- What is Glycolic Acid?
- What Does Glycolic Acid Do?
- Who Should Use a Glycolic Acid Lotion?
- Top 5 Best Glycolic Acid Lotions
- Tips for Using Glycolic Acid Lotions
- In Conclusion:
Everyone dreams of having glowing, clear skin. Unfortunately, most of us struggle with skin imperfections, ranging from clogged pores to sun spots. One of the best skincare ingredients is glycolic acid, an exfoliating chemical that can improve the texture and appearance of the skin.
Though glycolic acid is an excellent chemical, not all skincare products containing it are equally effective. We’ve done our research to discover the best top-rated glycolic acid lotions. With the help of this powerful ingredient, your skin can become clearer, healthier, and far more radiant.
What is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is an exfoliation ingredient that naturally forms in sugar cane. The ingredient, which can also be produced synthetically, belongs to a family of compounds known as alpha hydroxy acids, commonly referred to as AHAs. The other members of the AHA family include citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid, all of which are derived from fruit, as well as lactic acid, which is derived from milk. Though glycolic acid is by far the most popular and commonly-used AHA, lactic acid is becoming an increasingly popular skincare ingredient as well.
What Does Glycolic Acid Do?
Most skincare experts regard glycolic acid as one of the most effective AHAs due to its particularly small molecule size. These tiny molecules penetrate the skin faster and more effectively than other AHAs, making it an ideal skincare ingredient.
When applied to the skin, glycolic acid works as an exfoliant, sloughing off the top layer of dead cells from the skin. As a result, fresh skin is exposed, leading to a more youthful appearance.
Studies have proven that glycolic acid measurably benefits the health and appearance of the skin. Research has shown that the ingredient reduces breakouts and inflammation of the skin. Oily skin and clogged pores can often be improved through the use of glycolic acid products. In addition to treating acne, glycolic acid improves skin texture, firmness, and tone. Dark spots and wrinkles often begin to fade with regular treatment.
Simply put, glycolic acid is a tried-and-tested exfoliant that has the potential to improve the skin’s health and appearance.
Who Should Use a Glycolic Acid Lotion?
Almost anyone can use glycolic acid products. Unless you have sensitive skin or experience an adverse reaction to AHAs, you can use glycolic acid on your skin. Teens, adults, and seniors have all experienced the benefits of using glycolic acid skincare products.
If you struggle with acne, oily skin, or clogged pores, you may find that glycolic acid works particularly well for you. Individuals looking to improve their skin tone and combat the signs of aging may also notice improvements from using glycolic acid treatments. If you’ve ever struggled with body acne, rough skin, razor burn, or keratosis pilaris, a body lotion containing glycolic acid may benefit you as well.
Some individuals may experience side effects from using glycolic acid lotions. Using a skincare product with a particularly high percentage of glycolic acid in it may lead to skin irritation, dryness, redness, discoloration, or flaking. In rare cases, scarring may occur. For these reasons, it is important to buy a product with positive reviews and a safe percentage of glycolic acid in it. If you’re looking for a more potent chemical peel, it is best to visit a cosmetic dermatologist for treatment.
Top 5 Best Glycolic Acid Lotions
Alpha Hydrox’s Glycolic-AHA Enhanced Lotion is arguably the most effective and best-loved glycolic acid lotion on the market. Manufactured for over 30 years, long-term customers rave about the lotion’s ability to fight off wrinkles and age spots. Younger customers claim that the lotion has eliminated their acne and clogged pores.
The formula, which includes 10% pure glycolic acid, also includes vitamin E for hydrating the skin. The lotion’s pH of 4 is precisely what dermatologists recommend. Individuals with dry, normal, and oily skin types have all experienced great results using Alpha Hydrox’s lotion. Only customers with sensitive skin encountered problems with it.
In addition to fighting acne and wrinkles on the face, Alpha Hydrox’s lotion is great for using on the body, reducing keratosis pilaris and ingrown hairs on the arms and legs. Regardless of the skin problem you’re trying to combat, it is likely that Alpha Hydrox’s Glycolic-AHA Enhanced Lotion will deliver the results you seek.
- Acne sufferers experienced dramatic results using Alpha Hydrox’s lotion, noting fewer breakouts, fading acne scars, and reduced inflammation.
- Customers who have used the lotion for over 20 years claim that it has kept their skin looking incredibly youthful.
- Amazon retailers often raise the price on this product. Customers recommend purchasing it at local beauty stores instead.
- A small number of customers experienced breakouts or allergic reactions to the lotion.
If you experience dry, cracked skin on your hands, ingrown hairs on your legs, or keratosis pilaris on your arms, Aqua Glycolic’s Hand & Body Lotion is the product for you. Customers rave that this 14% glycolic acid lotion works wonders on the skin, leaving all parts of the body soft, smooth, and glowing. Older adults with sun-damaged skin were particularly satisfied with the lotion, noticing a reduction in sun spots and an improvement in skin tone and texture. The lotion also has the potential to eliminate back acne and fade old acne scars. Many customers also noted that the heels of their feet and their cuticles were softer and smoother as a result of using Aqua Glycolic’s lotion.
To treat dry, bumpy, or aging skin, try Aqua Glycolic’s Hand & Body Lotion.
- Aqua Glycolic’s lotion helps soothe dry skin, eliminates keratosis pilaris, and prevents ingrown hairs, making it one of the best glycolic acid body lotions available.
- This lotion is the most affordable glycolic acid treatment on our list.
- Some customers received bottles and pumps that were broken or failed to work properly.
- Though the product contains a relatively large percentage of glycolic acid, some customers did not feel that the lotion was strong enough for their tastes.
Reviva Labs’ Glycolic Acid Cream is an excellent facial skincare product for individuals looking to seriously improve the state of their skin. Older adults with sun spots and younger customers with acne breakouts and enlarged pores all rave that Reviva Labs’ cream has transformed their skin in ways that other products could not. The cream’s 10% glycolic acid formula is potent enough to fade scars and banish blemishes for good. For those who are new to glycolic acid treatments, Reviva Labs also offers a gentler 5% glycolic acid alternative. The cream comes in a practical jar, too, making it easier to use than formulas stored in pump containers.
Reviva Labs’ Glycolic Acid Cream is one of the best products for taking years off of your appearance.
- Customers with acne-prone skin saw excellent results using Reviva Labs’ cream. Acne and scarring were dramatically reduced.
- Reviva Labs’ Glycolic Acid Cream is free of parabens and has not been tested on animals.
- A few customers noticed adverse effects from accidentally getting some of this cream under their eyes. Individuals should be cautious when applying glycolic acid close to the eye area.
- Individuals with sensitive skin may wish to avoid this product or opt for the 5% glycolic acid formulation instead.
Glytone’s Exfoliating Body Lotion is a great all-around skincare product for improving the quality of the skin on the hands, arms, torso, back, legs, and feet. Those who struggle with the “chicken skin” appearance of keratosis pilaris are likely to see results using this lotion. Containing 17.5% glycolic acid, this formulation is more potent than many glycolic acid lotions. Customers rave that the lotion has completely re-textured their skin, transforming dry, cracked skin into glowing, soft skin. Compared to other products, Glytone is practically scentless, another attribute that customers appreciate.
To combat signs of aging and conditions like keratosis pilaris, buy Glytone’s Exfoliating Body Lotion.
- With one of the highest glycolic acid concentrations found in a cream formula, Glytone’s lotion is highly effective at combating keratosis pilaris, razor bumps, and skin roughness.
- Unlike most glycolic acid lotions, Glytone’s lotion comes in a relatively large 8.4 ounce bottle.
- The lotion contains 17.5% glycolic acid, which may be too strong for some individuals.
- Some customers found the consistency of the lotion to be uncomfortably thick and greasy.
Those who have used glycolic acid lotions in the past and are looking to take their skin to the next level will love Glycolix Elite Facial Cream by Topix Pharmaceuticals. This top-rated 20% glycolic acid lotion includes other antioxidant ingredients like vitamin A and green tea to soothe and protect the skin. Customers with acne-prone skin and dark spots found the Glycolix cream to be particularly effective at clearing their skin and evening its tone. Users praise the lotion as one of the most effective skincare products they’ve ever used.
For customers who are looking to take their glycolic acid treatment to the next level, Topix Pharmaceuticals’ Glycolix Elite Facial Cream is a product worth considering.
- In addition to including 20% glycolic acid, this facial cream contains vitamins A, C, and E to protect the skin from free radical skin damage.
- Customers rave that their pores became visibly smaller after applying Glycolix’s cream on a regular basis.
- Those who are new to glycolic acid treatments may find this formula to be too harsh on their skin.
- Some users had poor experiences with certain Amazon merchants. It may be better to purchase the cream from other skincare retailers.
Tips for Using Glycolic Acid Lotions
Since glycolic acid is such a powerful skincare ingredient, it is important to use it appropriately. By doing so, you can avoid the side effects that may result from improper use.
Before applying glycolic acid to your face or body, it is wise to perform a patch test on your skin. If you have sensitive or allergy-prone skin, doing so is a must. If you’ll be applying the lotion to your face, patch test it on your neck, preferably in the area under your ear. If you’ll be using the lotion on your body, consider testing it on your wrist. Don’t be alarmed if your skin feels tingly, however; this is a normal reaction to glycolic acid and actually indicates that it’s working. If your skin looks and feels fine after 24 hours, you can apply the lotion to the rest of your face or body.
When selecting a face or body lotion, look for products containing between 10% and 20% glycolic acid. Products with less than 10% glycolic acid may be ineffective and formulations with well over 20% may cause skin irritation. Newbies, however, may wish to begin with a milder 5% formula as they work their way up to a 10% lotion.
Ideally, glycolic acid lotions should be used at night. If used regularly, these lotions may increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun by up to 50%. Whether you use these lotions at night or during the day, wearing sunscreen is crucially important. Without sun protection, you will be more susceptible to sunburns and skin damage.
Though you may be tempted to apply a glycolic acid lotion to your skin on a daily basis, it may be best to use it only three to four times a week. Some studies suggest that using AHA treatments on a daily basis causes inflammation, leading to premature aging of the skin. Instead, alternate the glycolic acid lotion with a gentle and hydrating lotion or serum on your “off” days. By doing so, you’ll reap the benefits of glycolic acid without harming your skin.
Glycolic acid lotions have the potential to make your skin clearer, brighter, and more even-toned. By thoroughly reading each product review and carefully selecting a lotion that meets your needs, you can experience all of the benefits that glycolic acid has to offer.