The truth about putting glycolic acid on your face

“It’s unbelievable how much nicer your makeup looks if you’ve got the great glycolic exfoliator for your skin,” says Ciraldo, “Everything goes on so much more smoothly.” To begin with, Ciraldo recommends using a face wash with glycolic acid a few times a week to see how your skin reacts. If you’re noticing a positive difference, she suggests upping it to nightly to reap the benefits. 

If your skin reacts to glycolic acid with anything worse than tingling, however, you should stop using it. “Tingling is one thing, burn is another,” Ciraldo said. “If you’re feeling a tingle, some people describe it as pins and needles, [or] a little itch, any of that you can sometimes get from glycolic. But, if at any point you feel like your skin is feeling a bit of a burn, almost like you’ve gotten a little sunburn feeling, that is too much.”

While glycolic acid is generally suitable for all skin types, Ciraldo warns that those who use it will likely be more sensitive to sunlight, and as a result, should wear sunscreen daily and stay out of direct sunlight when possible.

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