New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

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Au bout de combien de temps peut-on voir les effets de l'acide glycolique sur la peau ?

After how long can we see the effects of glycolic acid on the skin?

The undeniable benefits of glycolic acid on the skin.

Glycolic acid is the smallest organic acid among the alpha-hydroxy acids (A.H.A.), also known as fruit acids alongside lactic acid and citric acid. Derived from cane sugar, beet, or grape, glycolic acid has established itself as the top active ingredient for chemical peels due to its exfoliating strength, meaning it effectively detaches dead cells on the skin surface, thereby boosting cell renewal. Moreover, it stands out from other A.H.A.s due to its reduced molecular size, giving it an excellent ability to penetrate the skin for deep action. Acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, lack of radiance, scars: glycolic acid also helps to mitigate these issues.

Glycolic acid was patented by Ruey Yu, a doctor in chemistry, and Eugene Van Scott, a physician, for 35 uses, the most popular being dry skin, acne, hyperpigmentation (brown spots or uneven dark complexion), wrinkles, aging, and the reduction of small scars. Their medical studies show that a non-rinse product based on 8-12% glycolic acid, used twice a day for 6 to 8 months, alters the skin and brings about continuous improvements over time.

How long should one wait before seeing the effects?

If you use a glycolic acid treatment every night (since this active ingredient is photosensitive, it is not applied in the morning), here is the progression of your skin that you can observe.

  • In the initial weeks, the skin's texture improves, regaining its radiance. Thanks to its peeling effect, glycolic acid effectively eliminates dead, dull, and dehydrated cells from the skin's surface. This exfoliating action allows healthy cells to emerge (cell renewal), which restores radiance and brightness to the face.

  • After a month of use, clogged pores, blackheads, and pimples begin to disappear. As the pores are unclogged and less dilated, pimples and blackheads become less frequent.

  • After one to two months of use, minor pigmentation flaws (dark and uneven complexion) disappear. Indeed, depending on the concentration of glycolic acid, exfoliation allows for the removal of melanin-rich skin cells on the skin's surface. This phenomenon can even stimulate cellular renewal at the basal layer of the skin, which is the deep layer of the epidermis where melanocytes, the melanin-producing cells, are located. This therefore allows todiminish brown spotscaused by aging or sun exposure (including melasma) and thus lighten the complexion.

  • After one to six months of daily application, benefits are visible in terms of skin aging. Indeed, glycolic acid can stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin, the levels of which weaken with age. It also stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, a natural humectant responsible for skin hydration, which also tends to gradually decrease with age. Thus, glycolic acid helps the skin to maintain a good level of hydration, to firm up and tone, but also to fade wrinkles and fine lines.

It should be noted, this progression is not consistent for everyone. Everyone's skin improves at a different pace. Some see immediate results, while others have to wait longer. If your skin tolerates this active ingredient well, the key is to be patient and above all consistent in using your glycolic acid skincare products.

At Typology, we recommend waiting at least 4 weeks to see the effects of our exfoliating serum which contains 10% glycolic acid.


  • Barbara A Green, Ruey J Yu, Eugene J Van Scott, Clinical and cosmeceutical uses of hydroxyacids, Clin Dermatol, (2009)


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