Glycolic Acid vs Salicylic Acid

Many people who are considering using different acids for the treatment of their face or acne often want to know which one is better, glycolic acid or salicylic acid. The answer depends on what the product is being used for.

Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid is a alpha hyrdroxy acid that is used for the treatment of the skin. It is effective in getting rid of dead skin cells and works deep beneath the skin. This ingredient can be found in a host of creams, gels and lotions. It is sometimes used as a treatment for acne.

Salicylic acid – Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid and it is often used for the treatment of acne (comedonal and non-inflamed). This ingredient is found in many different creams, gels and lotions.

Which is Better Salicylic acid  or Glycolic Acid?

There is a raging debate between which one is better; the beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid or the alpha-hydroxy acid, Glycolic acid. Research states that out of the two salicylic is the most popular. Researchers did studies comparing the two acids and the results echo want dermatologists have been doing for years. Generally the salicylic acid was more effective for the treatment of acne, while Glycolic acid was good and renewing and rejuvenating the skin.

Other information stated that salicylic acid had fewer side effects such as redness and irritation compared to glycolic acid.

It’s not to say that glycolic acid is no good at treating acne. In higher concentrations glycolic can be just as effective as salicylic. The real test to see which one is best for an individual is to see how their skin reacts to either of the acids.

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