Which AHA Is For You? Here's What You Should Know About Glycolic Acid & Other Exfoliants

Published by SAYS.com

While beauty routines may differ across the board, there are a few standout ingredients when it comes to skincare powerhouses

On the quest for glowy, smooth skin? Then you should be turning your attention to exfoliants such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). You'll find that most exfoliating acids categorised under AHA are more commonly featured in popular skincare products available on the market today.

Unlike physical exfoliants such as sugar or coffee face scrubs, as well as other abrasives that are designed to manually remove dead skin and impurities, chemical exfoliants like glycolic and lactic acid are ingredients that are great for exfoliating your skin.

Each type of chemical exfoliant works differently and targets different concerns, which is why it may take a while to decide which works best for your skin. 
So, if you're looking to find out more about chemical exfoliants, fret no more, we are here to help!

Let's take a closer look at AHAs: 

AHAs are typically water-soluble and exfoliate dead skin cells on the surface of your face, leaving behind smoother and brighter skin.

There are a few types of AHAs that you've probably come across while reading labels on skincare products. The most popular type you'll spot is glycolic acid.

Naturally derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid is considered one of the more powerful AHAs compared to the rest

As the smallest molecular weight of the group, it can easily penetrate through skin cells, allowing the acid to be absorbed quickly. This means that it can break up the bonds holding dead skin cells together, effectively shedding them.

High concentrations of glycolic acid are often used in clinical treatments for chemical peel procedures. Also known as desquamation, the process of dissolving the outer layer of skin helps significantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sun spots, melasma, and acne scars.

Most skincare products that are formulated with glycolic acid tend to come in lower concentrations to give you the best results

While most chemical peel procedures use about 30% to 40% glycolic acid in a single session, you wouldn't be going for these clinical treatments daily. Light peels can be done once a month, while deep chemical peels are only required once every two to three years.

That's why glycolic acid in skincare products such as creams, serums, and toners typically contain concentrations starting from 5%, making them suitable for daily use.

Other common types of AHA, derived from plant sources, are also known for their exfoliating properties

Like glycolic acid, chemical exfoliants remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, revealing regenerated skin underneath.

Here's a look at these AHAs:

- Lactic acid: Commonly derived from milk or the fermentation of dairy products. This versatile chemical exfoliant helps to keep the skin hydrated and moisturised.

- Citric and malic acid: Citric acid is found in citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges, while malic acid comes from fruits like apples and pears. These AHAs also have antioxidant properties to prevent aging and dull skin.

- Mandelic acid: Extracted from bitter almonds, its bigger molecular size allows it to exfoliate sensitive skin with no irritation.

- Phytic acid: Considered as one of the mildest forms of AHA, it is derived from grains, legumes, and rice. Similarly to lactic acid, it has antioxidant properties, and it can be used to treat acne and blackheads.

Wondering which product to try now that you're all caught up on your AHAs?

If you're looking to smoothen and brighten your skin, L'Oréal Paris has just the thing for you to try.

The well-known French brand's new Glycolic-Bright Glowing Peeling Toner can not only be easily incorporated into your skincare routine, but also boldly claims to give you an instant glow and smooth skin in just 30 seconds*.

Containing 5% glycolic acid, the toner is suitable for Asian-skin types and gentle enough for daily use. It works to reduce the appearance of dark spots, on top of evening out your skin tone.You can use this toner right after cleansing to get smoother and radiant skin.

*Clinical test done on 64 subjects.
*Tested and proven on Asian skin tones.

On top of the toner, the L'Oréal Paris Glycolic-Bright 1% Glycolic Acid Serum can help reduce 57% of dark spots in just four weeks**

The serum is clinically proven to brighten skin and reduce dark spots, making it powerful yet gentle enough for daily use. What's also great is that it will not irritate your skin!

The L'Oréal Paris Glycolic-Bright 1% Glycolic Acid Serum is also formulated with these other ingredients:

- Niacinamide: A form of vitamin B3 commonly used to protect and soothe the skin.

- Sodium hyaluronate: A well-known anti-ageing active ingredient to smooth out wrinkles.

- Salicylic acid: An active ingredient known for boosting the skin's fundamental substance, and stimulating collagen synthesis to improve skin density and plumpness.

**Clinical test done on spots after 28 days on 79 subjects.
**Tested and proven on Asian skin tones.

Both these products by L'Oréal Paris are also known as the 'Glowchangers', a Glycolic-Bright duo for you to achieve instant glowy and smooth skin, reduced dark spots, and an even skin tone

By adding the 'Glowchangers' to your skincare routine, you can look forward to treating your skin with chemical exfoliants that can give you clinic-inspired, glowy, smooth skin in just 30 seconds.

You can complete your regime with the rest of L'Oréal Paris' skincare regime:

- The Glycolic Bright Glowing Daily Cleanser Foam gently exfoliates, deeply cleanses, and removes dullness for even glowing skin. Its dense creamy foam allows it to thoroughly clear impurities and makeup.

- Formulated with glycolic acid, the Glycolic-Bright Glowing Day Cream effectively corrects the appearance of dullness and reduces dark spots, for visibly even glowing skin. It is clinically proven to increase the skin's protective barrier against harmful UV rays.

- To boost your skin's glow overnight*** and reduce dark spots, the Glycolic-Bright Glowing Night Gel Cream contains glycolic acid and antioxidant vitamin E too. With encapsulated beads, this moisturiser is formulated to give you brighter skin.

***Clinical test done on 64 subjects.
***Tested and proven on Asian skin tones.

Ready to incorporate glycolic acid into your skincare routine for smooth, glowy skin? Head over to L'Oréal Paris' official store on Shopee and Lazada to get your hands on the full set today!