Everyone nowadays has a basic understanding of glycolic acid, and now let’s talk about the precautions of using glycolic acid.
As there are many types of acid, people may be confused about different types of acids. There are two kinds of “acid” that need special attention. The first is L-ascorbic acid (also known as L-vitamin C), and the second is retinoic acid or tretinoin (also known as A acid). These two types are not AHA, BHA, or PHA, but they are a kind of vitamin. These two vitamins play a crucial role in the skin. L-vitamin C has a good effect on helping the skin to resist oxidation and promoting collagen production, while A acid has a keratolytic effect, can promote the metabolism of epidermal cells, and can penetrate the thick wall of the hair follicle to remove excessive keratinization, inhibit sebum secretion, and prevent the formation of comedones. Many products contain glycolic acid as well as L-vitamin C or A acid. Although using them together can enhance the effect, they can be irritating to the skin. It is recommended to use them separately. L-vitamin C is generally recommended for daytime use, while A acid or glycolic acid is recommended for nighttime use. This reduces the irritation to the skin while maintaining the effect of improving skin texture. If both A acid and glycolic acid are used at the same time, it is best to consult a doctor. Many people are sensitive to skincare products because they contain multiple types of glycolic acid, are too concentrated, or are mixed with other products.
If you are using glycolic acid products for the first time, start with a low concentration of glycolic acid (AHA <15). For example, AHA 15 means that the skincare product contains 15% AHA, and so on. Of course, you need to identify the AHA ingredients in the product, such as commonly used glycolic acid and other ingredients. The concentration of glycolic acid is not higher, the better, and it depends on the skin condition to determine the concentration. Over time, you will find the most suitable glycolic acid product and concentration. Of course, if the skin condition changes or the weather changes, you may need to adjust it. It is essential to avoid the eye area as much as possible when applying glycolic acid to prevent it from entering the eyes. I once saw a patient accidentally poured half of the glycolic acid on her face and it entered her eyes, resulting in additional treatment!
If there is a significant stinging sensation in the initial stage of using glycolic acid, it is because the concentration of the product and individual skin types are different, so everyone has a different transition period. If redness and stinging persist, it is recommended to stop using it and seek medical advice. To maintain the delicate skin after glycolic acid exfoliation, sun protection is essential!
In addition, although high-concentration glycolic acid is available on the market, it is not recommended to attempt to use high-concentration glycolic acid for exfoliation to avoid skin burns due to improper operation or use.