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The Difference Between Glycolic and Salicylic Acid


Glycolic and salicylic acids are two of the most common acids used in skincare products.


Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid that is derived from sugarcane. It is a small molecule that can penetrate the skin easily and is therefore used in many anti-aging products.


Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is derived from willow bark. It is a larger molecule that can also penetrate the skin easily. It is used in many acne-fighting products.


Since salicylic acid is a BHA, it is suitable for treating acne, oily skin and redness. It is usually present in cleansers because it exfoliates the skin, balances oil production and unclogs pores.


Glycolic acid on the other hand, is used for treating mild hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. Unlike salicylic acid, glycolic acid is an AHA.


While both have their own uses and benefits, it is best to determine your skin type to maximize their effectiveness. If you have a combination of dry and oily skin and you want to treat acne, skincare products with salicylic acid is suitable for you. It is important to speak to a dermatologist before you make any further treatment as they can recommend the best solution for your skin condition.

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