Glycolic Acid vs. Salicylic Acid – When and How to Use Them Right?

This glycolic acid vs. salicylic acid comparison proves that there are notable differences between these two very effective chemical exfoliators.

Glycolic Acid vs. Salicylic Acid – When and How to Use Them Right?

Acids are the skincare trend nowadays. Back then people tend to shy away or even avoid completely acids because of the usual thought of harsh and unknown chemicals that you would not want near your face. But because of technological advances and research, acid is now the super ingredient to beautiful skin. If you are not familiar with the type of acids in the skincare market it can be intimidating to start buying and using one. Different acids have different functions and effects on the skin, and we are going to help you figure out the best acid for your skin need.

AHAs and BHAs

Acids can be categorized into AHA and BHA groups. AHAs or alpha-hydroxy acid are known to be gentler to the skin, especially if your skin is new to acids. AHAs like the Glycolic Acid is water-soluble and made from sugary fruits. Its general use as an exfoliator helps peel away the surface of the skin for a smoother and brighter complexion.

BHAs or beta hydroxy acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are oil-soluble that can get deeper into the pores to remove excess sebum. Salicylic acid is one of the most known BHA and it helps reduce acne inflammation and deep cleansing pores.

When to Use Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid helps gently dissolve away the outermost dead skin cells to aid the natural exfoliation process of the skin. It is one of the AHAs that can penetrate the skin easily so the skin absorbs the product quickly.
As a good exfoliant, Glycolic acid helps fight hyperpigmentation and scarring. It also encourages the turnover of fresh skin cells and helps fade away lines and wrinkles. Because of these properties, Glycolic acid is usually found as one of the active ingredients in most anti-aging products.
Because Glycolic acid peels of the outer layer of the skin, it may increase sensitivity to the sun so it is best used at night, and use plenty of sunscreen in the morning.

When to Use Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a more thorough anti-inflammatory and exfoliating agent for treating acne, scars, age spots, and sun damage. It helps unclog pores by getting deeper into the skin and clears out excess sebum and bacteria that cause acne.

Salicylic acid is also best for oily skin as it balances the sebum production removes blackheads that build upon the skin’s pores. What is great about BHAs like Salicylic acid is that it rarely causes sun sensitivity.


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