Glycolic acid belongs to the alpha-hydroxy acids or AHA chemical group. AHAs are known to be used in exfoliation. Glycolic acid is a fruit acid, as it comes from sugar cane and some fruits. It’s gentler on the skin than other exfoliation products. Besides, it comes in different concentrations to fit the skin type and needs. If you’re not sure whether you need a glycolic acid toner or not, we’ve written this article to discuss its functions and benefits.
1. It Removes Skin Impurities
Skin impurities come in the shape of dead cells, oil production, bacteria, and clogged pores. You can use a glycolic acid toner after your usual makeup remover; it will remove excess makeup, in addition to skin impurities. As it is naturally an exfoliator, it will shed dead skin cells, making way for new fresher cells and skin layers. Moreover, it does a great job with unclogging pores. Due to the sped-up renewal of cells, the clogged skin layer is replaced by a new one. And because it’s new, it’s likely to exfoliate regularly, preventing future clogging.
2. It has Hydration Properties.
Not only does glycolic acid exfoliate, but it also has hydrating properties. It will bind water in your skin, retaining moisture. If you’re aiming for easy, smooth skin, hydration is the number one factor. Finding and using a good glycolic acid toner can achieve that effect. When your skin is dry, it ages faster and leads to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hydration helps iron out the wrinkles in the face. A well-hydrated skin has better defenses against environmental factors. And a hydrated skin has better elasticity meaning it can stretch and easily go back to its original shape. Lack of elasticity can cause the skin to look leathery and saggy.
3. It Balances the pH of the skin
pH balance is the balance between acidity and alkalinity. You can do tests on your skin at home or at a dermatologist to check if it’s pH balanced. Glycolic acid can balance it. Generally, A neutral balanced pH scores 7. Anything above means there’s alkalinity, and anything lower means there’s acidity. For skin, the measures may be slightly different, meaning acidity can range from 4 to 7. You want to aim towards acidity but without harming your skin. A skin toner can do that by neutralizing alkalinity.
4. It Evens Skin Tones
Sometimes discoloration or darker patches of skin appear on the face. This is called hyperpigmentation. A lot of causes can lead to hyperpigmentation, like the sun, age, and acne. Thanks to the fast skin cell regeneration, using a product that has glycolic acid will cause the darker areas to fade. That way, it creates an even skin tone.
5. It Can Prevent Acne
A glycolic acid toner is great for acne-prone skin. As we mentioned, it accelerates the process of skin cell regeneration, causing the skin to unclog. Since the skin won’t have clogged pores, acne breakouts are less likely to happen. In other words, acne happens when the skin is clogged with dead skin and oil. The clogged pores get loaded with bacteria that form pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, bumps, or lumps. All of which fall under the term of acne.
Concentration: Which to Buy?
There are different concentration levels of glycolic acid toners. This is a quick guide to help you pick the one suitable for your skin. Generally, people with normal, combination, and Oily Skin can use it as opposed to people with dry and sensitive skin. That’s because dry and sensitive skin can get easily irritated. These are the available concentrations:
- 2-3%: You should use this one if you have normal, oily, or combination skin. It will work slowly to make hyperpigmentation fade and brighten your skin. You can use it twice a day.
- 5-7%: You can use it once a day if you have normal or oily skin. It will remove hyperpigmentation and reduce scarring.
- 30%: Use it if you have oily and acne-prone skin as it’s stronger than other concentrations. However, you should use it once a week only.
A glycolic acid toner might be just the fix you need for your skincare routine. It has many benefits for your skin. It sheds dead skin, causing layers of new and fresh skin to replace it. That makes it remove skin impurities, resulting in skin free of clogged pores. The new skin will cause any hyperpigmentation to fade gradually. And it won’t have acne breakouts. Other than its toning and exfoliating properties, it also balances the skin pH by neutralizing alkalinity. Last but not least, glycolic acid retains moisture, which causes your skin to look young and well-hydrated.