Are you planning to use glycolic acid for acne treatment? Read the pros and cons of glycolic acid, as a cure for acne
Acne is a skin condition which occurs in most of us during the adolescent years. Majority of people are able to get rid of acne by the time they reach their twenties. However, in some of us this condition may persist even in our thirties and forties. The causes of acne are many, such as, excess oil and sebum production, clogging of the hair follicle or presence of an acne causing bacteria in the skin. There are several salon, medical and home treatments that are followed by people to get rid of this skin condition. Out of these, glycolic acid for acne treatment is fast becoming very popular. Here are the usages, pros and cons of glycolic acid explained in detail. Let's start with knowing what is glycolic acid.
Glycolic Acid: Definition
Glycolic acid belongs to a group of chemicals known as the alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or fruit acids. It is a natural product which is isolated from the sugarcane. Ideally Glycolic acid should not be applied in concentrations that are higher than 10% , otherwise it can prove to be quite damaging for the skin. That's why most products that are available in the market having glycolic acid as an ingredient, contain glycolic acid concentrations between eight to ten percent.
Glycolic Acid for Acne: Usages
There are numerous acne skin care products available in the market which contain glycolic acid as an ingredient. Regular application of glycolic acid acne gels or glycolic acid face washes can be very effective in getting rid of the acne. The lotions and creams containing glycolic acid help in moisturizing the acne prone skin too, without making it oily.
You can make your own concoction by mixing together glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Glycolic acid is mixed with salicylic acid and then applied on the skin for treating acne. Glycolic acid breaks the dead cells of the skin and salicylic acid aids in removing them from the skin surface. This helps in opening up of the skin pores and thus, preventing acne and pimples from occurring in the future.
Glycolic Acid Peel facials, also known as the alphahydroxy acid (AHA) peels, are carried out at various salons and spas to treat the acne scars. The treatment usually involves facial peels, once a week , for up to six weeks. In every facial session, the chemical peel containing glycolic acid is applied to the face. This propels the formation of new cells on the surface of the skin. When new cells are formed, the old scars are automatically diminished. Even the recovery time of this facial is much less in comparison to the other chemical peels. Thus, glycolic acid for acne scars treatment can be very beneficial.
Glycolic Acid for Acne: Pros
Glycolic acid is very acidic in nature. This makes it ideal for skin exfoliation. Being acidic in nature, when glycolic acid is applied on the skin, it permeates deep inside the skin. It removes the oil and dirt which holds the dead cells of the skin together. Next it makes the skin free of the dead cells thus, revealing a fresh skin surface. When the skin is cleaned of oil, dirt and dead cells thoroughly, the chances of acne appearing on the skin is minimized.
Glycolic acid is also a natural moisturizer. An acne prone skin is usually very sensitive and oily, and to moisturize such a skin, lotions and creams containing glycolic acid are ideal.
Glycolic Acid for Acne: Cons
Regular use of glycolic acid on the skin can make the skin very sensitive to sunlight. So, if you are undergoing any glycolic acid acne treatment, you have to apply a sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 to avoid sunburns while going out in the sun.
An acne prone skin might experience some sort of redness on the face, for a few days after the glycolic acid for acne treatment is used. This is because a glycolic acid facial peel may contain glycolic acid in a high concentration, thus causing a reaction in the skin.
These effects are however, only temporary and will vanish within a few days. So if you ask me "is glycolic acid good for acne?", I would say it is, provided, adequate precautions, such as applying sunscreens and using such treatments which have less concentration of the acid are used.
Thus, using glycolic acid for acne treatment has both pros and cons. The effects it produces will vary from person to person too. So I would suggest that you try it once, and then depending on the results that you get, you decide its future usage for yourself.
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