Glycolic Acid

Is Glycolic Acid Safe for Dark Skin?

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Many women with dark skin are wondering if glycolic acid, a type of AHA or alpha hydroxy acid, is safe for them to use on their face and body.

Women with darker skin types have long been told that AHAs can be too harsh for their skin, however, in light of newer research, it appears that this is no longer the case.

Is Glycolic Acid Safe for Dark Skin?

Yes, dark skin is definitely compatible with glycolic acid. And depending on your skin type and specific concerns, it may be just what you need to get brighter, clearer, healthier-looking skin.

Dark skin tones are beautiful, but they can also make it easier to develop hyperpigmentation (patches of darker pigment) and scarring.

Darker skin can also have a more difficult time toning down redness and signs of irritation. Because glycolic acid exfoliates at the surface level, it can help counter these problems.

It loosens the “glue” that holds dead cells on your skin’s surface so they slough off more easily, revealing the newer, more evenly pigmented cells underneath.

In turn, this helps prevent hyperpigmentation and breakouts from leaving visible scars on your face — and can even fade some pre-existing scarring over time.

Glycolic acid is also anti-inflammatory, which means that it does double duty in soothing reddened or irritated complexions.

If you want to smooth out uneven texture and tone simultaneously — a common issue for women of color — glycolic acid is a great way

How to Use Glycolic Acid for Dark Skin Safely

Here’s how you can use glycolic acid for dark skin safely:

Step 1

Make sure that you do an allergy test 24 hours before using the glycolic acid peel. Apply a small amount of the peel to your forearm and wait for 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then you can use the peel. However, if you notice redness or irritation, discontinue use immediately.

Step 2

The first step to using glycolic acid is cleansing your face properly with a suitable face wash or cleanser. When you cleanse your face, it should be wet but not dripping water.

SEE ALSO:  Is Glycolic Acid Safe for Sensitive Skin?

Step 3

Next, exfoliate your face with a good quality exfoliating scrub. This will help remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. It will also help the glycolic acid penetrate deeper into the skin as well as speed up cell renewal so that you get an even tone.

Step 4

Now, mix 1 part of glycolic acid (10%) with 2 parts of distilled water. Make sure that there is no sediment in the solution.

Step 5

Apply a thin layer of this solution all over your face and neck using a cotton ball or pad. Do not rub it in. Leave it on for 2 to 3 minutes. This is enough time for this acid to penetrate deep into your skin and work its magic.

Step 6

Rinse your skin with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel. Do not use any soap or cleanser after using glycolic acid as it may interfere with its action.

Step 7

Finally, treat your skin to some moisturizing lotion or cream to restore moisture balance to the skin and make it soft and supple again.

Are There Any Side Effects to Using Glycolic Acid for Dark Skin?

Glycolic acid can cause irritation on some people’s skin, regardless of their ethnicity and skin color.

For this reason, it should always be used in combination with a good moisturizer and sunscreen.

In addition, many dermatologists recommend that glycolic acid be used only at night because sunlight will make you more prone to side effects such as redness, itching, and burning.

To keep glycolic acid from irritating your skin, try these tips:

  • If you’re still experiencing irritation after two weeks, go down to a lower percentage or alternate with your stronger product every few days instead of every day.
SEE ALSO:  Is Glycolic Acid Safe for Sensitive Skin?

Is Glycolic Acid Too Harsh for Dark Skin?

You’re right to be cautious. Because dark skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation and post-inflammatory erythema (PIE), it can react more severely to abrasive ingredients like acids.

However, if you’re patient and diligent with your routine (and always wear sunscreen!), you can safely incorporate glycolic acid into your regimen.

Will Glycolic Acid Make My Skin Lighter?

If you use glycolic acid, you may notice that your skin appears slightly lighter.

This is because glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator, and as it sloughs off your top layer of dead skin cells, it removes any dark spots or discoloration that was previously on the surface of your skin.

However, this will only remove the discoloration in the very top layer of your skin.

If your skin has deeper discoloration that you want removed, such as melasma or hyperpigmentation, then you will need to use a more intense treatment.

Is Glycolic Acid Effective for Acne Scars or Stretch Marks?

Glycolic acid is commonly used in skincare products to treat a number of concerns, including acne scars and stretch marks.

It’s an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane, and it helps remove dead skin cells to reveal new cells underneath.

It also stimulates cell turnover, helping the skin regenerate and heal.

Because of this, glycolic acid is effective in treating a number of conditions, including wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and acne.

Benefits of Glycolic Acid for Dark Skin

Here are some benefits of glycolic acid for dark skin:

1. Eliminates Dark Spots

Dark spots also known as hyperpigmentation are very common in dark skin types.

They are caused by excessive melanin production due to sun exposure (sunspots), hormones, and trauma (injury or acne).

SEE ALSO:  Is Glycolic Acid Safe for Sensitive Skin?

2. Evening out skin tone

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and this one in particular is derived from sugar cane.

AHAs have been found to have the ability to fade dark spots, which is why they’re great for improving the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation.

If you have dark skin and are concerned about discoloration, glycolic acid can be an effective ingredient to integrate into your skincare routine.

This acid will help fade the appearance of dark spots while also evening out your overall complexion by sloughing off dead skin cells.

3. Reducing blackheads and breakouts

Glycolic acid can help to clear away dirt, oil, and other debris clogging your pores that can cause breakouts.

It also helps to reduce blackheads.

4. Minimising fine lines and wrinkles

Glycolic acid is known to stimulate collagen production, which helps give skin its elasticity and youthfulness back again.

This can help to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, making you look younger for longer!

5. Improving skin firmness, texture, and radiance

Over time, glycolic acid can help to fade discoloration from hyperpigmentation and even out your skin tone resulting in brighter-looking skin.

6. Diminishing sun damage

In addition to fading hyperpigmentation, glycolic acid can also improve the appearance of sun damage on dark skin.

The sun’s rays can have damaging effects on your skin, but glycolic acid is said to help reverse those effects by stimulating collagen production and removing dead skin cells that can dull your complexion.

Final Thoughts

Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant that’s commonly used by skincare enthusiasts.

Due to its popularity, it has become an increasingly popular ingredient in skin lightening products, even among manufacturers who cater primarily to the dark skin market.

Glycolic acid should not be a concern if you have dark skin, and can still reap the benefits associated with the use of these products.