Glycolic Acid vs. Salicylic Acid

People use chemical peels to get rid of many skin abnormalities or aging signs.  You can get glowing and fresh skin, free from minor wrinkles and fine lines, soon after using a chemical peel treatment.

Seeing the success and popularity of chemical peels, the market is flooded with products based on such acids and professional use of such acids has grown vastly.  These peeling acids come in varying strengths or concentrations, and they are used according to one’s condition and expertise in using the peels.  Milder strength peels are for those who are using them at home or who want to correct minor skin flaws, while stronger acids are those who are doing the job professionally or who have lot of experience in this treatment.

Among many peeling acids, we have two very popular names – glycolic acid and salicylic acid.  Both of them are widely used due to their better results and safer approach to correct skin irregularities.  To find out more details about glycolic acid vs. salicylic acid discussion, we have to have a closer look on both of the acids and the details can be self-explaining as which one has an upper hand, or if they are equal in importance.

Glycolic Acid

This acid is derived from sugar cane and belongs to the group called AHA or alpha hydroxy acids.  In the AHA group, glycolic acid is considered the smallest one.  It penetrates the skin and breaks up the bonds that hold dead cells to the skin’s surface.

Glycolic acid exfoliates and revitalizes the skin as it allows fresh and healthy skin cells to come to the surface.  It promotes collagen growth, and new skin grows to take the place of the removed one.

The effect of glycolic acid is gradual and to obtain the desired results you have to use this acid over a period of few weeks.  Glycolic acid usually goes well with most of the skin types.  You can use this acid in any available strength that suits your need.  The schedule of using glycolic acid peel depends on your individual needs but as a general idea, you have to use it once or twice a week for four to six weeks by giving few weeks off between two treating courses.

Salicylic Acid

While glycolic acid is part of the group called AHA, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, BHA, that is extracted from the sweet bark and willow bark trees.  Salicylic acid is widely used as a topical acne treatment and as a peel too.   It is known for its peeling and anti-inflammatory properties.  This acid is able to dissolve sebum found in the skin pores and flushes it out.

Unlike glycolic acid, salicylic acid can be used in lower concentrations that benefits greatly people who are sensitive to glycolic acid.  Some skins do not accept glycolic acid and for such skins salicylic acid works well.

Salicylic acid is found effective to absorb sun’s ultraviolet rays.   Therefore, salicylic acid is considered a good protection against sun damages.

Contrary to glycolic acid peel, the peeling effects of this acid last up to three days.  While you can use glycolic acid once or twice a week, salicylic acid’s use once a week will be quite enough.  The off period of both of the acids is almost the same.

While using salicylic acid, you have to be careful if you are allergic to aspirin since this acid is an ingredient found in aspirin.

To summing up the topic we can say that whichever acid you prefer to use, you have to use it carefully by following the instructions seriously.  Both of the acids can give your skin a new, younger and healthy look provided you use them carefully and properly.

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