Glycolic acid and Salicylic acid are chemical exfoliators that both make your skin look smoother, brighter and ultimately, younger. But which of these two is better for the skin? Let’s get to know each of these wonderful ingredients and find out who the real winner is.
Out of all other AHAs, Glycolic Acid has the smallest molecules. These molecules penetrate your skin in a much deeper level which makes Glycolic Acid a really good skin exfoliator compared to other AHAs. This powerful exfoliation process encourages skin cell turnover thus generating an overall better skin texture: scars and hyperpigmentations will fade and be less noticeable, and surface wrinkles and fine lines will be fended off by the constant production new face skin cells.
Skincare products use different concentrations of Glycolic Acid. It goes from 5 to 30% and the higher the concentration is, the more potent the products are. For beginners, it is best to use products with a lower concentration and eventually build up its use over time. This way, your skin will become more accustomed to the strengths of the Glycolic Acid and will show lesser irritation. Also, note that all AHAs increases our skin’s photosensitivity! This means that when you use Glycolic Acid or any other AHA, your skin will be extremely sensitive to the UV rays of the sun, and even your indoor fluorescent light!
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The light surface exfoliation improves overall skin texture while the deeper penetration action effectively treats the biggest skin acne problems such as whiteheads, blackheads and deeper cystic acne.
Aside from that, this powerful compound also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that greatly helps in maintaining and keeping your skin acne-free even in the future.
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Glycolic and Salicylic Acid are both trusted chemical exfoliators and they work wonders for the different needs of our skin. This is why it is still best to use both accordingly to your skin type and your skin’s current concerns. Glycolic Acid and other AHAs are definitely good for dry, sun-damaged or aging skin. Using AHAs will hydrate skin as well as increase new skin cell production which will give way to younger, glowing skin. Salicylic Acid or other BHAs are best for oily and acne-prone skin. It will deeply exfoliate down to the pores and get rid of the oils and dirt that manual exfoliation can’t do. If you also have sensitive skin that can’t tolerate AHAs, you can definitely try this to get smoother and clearer skin.
Yes, you can certainly use both but not at the same time! Using them in combination will help you deal with a wider range of skin issues since they penetrate and act at different levels of the skin. However, still know that both ingredients are very potent and using them consecutively can over exfoliate your skin and lead to even more skin damage. If you want to add both in your skincare routine, it is best to use one for a few weeks and then alternate to the second acid for the next few weeks. This way you can observe how your skin reacts and identify which of your skin concerns gets resolved by each.
Find out your skin issues and use the right acid depending on how your skin is feeling that day or week. If you’re skin could use some extra hydration, use a Glycolic Acid. If you see a pimple forming on your cheek, spot treat it with a dab of Salicylic Acid.
Make sure that you don’t over exfoliate! Read your product’s application instructions and pay extra attention to your skin once you alternate between the two acids. Aside from the usual peeling, stinging or redness, a sure-fire sign of too much exfoliation is a tight feeling of the skin no matter how much moisturizer you put on. Once you feel this, stop exfoliating and focus on repairing your skin by moisturizing it and giving it the time to rest and heal. Chemical exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs are good for the skin but too much of something good also leads to bad things so always keep in mind to use these products in moderation and you will have nothing to worry about.
Still not sure which one you should use for your skin concerns? Let’s take a look at some of the most common skin issues and learn more on how both or either acid treat these pesky skin problems.
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A good combination of both Glycolic and Salicylic Acid will reduce if not entirely remove benign face growths such as warts and keratosis pilaris. A balanced combo of these chemical peels will help with multi-level skin exfoliation getting rid of stubborn face growths. Glycolic acid will exfoliate the top layers of your skin while salicylic acid will treat the deeper buildup the in the follicles.
Have you tried Salicylic Acid or Glycolic Acid? Which one is best for your skin? Let us know in the comments below!