Glycolic Acid: A Comprehensive Guide

What Skin Types and Concerns Can Benefit from Glycolic Acid: The Truth About Its Versatility

Glycolic acid may sound like a fancy schmancy chemical, but it's actually quite an all-rounder when it comes to skincare. This alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) is found in several skincare products and peels, and it's known to exfoliate dead skin cells, brighten skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone. But the question is, what skin types can actually benefit from glycolic acid? The truth is, almost all skin can benefit from it to some extent. Dry skin types will love how glycolic acid can hydrate and soften their skin, while oily and acne-prone skin types will appreciate its powerful exfoliation and pore-clearing abilities. Mature skin can also benefit hugely from this chemical, as it boosts collagen production and helps to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Essentially, glycolic acid is a versatile skincare ingredient that can cater to a wide range of skin types and concerns. So, whether you're dealing with dryness, acne, texture, or just want to give your skin a glow-up, glycolic acid might just be a real game-changer!

Understanding Its Chemical Properties and Effects on Skin 

When it comes to skincare, there are a plethora of ingredients that promise to improve your skin's overall health and appearance. Our focus today is on glycolic acid. By applying glycolic acid directly to your skin, it’s able to penetrate deep into the layers and kickstart a chain reaction of cellular interactions. Glycolic acid is a type of AHA that is usually derived from sugar cane and fruits, but can also be synthesized in a laboratory setting. It has a small molecular size–coming in at 76 Daltons, which allows it to penetrate deep into the skin and effectively break down dead skin cells on the surface, allowing for fresh, new skin to take its place. When our skin is exposed to this AHA, it activates the fibroblasts. Think of fibroblasts as little collagen factories in our bodies. And what do they do when glycolic acid zaps them awake? They start producing more collagen fibers! This means our skin becomes firmer, more supple, and plumper.


The Dos and Don'ts of Using Glycolic Acid

If you want to improve your skin's texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines, then glycolic acid is one of the best ingredients to include in your skincare routine. However, as with any active ingredient, there are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind to avoid irritation and achieve the best results. Here are the top tips for using glycolic acid:


  1. Start slow: Begin with a low concentration of glycolic acid (think around 5%) and gradually work your way up to avoid irritation. Luckily, Éclat de Lait contains glycolic acid at 5%, perfect for everyday use and sensitive skin types!
  2. Patch test: Test the product on a small area of skin before applying it all over your face. It's important to note that glycolic acid can also be irritating if used in high concentrations, so it's always important to patch test first and use it with caution. 
  3. Use sunscreen: Glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so make sure to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day.
  4. Moisturize: Moisturizing is essential when using glycolic acid because it can be drying. Look for a moisturizer that can help to hydrate your skin. Check out our luxe moisturizers Perle D’Eau and Neige Éternelle!


  1. Don't use on broken skin: Glycolic acid can sting when applied to open wounds or broken skin, so avoid using it in these areas.
  2. Don't over-exfoliate: Over-exfoliating by combining glycolic acid with other acids can damage your skin and cause irritation.
  3. Don't forget to check in with your skin!


Quick Guide: Mixing Glycolic Acid with Other Common Skincare Ingredients



Remember that using glycolic acid can take time to see results, so be patient and stick to these dos and don'ts to achieve glowing and bright skin.

Glycolic acid is a powerful and versatile skincare ingredient that can offer a multitude of benefits to your routine. Its skincare benefits range from improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to unclogging pores and brightening the skin. Additionally, it's equally vital to pair glycolic acid with other skincare products that can nourish and hydrate the skin, creating a healthy and balanced routine. Remember to always listen to your skin and adjust your routine accordingly. Happy skincare-ing!