Glycolic acid moisturisers to give you an instant glow-up
In an ironic twist, long weekends are when we often find ourselves short on time – an extra day often equals extra outings, and with them comes the desperate need to make sure our Monday face looks just as bright as our Saturday one (despite the fact our hangover is generally growing stronger with each passing hour). Let’s just say, if Berocca is the answer to a struggling stomach, a glycolic acid moisturiser is the one for a less-than-fresh face.
So, what’s so good about it? Well, it’s an obnoxiously impressive overachiever. Yep, it actually streamlines exfoliation and hydration into one single step, so you have more time for drinking, eating and celebrating whilst still looking lit from within. (Unless of course, you’d rather dedicate your days to mastering the art of an at-home facial, which TBH we would also really respect).
If you are keen to go down the instant radiance route, however, we chatted to Alyce Wangmann, Research and Development Expert for Dr.Lewinn’s to get the lowdown on how to nail a glycolic glow-up. Let’s glow.
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Glycolic is generally packed into peels, but what are the benefits of it within a moisturiser?
“Glycolic acid in a moisturiser is going to help exfoliate the skin - working to help the skin shed its dead and dull cells to reveal a radiant younger skin layer underneath,” explains Alyce. “The benefits of using glycolic acid in this format are that it works in a more gentle way which means you’re less likely to get irritation like redness and skin flaking,” Alyce shares. “These products are definitely multitasking; the glycolic will provide a gentle exfoliation while the traditional moisturising format will help to provide hydration. In addition to this, the exfoliating action is working all day/night as you wear the moisturiser vs. a 10 min peel, plus the exfoliating action can help other ingredients in your moisturiser work deeper into new skin layers,” she says.
What exactly is it doing within the skin?
“Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant meaning it works to dissolve the glue that holds our skin cells together, which means we can shed that old, dull layer of cells a lot easier. The shedding of these old cells effectively kick-starts the skin renewal process; revealing a radiant new skin layer, and stimulating the production of new cells and collagen for skin that looks more radiant and youthful,” she explains.
Where would a glycolic moisturiser fit into your routine as opposed to a glycolic peel?
“Think of your glycolic acid moisturiser as a yoga session vs. a peel treatment as intense cardio; both work to keep your skin healthy and glowing, but the moisturiser is a small step you can easily incorporate into your daily routine, whereas a glycolic peel you would do occasionally when you want a more intense result,” Alyce advises. “If you love doing an intense glycolic peel, having a moisturiser that also contains glycolic acid, is going to help support those results on a daily basis. Alternatively, it’s a good starting point for consumers to try glycolic acid in a very gentle way and build up to a more intense peel if they would like,” she says.
Which other ingredients should we look for within our glycolic acid moisturisers for best results?
“For the best results, ingredients that compliment glycolic acid are going to be those that boost the action of skin brightening and renewal so you can see a bigger transformation,'' says Alyce. “Vitamin C is a great addition as it works even more effectively in a slightly acidic formula; it also helps our skin form collagen which is great for when the skin renewal process is kick-started. Also, as glycolic acid works to dissolve that tough old skin layer, we can see even more benefit from ingredients that work on the deeper skin layers rather than sitting on the surface, such as hyaluronic acid which helps to deeply hydrate the skin, and peptides which can penetrate
deeper to have more of an effect,” she shares.
Are there any cautions we should take with glycolic moisturisers?
“With any product containing glycolic acid, you should do a patch test to make sure your skin can tolerate it – and never apply to irritated or broken skin. If irritation develops, you may want to reduce your usage of the product to every second or third day/night. However, the biggest thing when using products containing chemical exfoliants is to make sure you wear sunscreen during the day to protect skin.It is always best to avoid using a glycolic moisturiser around the eye area as the skin around our eyes is thinner and more sensitive,” she says.
Glycolic acid can trigger sensitivity in some skin types - what should we do to ensure smooth sailing?
“It's also good to look out for ingredients that help to soothe the skin to reduce the potential for irritation. Lipid ingredients such as grape seed oil which is high in omega-6 anti-inflammatories and shea butter which is rich in phytosterols for skin-conditioning are great ingredients to calm the skin. As with any skincare product, it’s important to use a product containing antioxidants, resveratrol and vitamin E both help to protect fresh cells from free-radical damage which causes inflammation and stimulates the ageing process,” she confirms.