Glycolic acid and retinol are two ingredients commonly used in skin care products and both can have benefits for the skin.
However, the use of either of these products should be done with caution, as both can have side effects and be too aggressive for some people and skin.
Differences between glycolic acid and retinol
In general, glycolic acid is milder but can be used more frequently, while retinol is more potent but should be used sparingly.
Glycolic acid is often recommended for oily skin to prevent and reduce acne. Retinol, on the other hand, is often associated with blemish treatments.
What is glycolic acid used for?
Glycolic acid comes from sugar cane. It is often used to treat different skin conditions thanks to its exfoliating action. What it does is weaken the structures that support the stratum corneum cells.
It is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found naturally in the skin. It is often used in skin care products to exfoliate the skin and improve texture and tone. It can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and prevent acne. However, glycolic acid may be too strong for some people and may irritate sensitive skin.
Glycolic acid is one of the most widely used acids in skin care products, as it has a number of beneficial properties for the skin. It can help exfoliate the skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of dark spots.
It is generally recommended to use glycolic acid in the treatment of:
- Skin exfoliation: glycolic acid can help remove dead skin cells and improve skin texture.
- Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines: Glycolic acid can help stimulate collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Improved skin texture: glycolic acid can help smooth the skin and improve its texture.
- Reduction of dark spots: can help reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin, such as age spots and sun spots.
What is retinol used for?
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is often used in skin care products to improve the appearance of skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also help prevent cell damage and improve collagen production.
Although it may be less irritating than glycolic acid, it may cause irritation in some people and sensitivity to sun exposure.
It is generally recommended to use retinol in the treatment of:
- Wrinkles and fine lines: Retinol can help smooth the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating collagen production.
- Dry, flaky skin: retinol can help improve skin hydration and soothe dry, flaky skin.
- Dark spots: Retinol can help reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin, such as age spots and sun spots.
- Acne: Retinol can help control excess oil and reduce the appearance of clogged pores, which can help prevent acne.
However, it is important to keep in mind that everyone is different and what may work for one person may not work for another.
Therefore, it is advisable to receive guidance from a health professional before starting to use any product containing glycolic acid or retinol.
Can I mix retinol with glycolic acid?
In general, it is possible to mix retinol with glycolic acid in a skin care product, but it is important to keep in mind that both ingredients are quite active and may be irritating to some people.
The combination of glycolic acid and retinol can be effective in improving skin texture and tone, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots. However, if this combination is used in excess or not tolerated it may cause skin irritation or sensitivity.
Therefore, the combination of retinol and glycolic acid is reserved for skin that is accustomed to it. In any case, it will always be up to the professionals to decide which approach to take with each specific treatment.
How to use glycolic acid and retinol safely
The first thing to do, as we have already mentioned on several occasions, is to visit a dermatologist to evaluate the case.
At first it is advisable to use low concentrations of both ingredients to ensure skin tolerance. Gradually, concentration can be increased.
It is not necessary to use a large amount of product, only the necessary amount. Failure to do so may cause skin irritation. In addition, it is also advisable to use a sunscreen when using glycolic acid or retinol, as it can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
Precisely, the application of retinol is recommended at night. Glycolic acid can be used at any time.