Glycolic and hyaluronic acids have a place in every dermatologist’s bathroom cabinet. Here’s why they should be in yours



“Not only is glycolic acid extremely powerful, but it has a proven track record,” says New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. “We know it’s effective.” A member of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, glycolic acid the star ingredient in L’Oréal Paris Revit lift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum ($23.99) is a chemical exfoliant that resurfaces skin and has even more anti-aging benefits. Derived from sugarcane, it effectively dissolves the cellular glue that binds dead cells to the skin’s surface. Shedding those cells creates a smoother canvas so light reflects off it more evenly. It can also reduce the appearance of dark spots, a common concern. Once those hyperpigmented cells are whisked away, fresh young ones can rise to the surface.

But glycolic acid doesn’t just make your complexion look better, it also smooths your skin. “Data shows that glycolic acid can also improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles,” says Zeichner, a member of the L’Oréal Paris dermatologist advisory panel. This group of derms validates the company’s research and development processes and third-party clinical testing protocols and results to grant their seal of approval to L’Oréal Paris’s Derm Intensives line, including this latest serum

While glycolic acid seems like it would be an obvious addition to your skin-care routine, some versions can be irritating at high concentrations. L’Oréal Paris saw this as a challenge: The brand’s scientists managed to combine a potent dose of glycolic acid (the most you can get over the counter) with soothing ingredients like aloe, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid (more on that later). The payoff? A powerhouse product that delivers results, like even skin tone and visibly reduced dark spots and wrinkles. Plus, you can use it daily

Zeichner recommends applying L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum once nightly to a clean, dry face. Follow it with any other serums as well as your moisturizer. The only thing to remember? Sunscreen in the morning. “Because of its exfoliating benefits, glycolic acid can increase the risk of sunburn,” says Zeichner, who advises using a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30.


If it’s radiant skin you’re after, keep these two key words in mind:“exfoliation and hydration,” says Zeichner. Both are essential if you want that naturally glowy look. Enter hyaluronic acid: Contrary to what its name implies, hyaluronic acid is not a true acid (like AHA). In fact, it’s a sugar that doesn’t offer any skin-sloughing effects but rather increases moisture tons of it, actually. This humectant, which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, acts like a tiny sponge to pull hydration to the outer skin layer. (Try applying your hyaluronic acid serum to damp skin. This helps provide extra hydration for the hyaluronic acid to bind to.) As a result, hyaluronic acid plumps the skin, softening fine lines and giving the complexion a dewy appearance. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($23.99) should be applied after cleansing

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