Retinol vs. Glycolic Acid

The skin care arena is gaining more and more attention day by day.  You can find new skin care or skin products popping up now and then, new ways or techniques are being introduced to achieve better results, and many things are being done to satisfy the growing need and delicacy of skin care market.   Chemical acids and many other substances are being used to address varying cosmetic needs of the skin.

Glycolic acid and retinol are two such things that are in common use.  Sometimes, you are given a chance of choosing one of them to undergo a skin treatment.  If it happens, you have to know more about these two things so that you select the right one and can get its benefits accordingly.  For this reason, we briefly discuss below the details that could help you make a retinol vs. glycolic acid comparison.

Retinol, How it Works

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that has its own way to work on the skin when applied to treat certain skin abnormalities.  Many studies suggest retinol a workable skin care product but it seems that it still has to be further tested by the FDA.  Whatever indications we get about the retinol skincare products, they are healthy enough to include this product in our skin care regimen.  It is also a fact that the presence of vitamin A can certainly help the skin stay healthy.

Retinol has the ability to penetrate deeply and it can easily address the area which contains the skin’s health controlling substances, collagen and elastin.  When retinol is able to reach this level of the skin, it can certainly boost the function of the relevant cells that can help the skin maintain its health easily.

Retinol is known to proliferate the skin cells, and its smaller molecular size helps it penetrate more deeply.

Glycolic Acid, how it Works

Glycolic acid belongs to a mild type of acid group known as alpha hydroxy acids.  This acid has its own mode of action.  It also has the ability to work deeply into the skin pores and to cleanse them thoroughly.  With a glycolic acid treatment, the pores get rid of the debris and prevent the kind of skin conditions which can result from such unwanted deposits.  The pores will be cleansed of the dead skin cells, skin oil, and bacteria.   Such a condition is ideal to prevent acne or such kinds of skin abnormalities.

Glycolic acid has the ability to exfoliate the skin.  It can slough off the damaged skin layer.  The dead skin layer, keratinocytes, is easily removed and new and healthy cells take over.

Retinol vs. Glycolic Acid, Other Factors

Both retinol and glycolic acid are used in many types of skin care products.  Both of them seem to address many kinds of skin flaws of superficial nature.  Both products have their name and reputation in cosmetic arena.  A closer look on the properties, benefits, and side effects leads us to the conclusion that you can’t label one product superior, or inferior.  All depends on the treating conditions or the choice of a skin specialist or user.

When it comes to know the side effects or precautions that are to be taken while we use retinol or glycolic acid, we can’t either degrade one for the other.  Both of them need almost the same kinds of precautions to be followed and the common side effects are identical as well.

Over and all, both of them work to achieve almost the same goal, to keep the skin healthy and free from the common skin flaws.

Visitors are encouraged to post their comments and queries to get reply from the experts.

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    One Response to "Retinol vs. Glycolic Acid"

    1. Hi! I have three questions for you regarding glycolic and retinol products:

      Can (or should) glycolic acid and retinol be used simultaneously? Based on the information you have presented here, they seem to provide different functions, but both can be highly irritating, particularly if used incorrectly.

      I have acne-prone skin, and I just turned 30 so I am also hyper vigilant about anti-aging. But my skin is fairly sensitive…Would these be a good idea for me to use, unsupervised?

      If I were to purchase glycolic acid online and do a peel at home, what is the maximum potency you would suggest for someone who has never attempted these treatments?

      Thanks for the advice!!


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