What is Glycolic Acid?
In order to understand how glycolic acid helps acne scars, we first must understand the definition and composition of the chemical itself. Glycolic acid, also known as hydroxyacetic acid, is the smallest member of the a-hydroxy acid family. It is colorless and odorless, and is known for its high solubility in water. This chemical is found in sugarcane, unripe grapes, pineapple, and various melons. It is isolated and extracted for various skincare uses.
Since its penetration ability is so powerful, glycolic acid is often used in professional chemical peels. You can also get at-home versions of treatments containing a milder amount, and many are loving the positive results they are obtaining.
How Glycolic Acid Helps Acne Scars and Aging
Removes Dead Skin Cells
Glycolic acid helps revitalize the skin in a few ways. The first goal is to manipulate the outermost layer of the skin by weakening the attachment of dead skin cells. This will cause the dull top layer of your skin to disintegrate and reveal a healthier and younger looking face beneath. Since it is almost always obtained from natural sources, glycolic acid is inexpensive and convenient to buy.
This acid also stimulates the collagen and elastin found in the second layer of your skin. These are the components which allow for your skin to stretch and expand. If you pinch a small area of your skin and it does not immediate bounce back, then chances are your elastin is weak and not in a good condtion. Time and age play a big role in the reduction of elastin and collagen, which is why many women fervently turn toward anti-aging remedies by their late 20s. Products containing glycolic acid will often render better results.
When it comes to acne scarring, this ingredient still reigns supreme. It works as a powerful exfoliant which also evens out the top and bottom area of a scar. It is also capable of removing some of the gray appearance women often report along with their scarring. Acne scars are caused by the destruction of skin tissue as a result of a particularly bad blemish, and glycolic acid is capable of restoring what the pimple stole away. Scars have reportedly become flatter and less visible with the use of a glycolic acid product for 6 months to a year.
Using Glycolic Acid
Since glycolic acid is so likable and multi-functional, you can find it in many cosmetics and skincare products. If you are buying an at-home product, remember that you should not be applying a glycolic acid concentration higher than 50%. An amount above this is considered dangerous and should only be used if recommended by your dermatologist.
Glycolic acid is most helpful when used in combination with salicylic acid. Together they work at renewing and refining the skin, which in turn fades acne scars away from the surface of your cherished complexion.