Is Glycolic Acid the Key to Curing Acne? (Yes, Yes it is!)

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I Finally Found the Cure for Blackheads! – Glycolic Acid Skincare!

I have blackheads (bad blackheads).  I have acne scars.  I have loads of wrinkles (laugh lines) and I have sun-damaged skin. My skin tone is uneven and doesn’t have a great texture….. And I have always looked after my skin. It is so frustrating – because I have literally spent thousands on skincare over the years.  But now – I have found the holy grail.  Glycolic acid skincare!

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Is Glycolic Acid the Key To Curing Acne I Stay at Home Mum

It seems that unless you have lived in the dark all your life, you too will have some or all of the above as well.  And it is disheartening as a 46-year-old woman that I still get volcano-like pimples during ‘that time of the month’ and blackheads on my nose, no matter what I do or what I use.

It is the blackheads that bother me the most.  I’ve tried those strips that rip them out.  I’ve popped them, poked them, used clay masks and tried just about every product out there. But soon enough – they are back.

I’m certain I’ve also spent thousands of dollars on skincare over the years that promise the earth and delivered fuck all.  For about three months now I’ve been trying out a range of skincare containing AHA’s or Glycolic Acid.  I have a love/hate relationship with Glycolic Acid skincare.  You see; twenty years ago or so I did try out Glycolic Acid when it first came became popular.

Being unaware of exactly how they work, I went for the strongest Glycolic Acid possible (that you could buy at the chemist – I think it was 14%) and I ended up burning the crap out of my skin.  I had gaping, painful bleeding and welts on my chin that took about six weeks to heal. I swore I’d never use them again.

Fast forward twenty years.  I’m still not happy with my skin, no matter what I’ve tried.  Six months ago, I started on a range of Glycolic Acid skincare after reading about them, and my skin looks, well, glowing.  It certainly isn’t perfect.  I still have wrinkles, discolouration and acne scars, but my skin certainly looks fresher and brighter. I have fewer blackheads on my nose and cheeks and my complexion isn’t dull anymore.  I must say that I’m impressed with the results.

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Is Glycolic Acid the Key To Curing Acne I Stay at Home Mum

What Exactly Is Glycolic Acid?

If you think ‘Eeeeek’ I’m not putting acid on my face – as your first thought – you aren’t alone.  Glycolic Acid is actually derived from sugarcane.  It is a form of chemical dermabrasion.  How it works is that when applied, the glycolic acid ‘burns’ away the gunk that clogs your pores.  This gunk is what sinks into your pores causing blockages.

Glycolic Acid not only helps shed all those outer layers of skin that are clogging your pores, but it also helps to moisturise your skin.

Because there is less ‘clogging and gunk’ and the acid it taking off the very top layer of your skin, it leaves your face looking brighter and healthier – and most importantly – clearer!  Glycolic acid has antibacterial and antioxidant qualities and it also stimulates collagen growth.

It truly is a miracle!

How Long does it Take to See a Result?

The great thing I love about Glycolic Acid skincare is that you see a result the first time – and every time you use it.  I use the Glycolic Acid skincare daily and do a very light peel once per fortnight.

Afterwards, my skin is just a little tiny bit pink, but it feels soft to the touch.  It’s amazing stuff.

How to Use Glycolic Acid the Right Way

Remember I told you how I burnt the crap out of my skin the first time I used it?  Well, I now know why.  I went for the highest percentage of Glycolic Acid right up first.  Don’t do that.

Your skin has to very gradually get used to using AHA’s regularly – and when you notice it isn’t working as well as it did – then you up the percentage to a higher grade.

So find the lowest percentage of AHA skincare you can – and use it for a couple of months to see how your skin reacts to it.

What AHA Skincare Do You Use?

Well, I use two different brands of AHA skincare.  The one I love the most is Alpha-H – but it is a stronger formulation and if you are just beginning to use glycolic acid on your skin – maybe wait to use that brand when you have built up a tolerance.

The other, gentler AHA skincare brand I use is ASAP.  They have a range of cleansers, moisturisers, and serums that all contain Glycolic Acid in small doses (as to not ‘overdose’ your skin).  And the ASAP skincare is a lot more affordable than the Alpha-H.

What is my Skin Like Now?

Look I’m not going to lie – it isn’t perfect – but who’s skin is!  I still get the very odd pimple or two during my ‘cycle’.  But blackheads – well they are a thing of the past.  The texture of my skin is so much better. And the wrinkles?  Well, nothing a bit of botox won’t fix lol!

The Con of Using Glycolic Acid

1. You Have to Wear Sunscreen Or You’ll Burn the Crap Out of Your Skin

Initially, I wasn’t going to bother with the day moisturiser (which was also 50+ sunscreen). I am super sensitive to sunscreen at the best of times, so thought I should maybe give it a miss. I find sunscreen always feels really claustrophobic and it tends to really upset my skin. But I’m really glad I reconsidered and added this product to my regime.

You will seriously need to avoid as much direct sunlight as you can when using AHA’s. The reason being is while the product is working its magic your skin is a lot more sensitive and will burn quite easily.  The moisturiser/sunscreen I used I was actually quite tolerant to. Although; by the end of the day it did make my eyes start to sting.

2. You Have to Keep Using it To Keep Seeing Results

The problem with AHA’s is that you need to continue using them to see any results.  If you use them for months, then stop; your skin will go back to how it was before. You have to start at the beginning again and that can be very frustrating.  GAHHHH.

3. Your Skin Does get Used to It Over Time

I’ve used Glycolic Acid for a few years now and I’m on the highest dosage available in Australia.  So this is good as my skin will get.  You can import higher grades of glycolic acid from overseas (and I have done so in the past) – but as I don’t want to get sued, I’m not recommending you do that in case you burn yourself.

Brands of Glycolic Acid Skincare I Would Recommend:

When I look for skincare, I always look for the best quality ingredients, Australian-made and skincare that I have used personally.  Well, all of these get the tick!

1. ASAP Skincare

If you are a Glycolic Acid newbie – I highly recommend you start ASAP.  They are Australian-made, their products are vegan, and contain no parabens, mineral oil, plastic microbeads, or palm oil.  ASAP is gentle and beautiful and works.

For beginners – I would recommend the ASAP Gentle Cleansing Gel (200ml) and the ASAP Moisturising Daily Defence SPF50+.  Once your skin is used to that, I would add in a few serums and scrubs.

Glycolic Acid

2. Skinstitut

Skinsititut is another great glycolic acid skin care suitable for beginners to intermediate AHA use. They have the full range from low percentage AHA right through to the harder core stuff (14% baby!) and everything in between.

Their range is very affordable and HUGE!!!!  So you can add new skincare pieces as you choose to address other skin issues you may have.

For beginners – I would recommend these products:

Or it may end up cheaper to purchase the Skinstitut All Stars Kit which has four pieces but avoid the glycolic scrub until you build up a tolerance or you will be bright red and cracked and will cry and complain to me.

3. Alpha-H

As I mentioned earlier, only use Alpha-H if you are used to using skincare-containing Glycolic Acid.  Alpha-H is the next big step up.

For intermediate users, I would recommend:

For experienced users – add these to your skincare regime:

Glycolic Acid Skincare has really made a huge difference in my skin, and I’m confident that if you are having trouble with blackheads and blemishes, it will help you too!

Asap Anti-Ageing Night Cream 50ml

Available from RY – $45.50

asap Anti-Ageing Night Cream 50ml

The Verdict on Glycolic Acid Skincare:

Well; I’ve loved it so much that I just invested in an AHA peel. I can use this product with my other AHA skincare two nights per week.  My skin looks clearer and cleaner every day.  Sure my pores will never be smaller, they will always be potholes on my face, but at least they aren’t full of crap which makes them look more obvious than they are.

I’m pleased that I don’t have to ‘scrub’ my skin to make it feel smooth.  It feels baby soft in the mornings.  I really feel like my skin looks the best it has in ages.  Sure the money is a kicker, but I’m happy with the results and it certainly beats going in to pay for laser resurfacing, which to me seems quite scary and invasive.

BUT; the biggest thing was that other people noticed.

If you’re unhappy with your skin and have suffered from skin problems like I have for years, seriously consider giving it a red hot go. It’s totally worth it and feeling good about something that’s bothered you for so long, really does give you a little boost of confidence. And every mum deserves to feel good about herself.

Have you ever used AHA Skincare?  Give us your feedback.


Is Glycolic Acid the Key to Curing Acne? (Yes, Yes it is!) Pinnable

Jody Allen
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Jody Allen

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay at Home Mum. Jody is a five-time published author with Penguin Random House and is the current Suzuki Queensland Amb...Read Moreassador. Read Less

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