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Mode d'utilisation de l'acide glycolique.

How To Use Glycolic Acid?

As an exfoliating ingredient, glycolic acid is used in several sectors of cosmetology. Thanks to its many benefits for skin and scalp, this AHA is included in various formulas for skin care or cleansing. Learn how and when to use glycolic acid in order to profit from an impressive glycolic acid “before and after”. 

All of Typology’s Glycolic Acid Products.

The Main Benefits of Glycolic Acid.

Often nicknamed the fruit acid, glycolic acid is a powerful active ingredient that can be found in many beauty products: from peels to masks, serums or night creams targeted as purifying care for oily skin, lightening or anti-wrinkle, body care, shampoos and conditioners, and even toners and cleansing lotions.

Part of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, glycolic acid is derived from fruit sugar (beet, grape, sugar cane, pineapple, etc.). Its low molecular weight (M = 76.05 g/mol) gives it a great power of penetration in the deep layers of the skin. On the market, the percentages of AHA in individual products vary between 4% and 10%. It is therefore suitable for all skin types, provided that you choose a product adapted to your skin type. Beyond that, the treatment must be performed by a doctor.

This molecule is particularly appreciated for its exfoliating virtues. Indeed, glycolic acid reacts by simple contact and without friction with the corneal layer by weakening the lipidic bonds connecting the corneocytes between them, causing the acceleration of the process of natural desquamation and the effective elimination of impurities. Thus, revealing an impressive glycolic acid before and after, it shows smoother, more toned and younger skin underneath. In fact, this leads to a considerable improvement in the texture and appearance of the epidermis, due to the stimulation of cell regeneration and skin microcirculation. The complexion is smoothed and luminous, the skin is purified (regulation of sebum secretion), the size of the pores is refined, and skin irregularities are reduced (acne scars, etc...).

Other effects are other effects, too: this acid helps reduce pigmentation spots by inhibiting the overproduction of melanin, as well as restoring firmness and hydration to the skin, and blurring the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating the synthesis of collagen, elastin, responsible for the skin's tone, and hyaluronic acid. These glycolic acid benefits depend mostly on the dosage and other active ingredients found in cosmetic products.

When To Use Glycolic Acid?

Most skin types can benefit from the use of a glycolic acid-based treatment. It is particularly suitable for dry, normal, combination to oily, blemish-prone (enlarged pores, pimples, blackheads), dull, hyperpigmented, rough and mature skin. On the other hand, glycolic acid can be unfavorable for some people. If you have sensitive skin, these treatments are probably not for you. We strongly advise you to consult a dermatologist before trying it. Indeed, it can generate allergic reactions as well as irritations. Also, people with darker skin may be at risk of pigmentation issues with the use of glycolic acid.


Glycolic acid is an excellent addition to formulas for combination to oily skin as a seborrhea regulator, preventing new acne breakouts, pore clogging and blackheads. For dry skin, this ingredient is recommended to increase skin hydration by participating in the synthesis of hyaluronic acid. Glycolic acid can even help skin that has a lot of pigmentation (sun spots, melasma, acne marks), making them less visible and evening out the complexion. It is also known to help tired and dull looking skin look more radiant, fresher, brighter and younger. On mature skin, skin care products containing glycolic acid are valued for their brightening properties, tightening effect, and ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells and promoting cell renewal, it facilitates the absorption of other skin care products into the skin.

How To Use Glycolic Acid in Your Skincare Routine?

Although glycolic acid has a moisturizing property, cosmetic products containing this active ingredient are primarily exfoliants. It is therefore important to moisturize the skin when using fruit acids. Indeed, as an exfoliant, glycolic acid presents a risk of drying out the skin. To combat this effect, apply a moisturizer adapted to your skin type after using such products.

Little extra: Our exfoliating serum with 10%

glycolic acid also contains ingredients 

with soothing, anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory 

and repairing properties, such as bisabolol 

and chamomile extract. Our exfoliating toner 

with 8% glycolic acid contains vegetable glycerin 

known for its moisturizing properties, 

thus reducing the potential occurrence 

of skin inflammation and irritation, 

just like our exfoliating shower gel.

Moreover, by exfoliating, you refine the horny layer. This leaves the skin more exposed, more vulnerable and more sensitive. Therefore, the application of cosmetic products with glycolic acid in the evening is preferable. The skin will then have enough time to regenerate during sleep. Indeed, it is during this period that the skin's regeneration peak is at its maximum. In addition, it is advisable to protect the skin from UV rays, regardless of the season, with a sunscreen (SPF 30 minimum) during the day and, if possible, to avoid long exposure for a few weeks. If you don't protect yourself, your skin will redden more quickly and the risk of sunburn will be greater.

To achieve smoother, healthier and more radiant skin, before using the glycolic acid product remove your makeup and then clean your face. Also, make sure your skin is properly dried: an application on wet skin will be less effective and less well tolerated because in the presence of water, the acid is more irritating. If you choose our glycolic acid facial exfoliating serum, spread 3 to 4 drops (the equivalent of a pea) on your face during your evening beauty routine. Gently massage for a few moments to make the active ingredients penetrate deep into the skin. This care does not need to be rinsed. When applying, remember to avoid the eye area! The same applies to our peeling mask. It combines the action of four AHAs and a PHAs to act at different depths of the epidermis and eliminate dead cells. This gel-mask can be used once or twice a week, in the evening only.

As for the glycolic acid exfoliating toner, it can be used daily in the evening only, after your makeup removal. To do so, soak a reusable cotton pad with the exfoliating lotion, then apply to the entire face, carefully avoiding the eye area. There is no need to rinse. You can then complete your skincare ritual by applying a serum and a night cream. We have developed an exfoliating night cream, based on glycolic acid. It has a scrubbing action and helps fight against the dilation of pores and the appearance of blackheads day after day.

You can also find an exfoliating shower gel with 6% glycolic acid at Typology. In the evening only, apply a small amount of the product to your dampened body. You don't need to spread a lot of product to wash your skin effectively. After your shower with the glycolic acid gel, it is recommended to apply a moisturizer to finalize your routine. Finally, for hair care, for example a shampoo with glycolic acid, apply the product to wet hair, then massage a few minutes before rinsing.

Discover the range of glycolic acid products on our site, as well as all related products in order to give your skin a real treat.

Sources

  • WON Y. H. & al. The effet of glycolic acid on cultured human skin fibroblasts : celle proliferative effect and increased collagen synthesis. The Journal of Dermatology (1998).

  • MAIBACH H.I. & al. Increased in vivo collagen synthesis and in vitro cell proliferative effect of glycolic acid. Dermatologic Surgery (1998).

  • GARG G. & al. Chemical peeling - glycolic acid in varying concentrations and time intervals. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology (2001).

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