Can I Use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Everyday?

BeautySkin Care
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Glycolic acid is widely known for its exfoliating and rejuvenating effects in skincare. But is Glycolic acid is  safe to use every day? In this article, we’ll delve into the benefits, potential side effects, and expert advice regarding daily use of The Ordinary glycolic acid. And the simple answer: It may not be safe for everyone to use glycolic acid daily.

What is Glycolic Acid?

glow your looks glycolic acid what is

Glycolic acid is a type of acid found in sugar cane. It’s a water-soluble compound that easily enters the skin. When applied, it gently removes the top layer of skin, revealing a smoother and brighter appearance. Glycolic acid helps renew skin cells and gives a radiant glow.

Benefits of Glycolic Acid

glycolic acid benefits

Exfoliation: Glycolic acid helps remove dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and improves skin texture, resulting in a brighter and smoother complexion.

Skin Rejuvenation: Regular use of glycolic acid can diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, promoting a more youthful look.

Collagen Stimulation: Glycolic acid stimulates collagen production, a vital protein that maintains the skin’s elasticity and firmness.

Acne Treatment: Glycolic acid can be beneficial for individuals with acne-prone skin, as it helps reduce sebum production, unclogs pores, and prevents breakouts.

Even Skin Tone: By targeting areas of uneven skin tone and texture, glycolic acid promotes a more even complexion and reduces the appearance of dark spots and discoloration.

Frequency of Use of Glycolic Acid

Using glycolic acid requires finding the right balance between reaping its benefits and avoiding potential side effects. Daily use of glycolic acid may not be suitable for everyone, as it depends on various factors such as skin type, sensitivity, and the specific product’s formulation.

Daily Use of Glycolic Acid

glycolic acid daily use everyday

While some individuals may tolerate daily use of glycolic acid well, it is generally recommended to start with a lower frequency and gradually increase if your skin tolerates it. This approach allows your skin to adapt to the exfoliating effects of glycolic acid and minimizes the risk of irritation or over-exfoliation.

Potential Side Effects of Glycolic Acid

 glycolic acid potential risk

Skin Irritation: Overuse or misuse of glycolic acid can lead to skin irritation, including redness, stinging, or burning sensations. It is important to follow the instructions provided by The Ordinary and monitor your skin’s reaction.

Increased Sun Sensitivity: Glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays. It is crucial to apply sunscreen with a high SPF during the day and limit sun exposure to protect your skin.

Dryness and Peeling: Excessive use of glycolic acid can cause dryness, flakiness, or peeling of the skin. It is essential to maintain proper hydration by using a moisturizer suited for your skin type.

Disruption of the Skin Barrier: Daily use of glycolic acid may disrupt the skin’s natural barrier function if not properly balanced with moisturization. This can lead to increased sensitivity and compromised skin health.

Precautions to Take

moisturizer glycolic acid precautions

To safely incorporate The Ordinary glycolic acid into your skincare routine, consider the following precautions:

Patch Testing: Before applying glycolic acid to your entire face, perform a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any adverse reactions or sensitivities.

Gradual Introduction: Start by using glycolic acid products once or twice a week, observing your skin’s response. If well-tolerated, you can gradually increase the frequency, but always pay attention to any signs of irritation or excessive dryness.

Moisturize Adequately: Hydration is crucial when using glycolic acid. Choose a moisturizer suitable for your skin type and apply it after using glycolic acid to restore and maintain moisture levels.

Sun Protection: As mentioned earlier, applying sunscreen with a high SPF is essential when using glycolic acid, as it helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays and minimizes the risk of sunburn or sun damage.

Alternatives to Daily Use

If using glycolic acid every day is not suitable for your skin or if you experience any adverse effects, there are alternative options to consider. These include:

Decreased Frequency: Reduce the frequency of glycolic acid usage to every other day or a few times a week, based on your skin’s tolerance.

Lower Concentration: Opt for products with a lower concentration of glycolic acid, especially if you have sensitive skin or are new to AHAs.

Combination Approach: Incorporate other exfoliating ingredients, such as salicylic acid or lactic acid, into your skincare routine to diversify the exfoliation process and minimize over-reliance on glycolic acid.

Skin Type Considerations

glycolic acid skin type

Different skin types may require different approaches when using glycolic acid. Consider the following:

Sensitive Skin: If you have sensitive skin, it is essential to be cautious when using glycolic acid. Start with a low concentration and use it less frequently to avoid potential irritation.

Dry Skin: Individuals with dry skin should prioritize hydration and moisturization alongside glycolic acid use. Ensure your skincare routine includes a suitable moisturizer to prevent excessive dryness.

Oily or Acne-Prone Skin: Those with oily or acne-prone skin may benefit from more frequent use of glycolic acid to control excess oil production and combat acne. However, monitor your skin’s response and adjust accordingly.

Recommendations from Experts

glycolic acid expert

Dermatologists and skincare experts generally advise against using glycolic acid every day, as it may disrupt the skin’s natural balance. Instead, they suggest starting with a lower frequency, such as once or twice a week, and gradually increasing if your skin tolerates it well. Consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized guidance based on your skin’s specific needs.

Creating a Skincare Routine

glycolic acid skin routine

Incorporating glycolic acid into a well-rounded skincare routine is crucial for optimal results. Follow these steps:

Cleanse: Start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and impurities.

Tone: Use a suitable toner to balance the skin’s pH levels and prepare it for the application of glycolic acid.

Apply Glycolic Acid: Follow the instructions provided by The Ordinary for applying their glycolic acid product. Start with a small amount and gradually increase if necessary.

Moisturize: After applying glycolic acid, moisturize your skin with a hydrating moisturizer to replenish moisture and maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Sun Protection: Finish your skincare routine by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF during the day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Patch Testing and Gradual Introduction

glycolic acid patch test

Before incorporating any new skincare product, including glycolic acid, into your routine, it’s essential to perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the product to a discreet area of skin and observe for any adverse reactions. If no negative reactions occur after 24-48 hours, you can gradually introduce the product to larger areas of the skin.

Personal Experience and Results

Glycolic acid affects each person differently. Some may benefit from daily use, while others may find it too harsh. Observe how your skin reacts and make changes accordingly. Take note of any improvements or concerns and consult a dermatologist if necessary.


Using glycolic acid every day is not recommended for everyone. It offers benefits like exfoliation and skin rejuvenation, but potential side effects can occur if not used correctly. Factors such as skin type, sensitivity, and concentration should be considered. Start with a lower frequency, listen to your skin, and consult a dermatologist for personalized guidance.


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Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, individuals with sensitive skin can use glycolic acid, but it’s important to start with a lower concentration and frequency of use. Patch testing and gradual introduction are crucial to assess your skin’s tolerance and minimize the risk of irritation.

Pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider before using glycolic acid or any other skincare product. Some skincare ingredients may not be recommended during pregnancy.

Yes, glycolic acid can be used on dark skin. However, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by The Ordinary and start with a lower concentration to avoid potential hyperpigmentation or skin sensitivity.

Yes, glycolic acid can be used in combination with other active ingredients, but it’s essential to introduce them gradually and monitor your skin’s response. Be cautious when using multiple exfoliating products simultaneously to avoid over-exfoliation.

The timeframe for noticeable results varies from person to person. However, with consistent use over several weeks, improvements in skin texture, tone, and overall appearance can typically be observed.

While it is safe to use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner every day, it is important to limit usage to once a day.

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