Best Glycolic Acid Serum To Smoothen & Brighten The Skin

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Just Incase you’re seeking to add glycolic acid serum into your skincare routine to potentiate your daily skincare-ritual by midly and deeply exfoliating your skin, minimize skin-aging signs and address skin-texture irregularities, we’re glad to let you know you’ve made a great choice and your skin will thank you for it. All you need to do is, choose the best glycolic acid serum for a job well-done. 

What Is Glycolic Acid?

If you’re new to glycolic acid, know that — glycolic acid is an AHA family (alpha hydroxy acids). It’s the most common and widely used skin exfoliating acid, it’s derived from sugar plant. Glycolic acid is known for its small molecular size in weight which enables it to penetrate deeper into the skin to eradicate dead skin cells and dissolve sebum. According to Kenneth Howe, M.D., a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology in New York City “Of all the AHAs, glycolic is the simplest in structure and the smallest; it has the lowest molecular weight”. That small molecular weight means “it’s easy for it to penetrate your skin and be super effective,” says Alix Shapiro, skin therapist at Heyday in NYC.

Exfoliation is an essential step in every skincare routine, that’s why including an AHA such as glycolic acid in to your night-time skincare routine is important, not only to exfoliate skin-surface and decongest pores of grime but also stimulate collagen production which helps to curb the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, thereby improving skin texture and complexion. Below are our best picks of the best glycolic acid serums, go through the list, click through the link to make a pick, consult your derm, and enjoy glycolic acid skin benefits.

1. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum – Best Overall.

Glycolic acid for skin

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A serum loved by all (including beauty editors & dermatologists). This formula is infused with a blend of 12 percent AHA & BHA—including glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric and salicylic Acid—that work together to eliminate pore-clogging dead skin cells, fade dark spots, smoothen wrinkles, fine lines and improve overall skin texture and complexion.

Pros

  • Combines 4 AHAs + 1 BHA.
  • A 12% concentration formula.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Contains no harmful ingredients.

Cons

  • May not be suitable for everyone’s budget.
  • Pump sometimes fails to work.

2. Murad Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum – Best For Hyperpigmentation.

Best glycolic acid serum

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A formula that unites glycolic acid with a stabilized form of vitamin C. While glycolic acid does its mild exfoliation and pore-decongesting job, vitamin C helps fight free radicals, subdue excess melanin production, thereby addressing hyperpigmentation issue, which in turn improves skin tone for the better. A combination of these two fantastic ingredient will tackle texture irregularities and brighten up the skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Blends glycolic and vitamin C.
  • Contains no harmful substances.

Cons

  • Expensive (but worths your money).

3. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution – Best Glycolic Toner.

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A liquid glycolic toner — just like a serum, this skin toning solution from The Ordinary brand contains 7% glycolic acid, in combination with other skin-soothing and hydrating ingredients like rosa damascena flower water, aloe barbadensis leaf water and tasmanian pepperberry derivative to restrain irritations and Inflammation associated with acids use. Read full review here.

Pros

  • Comes in 240 ml size.
  • Contains 7% glycolic acid concentration.
  • Contains no skin -harmful ingredients.

Cons

  • None.

4. Herbivore Prism 12% AHA + 3% BHA Exfoliating Glow Serum – Best For Acne Prone Skin.

Glycolic acid for skin

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Here’s another AHA & BHA powerhouse serum, combining the likes of lactic, glycolic, malic and salicylic acid in one formula, to curb excessive melanin production, address hyperpigmentation, minimize large pores, smoothen wrinkles and fine lines, sloughs off dead skin cells and get rid of acne. If you’re prone to acne or have existing acne (including blackheads and whiteheads), then this pick is your best bet, all thanks to salicylic acid which cuts through oil in the skin, targets and gets rid of acne.

Pros

  • Treats acne (whiteheads & blackheads)
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Combines 12% AHA + 3% BHA.
  • Contains no toxic chemicals.

Cons

  • A bit pricey (but still worths your money).

5. Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum – Best For Dry Skin.

Best glycolic acid serum

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Individuals with dry skin shouldn’t put something too over-drying on their skin, as to that, they should go for something soothing and hydrating. And when it comes to glycolic acid serums for dry skin, this very pick is recommended. Combines glycolic acid with skin-soothing honey and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated and replenish lost moisture while glycolic acid does its job.

Pros

  • A skin hydrating formula.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Contains no-skin-harmful ingredients.

Cons

  • A bit pricey (but worths your money).

6. First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA – Best Non-Irritating Formula.

Glycolic acid for Skin

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A skin exfoliating and resurfacing liquid with blend of 4 alpha hydroxy acids at 10% concentration — glycolic, lactic, tartaric and malic acid to help skin appear smoother, brighter, healthier and firmer. This potent, yet non-irritating leave-on skin resurfacer also contains other fascinating skin-brightening and soothing ingredients — licorice root (for skin soothing), mulberry root and lemon peel extracts.

Pros

  • Skin soothing formula.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Contains no harmful chemicals.

Cons

  • Slightly expensive (but worths your money).

7. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel – Best Glycolic Peel.

Glycolic for skin

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We know, we know, we know, this isn’t a serum, but we thought if you’re a fan of exfoliating peels, you may want to give this one a trial. This peel pads are filled with a blend of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid to give your skin a packed punch of exfoliation and refinement, sloughing away even the most stubborn dead skin cells and dirt from your pores. They’re also gentle enough to use daily. All you have to do is, sweep a pad over your clean, dry face and neck till the pad is dry, (don’t rinse) continue with your additional skincare topicals. See other best at-home chemical exfoliating peels

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Contains no toxic ingredients.

Cons

  • None.

8. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum – Best Drugstore Formula.

Glycolic acid for Skin

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If you rather prefer a formula with just glycolic acid — without the inclusion of other AHAs — then this drugstore formula is your best pick. Infused with 10% pure glycolic acid to sweep off dead skin cells, address texture irregularities, decongest the pores of build-up and brightens complexion. Glycolic acid is paired with aloe vera, to help soothe and hydrate the skin, curbing irritation associated with acid use, all thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Pros

  • Contains 10% single glycolic acid.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Doesn’t contain any skin harmful substances.

Cons

  • None.

9. InstaNatural Glycolic Acid Serum – Best Organic Formula.

Glycolic for skin

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An 8% glycolic acid serum to revatilize and refine your skin. This formula merges glycolic acid with vitamin C to amplify the product efficacy as vitamin C suppresses excess melanin, fights skin-aging signs, and ward-off external free radicals. It also contains other skin hydrating and soothing ingredient (hyaluronic acid & argan oil) to curtail irritation associated with acid use and prevents the skin from drying out while glycolic acid does its magic.

Pros

  • An organic formula.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Does not contain harmful substances.

Cons

  • None.

10. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel – Best Exfoliating Gel.

Glycolic acid for skin

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This 8% AHA formula in a gel form contains glycolic acid to remove built-up layers of dead skin in consolidation with skin-soothing plant extracts and antioxidants not only to give your skin a reformed and refined looks but also replenish the skin of lost moisture and soothes the skin of Inflammation, all thanks hyaluronic acid, aloe vera juice, green tea extract and matricaria flower extract. Simply saturate your cotton pad with this leave-on gentle exfoliator and sweep across your cleansed face and neck.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Contains skin soothing ingredients.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Does not contain harmful substances.

Cons

  • None.

11. Cane + Austin Miracle Pad 30% Glycolic Facial Treatment – Best Glycolic Wipe.

Glycolic acid for skin

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If by any means you prefer your glycolic-exfoliating formula in wipes, then here’s the best-pick. A 30% glycolic exfoliating peel in wipes, not only does it contain glycolic acid, but other AHAs & BHA (lactic acid, salicylic acid and tartaric acid) in addition with skin hydrating and soothing cucumber juice to curb inflammatory irritation. Comes with a pad for treatment application. Saturate your cotton pad, swipe over face in circular motion after cleansing.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Contains skin soothing ingredients.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
  • Does not contain harmful substances.

Cons

  • None.

12. Renée Rouleau Smoothing Body Serum – Best For Body.

Best glycolic acid serum

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It’s interesting to let you know that glycolic acid isn’t meant for the face alone, of course it can be used on the body as well. So, if you have any need to use glycolic acid on your body, then consider this formula. it contains a powerful blend of 21 percent glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids to smoothen your skin from the neck down and minimize the appearance of bumps, flakes, rough spots, and even keratosis pilaris.

Pros

  • For the body.
  • Contains 21% concentration.
  • An amalgamation of 3 AHAs.
  • Contains no toxic chemicals.

Cons

  • None.

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: Who should use glycolic acid?

A: In general, any one struggling with textured skin (texture irregularities) wrinkles, fine lines with acne-prone skin or blackheads.

Q: Can pregnant and nursing mothers use glycolic acid?

A: Topical applications of glycolic acid in the form of lotions, creams, cleansers, peels and toners with a concentration of 10% is absolutely safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, this research study authenticates the fact.

A: No. Glycolic acid is much stronger and may irritate sensitive skin, therefore people with sensitive should opt for lactic acid, which is more gentle and mild on the skin. If you have skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, you should talk with your dermatologist about your options. He or she may recommend using a different active ingredient for your problem areas, or starting with other AHAs instead.

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