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- Glycolic acid is a skin-care acid from the alpha hydroxy acids family.
- The ingredient helps brighten the skin's tone and smooths uneven texture.
- Glycolic acid can be found in a variety of products, including cleansers, serums, and toners.
In the world of skin-care acids, glycolic acid is a star. It's a go-to for many, regarded for its abilities to brighten skin's tone and smooth its texture in no time. No matter what your skin-care goals are — minimizing fine lines, boosting collagen, improving texture, fighting acne, restoring radiance — you could probably benefit from incorporating glycolic acid into your regimen.
Glycolic acid skin-care products come in many different forms. You can find the ingredient in cleansers, toners, resurfacing masks, serums, and more. While some products are left on to absorb into the skin, like serums, others are washed off, like cleansers, or swiped across the skin, like exfoliating pads or toners.
While the acid isn't the best for those with sensitive skin due to its small molecular size, and therefore its ability to penetrate the skin on a deeper level, you can still incorporate it at lower concentrations if you're worried about skin sensitivities. The highest concentration you can find over the counter is 20 percent.
To help you start incorporating the ingredient into your routine, we rounded up the best products with glycolic acid in them ahead.
— Additional reporting by Wendy Gould