Your Guide to Glycolic Acid

I remember the very first time I heard about Glycolic Acid!

I was about 20 (am now 50 eek!) and I was managing a Skin Clinic. We had a company approach us with this new miracle ingredient: Glycolic Acid! I mean, an Acid?? I thought to myself, this is crazy.

My boss and I were so intrigued with this new concept that we agreed to go ahead with the launch of the range, whose primary ingredient was Glycolic Acid.

I sat there so in awe of the Doctor who was presenting to Glycolic Acid to us and explaining all the science behind it that I turned to my boss and said to her, "This is going to be big, this is going to change skincare"

Here we are, 30 years later and Glycolic Acid remains one of the biggest skin changing ingredients to hit skincare.

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid - also know as an AHA. It is derived from sugarcane.

It is used to treat skin concerns such as ageing, pigmentation, dryness, and acne.

When applied to the skin, Glycolic Acid helps to dissolve the glue that holds all of the dead skin cells in place. This creates a peeling effect that can make the skin appear smoother and more even.

The benefits of Glycolic Acid for The skin

Benefits of Glycolic Acid:

Fights Acne

Blemishes and breakouts are the results of pores that have become clogged & blocked.

As an exfoliator, Glycolic Acid helps to not only lift dirt and dead skin from the surface of your face but can get down deeper into hair follicles and loosen up any sebum build-up.

As it is cleaning out the pores, Glycolic Acid can also help visibly reduce the pore size with continued use.


Glycolic Acid is one method to help soften fine lines and wrinkles on your face as it removes dead skin cells to reveal softer, smoother skin. This allows all your other products to work far more effectively.

Helps to lighten Pigmentation

As Glycolic Acid removes dead skin cells, it also helps to fade any unevenness in your skin tone. This may include sun damage, dark spots, age spots, pigmentation.

As older skin is exfoliated away, fresh skin that is more even reveals itself, improving the overall appearance of your complexion.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Safe

This is yet another benefit of Glycolic Acid. So many women have skin concerns that flare up during this very hormonal stage and Glycolic Acid can help address these concerns safely.

Asap Radiance Serum

Side effects of Glycolic Acid:

Some people who use glycolic acid will experience a slight tingling and some redness when they first start using this ingredient.

You can also experience dryness and flaking - this is all normal and should subside over time.

But if you experience burning, pain, or itching, you may be experiencing an adverse reaction to Glycolic Acid. In these cases, rinse your face and stop using the product until you speak to your skincare expert about the next steps.

How should I use Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is found in a variety of products: Cleansers, Toners, Serums and Moisturisers.

The potency of the acid varies in levels anywhere from 8% to more than 20%.

However, a higher concentration of Glycolic Acid doesn’t always mean it is better for you.

If you are new to Glycolic Acid you should start with a low percentage of that ingredient. Plus, you do not need to have Glycolic Acid in every product!

It is best to have a professional consultation to establish your skin concerns and goals and have your products professionally prescribed. This way you will be less likely to have adverse reactions to the acid.

Here are some of our best-selling products containing Glycolic Acid:

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Sleep Glycolic is the Medik8 approach to at-home glycolic acid. The smallest of the AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), glycolic acid can penetrate the deepest into the skin. As a result, glycolic acid can address more stubborn skin concerns such as uneven texture and a lacklustre complexion.

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On combination or oily skins, it improves the texture of the skin, reduces acne scars and minimises pore size.

On dry and mature skins, it reduces wrinkles and expression lines and improves hydration.

In the case of skin with pigmentation problems, it gradually reduces spots and enhances even skin tone and luminosity.

Indicated as an intensive treatment to renew the skin after the summer or winter, restoring its luminosity and tone.

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Peptides promote collagen production and strengthen skin. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic Acid) exfoliate the skin’s surface, sloughing away dead skin cells, excess oil, and bacteria to smooth uneven texture, minimise hyperpigmentation and scarring, and brighten the skin. Salicylic Acid, a Beta-Hydroxy Acid, exfoliates within the pores to remove dead skin cells, excess oil, and bacteria, fighting acne breakouts at the source whilst preventing future breakouts.

About the Author

My name is Rochelle, I have been lucky enough to be in the Beauty Industry for over 30 years helping clients achieve amazing results with their skin.

With 3 children of my own, I understand life is busy, so I'd love to help you find the best regimen that works for you and your lifestyle!

Having owned my own traditional based Beauty Salon and time in the Laser Industry, I've learnt that my passion lies in results-driven skin treatments and products. I feel so fortunate to have the most amazing brands at my fingertips. This allows me to give the best possible treatment and home care advice you need to achieve the skin you desire

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