Active acids, like lactic, glycolic, hyaluronic, and salicylic, are becoming more and more popular in at-home skincare products. And, if you're interested, knowing what they are and what they do can make a big difference between a smooth, radiant complexion and irritated, over-exfoliated skin. The best glycolic acid lotions, for example, work by shedding dead skin cells to reveal smoother, brighter skin. Also, because they cause fewer side effects than other chemical exfoliators, glycolic acids (depending on the formula) are considered pretty gentle, which makes them perfect for everyday use on all skin types.
So what exactly are glycolic acids? Well, they fall into the category of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) because they are a derivative of sugarcane. When applied to the skin in tolerable amounts, they exfoliate, loosen, and clear the oil, dead skin cells, and debris that build up on the top layer of your skin. Additionally, glycolic acids stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in your skin, which accelerates healing and reduces discoloration.
When thinking about which glycolic cream might be best for you, look closely at the other ingredients included in the formula. Things like oils, vitamin E, and chamomile are great for dry or combination skin, while additions like antioxidants, salicylic acid, and citrus are great for more sensitive or acne-prone complexions. Below, you'll find six of the best glycolic acid lotions and creams that will leave you with your smoothest, softest skin ever.