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How to: Get into Glycolic Acid (and Get Glowy)

Thu, 31 January 2013 2:19PM

Apparently I missed the memo, but everyone and their pet turtles are giving up sugar. Hooray. All for it. Count me in.

But not the natural stuff. I still like my fruit, and I’m not ashamed to say it, usually whilst eating it (much to chagrin of my mother.)

But even though fruit sugars – AKA fructose – are bunkering down against the barrage of non-sugar diets at the minute, fruits in beauty are another story. In particular, I speak of glycolic acid, in which I am planning to indulge by the time autumn leaves start to fall.

It’s my little ‘glycoliday.’

A gly-what-i-day?, you shriek.

Well, in the cooler months I take my skin on a glycolic-holiday.

Picture this: it’s getting cooler outside, the sun has gone, there is a chill in the air, and a noticeably flaky pallor has settled onto your skin. Bingo! Time to take your complexion on a glycoliday with a new cleanser, an evening moisturiser and a weekly mask – or a hard-core salon treatment – and put those winter months to good use getting your glow back!


Here’s why it’s the destination du jour for your epidermis:

  • Glycolic is pretty common – amongst the more familiar fruit acids or hydroxy acids around. It’s considered natural because it’s derived from sugar cane but its effect on the skin is more ‘super-natural’.
  • In the right concentrations, glycolic acid can act as a super exfoliant and moisturiser by reacting with the binding upper layer of the epidermis to weaken it and slough away any dead cells.
  • Over-the-counter concentrations range from 10% – 20%. Anything higher and you would have to visit a clinic (think peels). But tread lightly here, as the more you strip back your skin, the less time it has to repair and regenerate itself. Therefore, like me, treat it as a retreat for your skin.
  • Always start with a lower concentration of glycolic at home, and work your way up if your skin seems to respond. Call me overly cautious, but even when I am using a routine based around fruit acids, I only use the products every second day, otherwise my skin just feels too sensitive.
  • If you are having an in-salon peel or acid-based treatment, be sure to work up to it by not using any other glycolics at home. From my experience, the best – and safest – results are with skin that hasn’t seen an acid all year. Not only is it not as sensitive, but also the results are far greater.

Interested? Here are my two favourite at-home fruit-acid picks I will be playing around with this with next month. Pips and seeds not included!

Invisible Zinc IZ Glycolic Cleanser, $35, David Jones. I know I mentioned this only a week or so ago, but this stuff deserves another drag around the block. The tingling sensation upon application is instantaneous. When you wipe away, skin is not only clean but it’s literally new. No jokes. I have found however that if I use this too much, my skin feels a little too fine, so I keep this to a once- or twice-weekly treat. In saying that, I haven’t used it this summer. It’s definitely more of a mid-year dalliance for me.

Endota Spa Glycolic Nourishing Oil, $75, Endota Spas. Oils are a big friend of mine, and if they not only nurture new skin but also nix the old stuff, then I’m sold. All organic, this rosehip and plant oil mix has a multi-pronged approach to evening skin tone, boosting elasticity and hydrating, it’s best used after a professional treatment to really extend the benefits. Although it can be used morning and night, if you do use it in the A.M just be careful of sun exposure, as skin is more susceptible to pigmentation. If this is a concern, use it only at night – like yours truly.

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  • Posted by: aeko91 Master Fan // Thu, 31 January 2013 03:02pm

    Loved this article. Interesting.

  • Posted by: lolo Master Fan // Thu, 31 January 2013 06:18pm

    This sounds great :) I have heard and tried Glycolic products before, thanks for the tips and ideas!

  • Posted by: PrettyPrincess Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 09:00am

    I am using ASAP cleanser which is glycolic based.

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 09:56am

    The endota spa oil sounds good.
    I didn’t really know that much about glycolic acid. Thanks for the article ecb. :)

  • Posted by: Julieow Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 04:14pm

    “not the natural stuff. I still like my fruit, and I’m not ashamed to say it” This!! I’ll never quit fruit from my diet- too much goodness!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 05:28pm

    I prefer not to mess with all these ingredients on my sensitive skin. I tend to stick with the basics like cleanser and moisturiser.

  • Posted by: Jessielyn Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 05:55pm

    I’ve never tried a glycolic acid product before! I’ll definitely give one a go mid-year.

  • Posted by: GorgeousEmeralds Master Fan // Sun, 3 February 2013 05:57pm

    I’ve never heard of Glycolic Acid, sounds great.

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Mon, 4 February 2013 10:46am

    Love the sound of the Endots oil!

  • Posted by: soMuchPretty Master Fan // Tue, 5 February 2013 01:47pm

    Olay Night Resurfacing Elixir is glycolic based and is terrific. Even my sensitive, acne-prone skin likes it. I use it a few times a week with no problem.

  • Posted by: Ange // Fri, 8 February 2013 09:53am

    I use an evening skin product too and use it day and nigt but will now only use it at night to avoid ‘reactivating’ the pigmentation. thanks..good article.

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Mon, 11 February 2013 02:08pm

    Wow, thanks for the info ecb. Really useful!

  • Posted by: Michelle-1343378350 Devotee // Sat, 2 March 2013 07:55pm

    I’ve heard of glycolic acid before but will be steering clear because of my sensitive skin. Interesting article however.

  • Posted by: MissJo Devotee // Fri, 5 April 2013 09:33pm

    Anything that will give me glow is good to go!

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 21 April 2013 12:58pm

    interesting article, i think i need this

  • Posted by: cookiesandcream Devotee // Thu, 2 May 2013 03:56pm

    wow sounds great

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Sat, 8 June 2013 03:09pm

    Oh I miss my Lush fruit moisturiser

  • Posted by: jessica88 Newbie // Sat, 8 June 2013 11:02pm

    Interesting article. Might try some of it.

  • Posted by: cookiesandcream Devotee // Sun, 16 June 2013 02:15pm

    i might have to try one of those cleansers now

  • Posted by: MissJo Devotee // Mon, 12 August 2013 07:59pm

    Look at her skin!!!!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Wed, 27 May 2015 10:50pm

    I wouldn’t mind trying stronger glycolic acid by visiting a salon, I would love my skin to feel rejuvenated and renewed.

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