We’re not going to deny that there’s a whole lot of beauty jargon constantly circulating amongst the beauty hemisphere. In recent times, acids have risen to be a hot, buzzy topic, so you might not be a stranger to terms like AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). We’re also not going to deny that it may be a tad bit difficult to navigate and decipher these big argots.
Which is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to decrypt these head-scratching terms – with a special focus on glycolic acid in this piece. Falling under AHAs, glycolic acids – like all types of AHAs – works to slough away dead skin cells, stimulate cell turnover on the surface of the skin and lighten pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Think of it as the acid that will give you perfect skin, if used right.
Overusing glycolic acids – or any other acid – can leave the skin red, raw, dry, sensitive or even burnt. Photosensitivity, thinning of the skin, risk of pigmentation are possible adverse side effects as well. If you’re just getting started on glycolic acids, ease into it by using products that have it in relatively low concentrations, say five per cent, or a cleanser that has glycolic acid. When your skin gets accustomed to it, up the ante by slowly transitioning into toners, then peels.
It’s also wise to steer clear of overloading and overstimulating your skin with too many active ingredients as once. As a general rule of thumb, let the glycolic acid be the centre of attention on days where you’re using it, which should be every other day. Leave the other active ingredients such as retinol or vitamin C for the other days.
This nighttime serum from Drunk Elephant works hard while you snooze. Existing in a gel consistency, it refines and resurfaces your skin to reveal a smoother and more radiant complexion. Formulated with an AHA/BHA blend that includes glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids, it sinks in easily and delivers the results of a chemical exfoliation – sans harsh side effects like dryness or sensitisation. Plus, it also paves the way for your following skincare steps as it enhances their performance by clearing the excess gunk which clogged your pores.
Turn to this daily treatment pad that contains just the right balance of lactic and glycolic acids to safely and effectively exfoliate, tone and brighten all skin types. Yes, even sensitive skin. Cucumber and Indian gooseberry tone the skin while lemon peel and liquorice root restores its radiance.
This mask from the two-year-old US green beauty brand isn’t just that. It’s a multi-tasker that’s a peel, exfoliator and mask in one smoothing and hydrating formula. Glycolic acid, multi-alphahydroxy acids and gentle mineral spheres help leave skin soft, bright and radiant.
A light-textured moisturiser that features a ten per cent glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid blend that helps refine pores and clear skin while balancing the amount of oil secretion. Coupled with natural antibacterial ingredients such as aloe vera, tea tree, green tea and eucalyptus, it also curbs the formation of blemishes and unwanted breakouts. If your skin’s especially oily or blemish-prone, this one’s a top-shelf for you.
Don’t we all love it when a deep cleansing clay mask does its job -to eradicate all the accumulated junk in our pores? Indie Lee’s take on a clay mask is one that’s deep-cleansing, soothing and nourishing one. While some clay masks may have a bad rep for being overly-drying, this one incorporates the hydrating properties of hyaluronic acid, zinc oxide, chamomile and red seaweed extracts to keep it hydrated and calmed.
Derived from sugarcane, this lightweight glycolic toner corrects enlarged pores and brightens dull skin tone by removing dead and dehydrated cells from the skin’s surface.
Well-loved for their wallet-friendly yet efficacious facial mists, the toners from Mario Badescu make for great ones as well. This alcohol-free (yay because it doesn’t dry out the skin) one sloughs dead cells off from your face while calming it at the same time – thanks to the aloe vera that’s infused in it. It also speeds up the cell renewing process of the skin so that it recovers and repairs faster.
Leave this two-in-one peel and mask on for as little as 10 minutes and you’ll be on your way to tightened pores, a smoother skin texture, a much more radiant complexion and way lesser oils being secreted throughout the day.