Glycolic acid is the most popular of the Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) or fruit acids and it is characterized by its very low molecular weight which enables it to penetrate the deeper skin levels.
In low concentrations it has hydrating properties. In higher concentrations it is a powerful exfoliator which dissolves the lipids that attach to dead cells facilitating their release and thereby stimulating the cell renewal cycle. For this reason, it is indicated for anti-aging treatment and as an adjuvant treatment for dyschromia and acne.
With a pKa of 3.83, it is an acid that dissociates quickly above pH 3 levels. At a physiological pH value of the skin it will be 98% dissociated. Traditionally, in order to be effective, it is formulated in very acidic mediums increasing the dosage in line with any increase in the pH in the formula i.e. NOT dissociated. It should be noted that a greater concentration does not automatically mean greater efficiency as much depends on the pH level of the formulation. For this reason and given the ease with which it can penetrate the skin, it can produce skin reddening or irritations. Accordingly, it is contraindicated for use on sensitive areas of the skin or for people with reactive or sensitive skin.
ACTIVE INGREDIENT PROPERTIES
BENEFITS OF THE ENCAPSULATION CDS