Glycolic acid and retinol are two of the most popular skin care ingredients around. But can you use glycolic acid and retinol at the same time? Some people say it’s a recipe for disaster, while others swear by it.
So, who’s right? Are these skin care powerhouses too strong to coexist? Read on to find out!
1. What is the Difference Between Retinol and Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic Acid (an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, or AHA) works at the skin’s surface, loosening bonds that hold dead skin cells, clog pores, and dull skin. It acts as a chemical exfoliator. Glycolic acid can help increase skin elasticity and remove dead skin cells.
Retinols are a type of Vitamin A that help with cell turnover and exfoliation. Dermatologists call it the anti-wrinkle vitamin because of its ability to smooth over wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. Retinol works beyond the skin’s surface, penetrating its many layers.
In short, glycolic acid exfoliates the skin to reveal brighter, vibrant, more toned skin. Retinol is better at worker deeper within the skin, refining skin texture, visibly smoothing out imperfections and deep wrinkles. You could see why these two ingredients together could be an anti-aging dynamic duo!
2. What Are the Benefits of Using Glycolic Acid and Retinol Together?
Glycolic acid and retinol are two of the potent skincare ingredients around. Used together in the right way, they can help you achieve healthier, younger looking skin.
Together, retinol and glycolic acid can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, texture, and tone. Since these ingredients work on different layers of the skin, you can use them both together.
But it’s important to combine glycolic acid and retinol carefully. If you use too much glycolic acid, it can actually dry out the skin and cause irritation. Retinol can be irritating too if used in too high of a concentration. Start with lower concentrations of both ingredients and increase as needed. If irritation occurs, discontinue use. Always make sure to use sunscreen with these products.
3. How Do I Use Glycolic Acid and Retinol Together?
Creating a skin care face routine with glycolic acid and retinol is possible with a little research. It helps to find out your skin type so you can find out the best concentration level for you.
If you feel nervous about using them together, there’s no harm in trying one at a time at low levels so you don’t have any adverse reactions. Use glycolic acid 2 or 3 nights a week and retinol on 1 or 2 of the other nights. Once you’re in the clear, then you can add the other ingredient and increase concentration as needed.
Don’t forget to add sunscreen in the daytime! Glycolic acid and retinol can make your skin more sensitive, so you want to make sure your skin is protected from the sun.
Lastly, always make sure your hands are clean before applying any new products onto your face, otherwise they could cause breakouts due to bacteria buildup from handling dirty items around the house.
Shop Glycolic Acid and Retinol Products For Your Skin Type
So there you have it! Retinol and glycolic acid CAN be safely used in your skincare routine. The key is to test the combination at a low concentration to see how your skin reacts.
Looking for products with retinol and glycolic acid to try? Check out these products formulated by me:
My brand Clinical Results 24/7 features several glycolic acid products:
Looking for a full-body exfoliation? Try:
Need help finding a non-irritating retinol? Look no further – I have a variety of different products from several of my lines for a specialized, customized routine.
Have you ever tried using glycolic acid and retinol together? Let me know in the comments below!