The absolute easiest route to glowing, radiant, and youthful-looking skin? Simple: Incorporate a chemical exfoliant into your regular routine. Glycolic acid is by far one of the most popular choices.
Why glycolic acid, you ask?
Glycolic acid is made up of the smallest molecules in the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) category, making it one of the most impactful when it comes to skin care because it can more easily penetrate the skin. It's also surprisingly natural. "Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane," says Dr. Zeichner.
It's recognized and beloved by dermatologists for its resurfacing and smoothing properties. "It has skin exfoliating benefits to help shed dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin," says Dr. Zeichner. "It helps brighten a dull complexion, enhance radiance, and improve skin tone. Glycolic acid also helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."
When should you use it?
Use it at night because it can make your skin sensitive to the sun—and make sure that you use SPF in the morning.
What are the results?
An independent study found that the product makes skin feel smoother and more refined. In just one week, skin looks more youthful, and in two weeks, dark spots are visibly reduced. In four weeks, wrinkles and fine lines are minimized.
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