. We recommend a soft mechanical scrub though, you can recycle your coffee grounds or even use a spoon of vegetable oil with sugar for an almost free, natural scrub.
And you, what exfoliating product or method do you use?