15 Best Glycolic Acid Cleansers

Written by Khushboo Jugran
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Are you looking for a solution for dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and dull skin? Get hold of a glycolic acid cleanser! Glycolic acid is a naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acid derived from sugarcane. While it isn’t a magic potion, it shows promising results.

A cleanser with glycolic acid as its main ingredient has a peeling effect on your skin. It fights acne and clears away dead skin cells, leaving the surface of the skin smooth. It also fades dark spots and hyperpigmentation and evens out the skin tone. This article lists the 15 best glycolic acid cleansers available on the market. Scroll down to pick the best one for you.

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
CHECK PRICE
Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
Check Price
Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
Check Price
Mario Badescu Skin Care Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
Check Price
Dr Song Skin Care Glycolic Acid Face Wash
Check Price
Laresh Exfoliating Glycolic Acid Cleanser
Check Price
InstaNatural Glycolic Cleanser
Check Price
Naeli AHA/BHA Facial Cleanser
Check Price
Reviva Labs Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser
Check Price
Glycolix 10% Gentle Facial Cleanser
Check Price
Luxiny Naturally Luxurious Glycolic Acid Cleanser
Check Price

15 Best Glycolic Acid Cleansers

1. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

The glycolic acid exfoliating cleanser by Botanic Tree is specifically formulated for cystic acne-prone and oily skin types. It is infused with 10% glycolic acid, bamboo, shea butter, tea tree oil, seaweed, willow bark, and peppermint extracts. The blend helps eliminate excess sebum, oils, impurities, and makeup from your face without stripping off the natural oil.

The glycolic acid in the formula exfoliates and brightens the skin while lightening dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Tea tree oil and shea butter fight acne and reduce blemishes, while the bamboo extracts unclog your pores and calm irritation and redness. This formula reduces the appearance of marks caused by hormonal acne and improves your skin’s texture. It also contains gentle microbeads that slough off the dead skin cells to make your skin look radiant.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Smells good
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May dry out the skin.

Buy Now From Amazon

2. Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser


The Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser is gentle and formulated for acne-prone skin. It contains 2.5% glycolic acid, which has anti-aging properties and aids in clearing clogged pores. The combination of jojoba beads and willow bark not only sloughs away dead skin, dirt, and oil build up but also nourishes and rejuvenates the skin.

The formula also includes kojic acid that lightens scars and restores the original skin tone. The blend of olive, rosehip, jojoba, and tea tree oils penetrates deep into the skin to hydrate it from within and make it smooth and supple. With regular use, the gentle cleanser effectively clears age spots, dark spots, sun spots, and discoloration.

Pros

  • Gentle formula
  • Mild fragrance
  • 100% vegan
  • Cruelty -free

Cons

  • Dries out the skin.

Buy Now From Amazon

3. Mario Badescu Skin Care Glycolic Foaming Cleanser


The foaming cleanser from Mario Badescu Skin Care contains glycolic acid, which eliminates dullness and hyperpigmentation. It exfoliates the skin and cleanses dirt, makeup, oil, and grime, leaving it clean and radiant.
Other botanical ingredients like chamomile and St. John’s wort have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that prevent skin breakouts and infections. Yarrow extracts have healing benefits, which is ideal for sensitive skin, while marshmallow and sage rejuvenate and rebalance the skin. This cleanser can be used thrice a week as per your skin needs.

Pros

  • Mild
  • Non-drying
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Cost-effective

Cons

  • Contains SLS

Buy Now From Amazon

4. Dr Song Skin Care Glycolic Acid Face Wash


This glycolic acid cleanser is suitable for acne-prone, oily, and sensitive skin types. It removes makeup and impurities, exfoliates and unclogs pores, and helps soothe redness and inflammation. It is formulated with 10% glycolic acid and stimulates collagen production to nourish your skin and impart a glow. The formula is rich in antioxidants and diminishes dark spots, even tones the skin, and tightens pores. It reduces puffiness and works on hyperpigmentation and blemishes.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Hydrating
  • pH-balancing
  • Paraben-free
  • Dye-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Oil-free
  • Phthalate-free

Cons

  • Does not lather well.

Buy Now From Amazon

5. Laresh Exfoliating Glycolic Acid Cleanser


This glycolic acid cleanser from Laresh dissolves and eliminates oily buildup, pollution, and makeup traces without stripping the natural oils of the skin. It contains 10% glycolic acid that deeply penetrates the skin layers to unclog pores.

This cleanser also diminishes the early signs of aging and makes your skin look smooth. It contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients like rosehip extract, aloe, MSM, olive oil, cucumber, and organic willow bark that reduce breakouts, inflammation, and redness. The jojoba beads in the cleanser remove dead skin cells without being harsh on the skin.

Pros

  • Rich lather
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Alcohol-free

Cons

  • Dries out the skin.

Buy Now From Amazon

6. InstaNatural Glycolic Cleanser


The InstaNatural Glycolic Cleanser is enriched with botanical ingredients to give you a refreshing cleansing experience. It contains glycolic acid for perfect exfoliation and collagen production. It easily cleanses away dirt and excessive oil to minimize pores and prevent acne.

Other ingredients in this formula, such as chamomile, aloe vera, and green tea, are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They provide the right amount of nutrition to the skin and alleviate dryness. Regular use of the cleanser restores the health and glow of your skin. This is one of the best cleansers that is effective against fine lines, pigmentation, uneven skin tone, and blackheads.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Hydrating
  • Sulfate-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Talcum-free
  • SLS-free
  • Dye-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Polyethylene glycol-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Overpowering fragrance

Buy Now From Amazon

7. Naeli AHA/BHA Facial Cleanser

This non-comedogenic facial cleanser from Naeli has a gel-like consistency and contains 10% glycolic acid with 1.2% salicylic acid and lactic acid. It exfoliates the skin to get rid of dead cells and makes it look clean and rejuvenated. The formula brightens the texture of skin and stimulates the production of skin cells.

This cleanser also contains peptides and vitamin C that increase collagen production to enhance skin elasticity. The antioxidant-rich super fruits like acai, avocado, maqui, raspberry, and bearberry reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, sunspots, and acne scars. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types and is recommended to use thrice a week.

Pros

  • pH-balanced
  • Natural ingredients
  • Gentle
  • Silicone-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dimethicone-free
  • Dye-free
  • PEG-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Expensive

Buy Now From Amazon

8. Reviva Labs Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser

This glycolic acid cleanser from Reviva Labs is specially formulated for sun-damaged, oily, and blemish-prone skin. It helps protect the skin against the signs of aging by diminishing the appearance of blemishes, fine lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles. This cleanser clears acne, pimples and prevents any major breakouts.

The dermatologically tested formula visibly reduces scarring and other marks on the skin. The glycolic acid seeps deep into the pores and works as an excellent exfoliator for cleansing the facial skin. The aloe vera leaf juice and chamomile extracts in the formula soften, moisturize, and nourish the skin. This cleanser also contains allantoin that effectively gets rid of dead skin cells and firms the skin. It is suitable for normal to mature skin types.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Suitable for mature skin
  • A little goes a long way
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free

Cons

None

Buy Now From Amazon

9. Glycolix 10% Gentle Facial Cleanser

This cleansing formula from Glycolix is gentle and mild on the skin. It is specially formulated with glycolic acid that gently exfoliates dull, lifeless skin cells and evens out the skin tone. The purified water in the formula keeps the skin supple and well hydrated throughout the day. With regular application, your skin feels softer, smoother, and brighter. This facial cleanser is pH-balanced and protects the skin from damage. It clears pores, preventing buildup, recurrence of acne, pimples, keratosis pilaris, and pigmentation. It is suitable for normal and oily skin types.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Gentle
  • Non-drying
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Unpleasant scent

Buy Now From Amazon

10. Luxiny Naturally Luxurious Glycolic Acid Cleanser

The cleanser from Luxiny contains glycolic acid that exfoliates and reduces the visibility of large pores, spots, blemishes, wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. It also contains tea tree oil known for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-acne properties, and jojoba oil and aloe vera leaf juice that nourish and moisturize the skin. The formula also offers antioxidant protection and eliminates free radicals with seaweed extract. It enhances the growth of new skin cells, boosting skin elasticity.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Non-GMO
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Drying

Buy Now From Amazon

11. Replenix Acne Gly Sal 5-2 Deep Pore Cleanser


The dermatologically formulated Replenix Acne Gly Sal 5-2 Deep Pore Cleanser is a water-soluble blend of 5% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid, which gently cleanse the skin of impurities and help fight acne-causing bacteria. It is enriched with green tea antioxidants that protect the skin against UV rays, regulate the production of sebum, and heals eczema and acne. The lightweight formula clears blackheads, blemishes, and clogged pores.

Pros

  • Dermatologically tested
  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Sulfate-free

Cons

  • Expensive

Buy Now From Amazon

12. Misumi Skin Perfecting Cleanser

With 10% alpha hydroxy acid, the Misumi Skin Perfecting Cleanser firms the skin and fights the signs of aging. It contains glycolic acid derived from sugarcane and pineapple that prevent the pores from clogging up with dead skin cells and bacteria that cause blackheads, acne, and pimple breakouts.

The chamomile oil in this cleanser soothes and heals red and inflamed skin with its anti-inflammatory properties, while rosehip oil hydrates the skin throughout the day and prevents it from drying. It also reduces the visibility of scars and fine lines, making you look and feel young. The formula also contains seaweed, which is rich in fatty acids and polysaccharides that form a protective layer over the skin and lock in moisture.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Naturally derived ingredients
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Smells good
  • Cruelty-free
  • Safe for oily and sensitive skin

Cons

  • Expensive

Buy Now From Amazon

13. Luxe Joie Exfoliating Cleanser

This cleanser from Luxe Joie is infused with jojoba beads to ensure an intense exfoliating experience. It is formulated with a blend of glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid that helps dissolve dead skin cells and impurities and retexturize the skin.

This formula reduces the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, marks, and scars with regular use. Salicylic acid prevents future breakouts and repairs the skin. The orange peel oil in the cleanser promotes clarity, improves skin health, and overall radiance. It triggers better blood circulation and nourishes the skin.  The scent of grapefruit oil refreshes your senses.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Very gritty texture

Buy Now From Amazon

14. Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser

The Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser is formulated for normal to oily skin types and is effective in clearing the skin of painful acne and pimples. It contains 4.2% glycolic acid that cleanses out surface impurities. The calendula, chamomile, and aloe vera in the formula keep skin moisturized, nourished, and soothed. This prevents inflammation, redness, and irritation. The formula is also infused with vitamins A, C, and E that reduce the appearance of aging, fine lines, blemishes, and wrinkles.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Creamy texture
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • DEA-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Hard to wash off.

Buy Now From Amazon

15. Peter Thomas Roth 3% Glycolic Solutions Cleanser

With 3% glycolic acid, the Peter Thomas Roth cleanser maintains the natural pH levels of the skin. It helps improve the overall appearance of your face by reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, marks, blemishes, and other imperfections. Your skin gets brighter with enhanced clarity with every application of this cleanser. The panthenol (provitamin B5) in the formula keeps skin well-nourished and hydrated, while arginine improves the skin texture and soothes it. This exfoliating cleansing gel wipes off impurities, excess oil, sebum, makeup, and dust and unclogs pores to make your face look bright and refreshed.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Oil-free
  • Smells good
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Drying

Buy Now From Amazon

There are several things to look out for when buying a glycolic acid cleanser. Scroll down to know what they are

What To Look For In A Glycolic Acid Cleanser

  • Concentration

Choose products that contain glycolic acid concentration in a range of 4% to 10%. This is the safest proportion and is gentle on the skin.

  • pH Level

According to most skin care experts, it is best to pick products with a pH of 4 or lesser. This helps maintain the balance, preventing itchiness, rashes, or skin breakouts.

  • Presence Of Other Acids

Avoid products containing multiple acids, especially if you have sensitive skin. However, glycolic acid blends well with salicylic acid, lactic, and citric acids to cater to all your skin’s needs.

A glycolic acid cleanser offers multiple skin benefits, which are discussed in the next section.

Benefits Of Using A Glycolic Acid Cleanser

1. Exfoliation: The glycolic acid in the cleanser cleans dull skin that is caused by heat or age. It removes the dead skin cells, revives the skin, and gives you a fresh look.

2. Anti-aging: Collagen makes the skin appear firm and young. As we age, this collagen reduces, and the skin loses its elasticity and looks aged. A glycolic acid cleanser can enhance the collagen production, giving your skin the tautness it requires. This helps reduce the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Unclogs The Pores: A glycolic acid cleanser is the best way to cleanse your clogged pores. Glycolic acid can penetrate the skin and unclog the pores, leaving your skin looking fresh and clean.

4. Acne Control: A glycolic acid cleanser helps unclog your pores and get rid of oil, buildup, and acne-causing bacteria, leaving your skin clean and acne-free.

These benefits will encourage you to buy a glycolic acid cleanser for your skin. But you should also be aware of the negative effects to make an informed choice.

Negative Effects of A Glycolic Acid Cleanser

The negative effects of glycolic acid cleansers are not many. Most commonly, your skin might become red, puffed up, or begin to tingle when the cleanser is applied. However, these effects will subside once your skin gets used to the glycolic acid in the formula.

Avoid using other exfoliating products along with these cleansers as glycolic acid is an exfoliating ingredient. Keep in mind that glycolic acid can make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage and tan. So, it is best to pair it with a sunscreen offering broad-spectrum SPF 30.

Glycolic acid cleansers are perfect for almost all skin types. They take care of the most common skin woes, whether it is blackheads, acne, pimples, visible large pores, or wrinkles. Pick your favorite from the list above and add it to your skin care regimen for rejuvenated and youthful skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I use a glycolic acid cleanser?

Most glycolic acid cleansers provide a gentle exfoliation for your skin, making them safe to use once a day. In case your skin feels extra sensitive, irritated, or starts to itch, decrease the frequency of usage to twice a week.

The following two tabs change content below.
Khushboo is a blogger with over 6 years of experience. She started as hotelier and worked with several renowned hotel chains. She developed a passion for content writing, and as time flourished, made it her full-time career. She loves writing for the online media and specializes in lifestyle, health, travel, and beauty-related content.