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Glycolic acid is a chemical compound that is derived from sugar cane. It is a soluble formula that can be synthesized for a range of processes. The compound belongs to the group of Alpha Hydroxy Acids which are commonly used in skin care products.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs as they are commonly referred to, belong to a class of synthetic or natural of chemical compounds that include a caroboxylic acid that is substituted with a hydroxyl group on the adjacent carbon. Glycolic acid functions as an exfoliator, removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells to reveal new ones.
AHAs are required to penetrate the skin so that they are capable of taking action on existing cells. Glycolic acid renders the smallest molecule and is capable of penetrating the skin with greater ease when compared to other AHAs. AHAs perform both epidermal and dermal activity. The activity helps to promote collagen synthesis and reduces inflammation.
Glycolic acid is often used in anti-aging products to reduce the appearance of dark spots and scarring from acne breakouts. AHA’s may be found in many different skin care products including peels, moisturizers, serums, and cleansing formulas. Beyond glycolic acid, other common forms include lactic acid, mandelic acid, and citric acid.