Exfoliate And Glow With 15 Best Glycolic Acid Products Of 2021 (With Reviews)

Written by Sneha Manandhar
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How to make your skin look flawless without using makeup? Exfoliate! And by exfoliation, we do not mean you spill on expensive facial treatments or undergo sharp deplaning tools (ouch!). Instead, you can invest in the best glycolic acid products. A natural exfoliant, glycolic acid is safe, gentle, and sheds all the dead skin cells effortlessly, making it indispensable for those dealing with dull, dry, tired, and aging skin.

So, What Does Glycolic Acid Do?

Glycolic acid is fiercely tough on dead skin cells but gentle on the skin. It scrapes off the dull and dry upper layer to make way for softer, glowing, and younger-looking skin. And adding to that, it boosts collagen production as well, which means you can fight both early signs of aging and deep-set wrinkles with these gems in your skincare routine. Now, are you curious to try one? We bet you won’t be disappointed!

So, who’s ready to shed that extra gunk on your skin effortlessly? Scroll on to check out our list of the 15 best glycolic acid products for you.

Read on to know more!

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Prep Cleanser
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Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
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QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Pads
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The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
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Loreal Paris Revitalift 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum
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Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
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Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
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Mederma AG Moisturizing Face Cream
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Yeouth Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel
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Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% Aha Gel Exfoliant
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Top 15 Glycolic Acid Products To Restore Your Youthful Glow (Buying Guide)

1. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Prep Cleanser

To rage war on wrinkles, you must start with the right cleanser! Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Prep Cleanser has glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and micro-exfoliants to exfoliate all the dead skin cells thoroughly but gently. Promising visible changes in just 1 week, this wrinkle-repair cleanser for dry skin is also dermatologist-tested, making it one of the most trusted brands on the market. Yep, ready to go anti-wrinkle with this one?

Pros:

  • Exfoliates gently
  • Preps skin for retinol
  • Improves texture and eliminates dry skin
  • Leaves skin smooth, soft, and radiant
  • Non-comedogenic, non-stripping, and oil-free
  • Soap-free, paraben-free, and free from plastic microbeads

Cons:

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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2. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

Get rid of the excess oil without feeling stripped! A must-try for oily skin, acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin users, this mild exfoliator will cleanse all the dirt, impurities, and oil build-up while moisturizing your skin intensely. Ideal for men, women, and teenagers dealing with cystic acne, its organic blend of shea butter, bamboo, tea tree extract, and glycolic acid ensures multiple benefits with every use. From preventing breakouts, greasiness to countering dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, consider your skin renewed and refreshed after every wash with this cleanser. Try it to witness a difference in your dull and tired skin!

Pros:

  • Exfoliates intensely
  • Eliminates makeup residue
  • Reduces blemishes and redness
  • Leaves skin brighter, softer, and smooth
  • Improves texture and treats hyperpigmentation
  • Sulfate-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free
  • 100% organic with peppermint, lavender, willow bark, and more

Cons:

  • Not suitable if you are sensitive to smell

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3. QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Pads

Travel lovers, keep your skin fresh, glowing, and guarded against wrinkles with these easy-to-use exfoliating pads. Made of non-woven soft material and shaped like a waffle, these super-gentle pads are soaked in 20% glycolic acid, vitamin B5, C, E, and extracts of allantoin, calendula, and green tea. And also, cleansing and exfoliating are not the only benefits it offers. It fights acne, fades acne scars, reduces bumps, smoothes fine lines, and repairs UV damages as well. Too good to be missed, we think!

Pros:

  • Anti-aging formula
  • Gentle and non-irritating
  • Hydrates intensely
  • Leaves skin smooth and soft
  • Improves texture and stimulates collagen
  • Protects with anti-inflammatory ingredients
  • FDA-registered, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly

Cons:

  • Slightly sticky
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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4. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Toners are so underrated. And this one with 7% glycolic acid will make you regret not having bought it earlier. Clarifying leftover residue post-cleansing and making your skin look refreshed and brighter, it also exfoliates dead skin cells and clogged pores effortlessly. So, if you are dealing with dull, dry, tired, or dehydrated skin, this toner can be your ultimate redeemer.

Pros:

  • Exfoliates intensely
  • Improves skin tone and texture
  • Leaves skin smooth and radiant
  • Suitable for dry skin

Cons:

  • Not suitable for sensitive or broken skin

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5. Loreal Paris Revitalift 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum

Trust Loreal Paris to be your age-defying weapon with this serum infused with 10% pure glycolic acid. Lightweight and gentle, so you don’t have to worry about your skin being irritated, this serum is also dermatologist-tested. Targeting dark spots, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone, it also contains aloe that ensures intense hydration. Go on, age like a stunner with this one!

Pros:

  • Exfoliates dead skin cells
  • Ensures results in 2 weeks
  • Leaves skin firmer and younger-looking
  • Paraben-free, fragrance-free, and dye-free
  • Ideal for daily use and suitable for all skin types

Cons:

  • Applying too much may turn skin sticky

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6. Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

What’s special about this anti-aging face cleanser? It deep cleans in every wash! Eliminating the impurities thoroughly, this enriching blend pulls out dirt from clogged pores and leaves your skin nourished and revitalized. And to those wondering what’s in the formula? It’s all oils and botanical extracts! It contains jojoba oil, willow bark, olive oil, rosehip oil, and tea tree oil along with MSM, kojic acid, jojoba beads, and 20% glycolic acid. Is your cleanser as enriching as this one?

Pros:

  • Eliminates oil buildups
  • Cleanses thoroughly
  • Prevents premature aging
  • Combats dull, tired, and dry skin
  • Fades sunspots, dark spots, age spots, and acne scars
  • Ideal for makeup removal
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Suitable for acne-prone and oily skin

Cons:

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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7. Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

Tighten up with this toner that claims to soften fine lines and wrinkles! Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner with glycolic acid, grapefruit extract, and aloe vera will exfoliate the impurities, hydrate intensely and leave the skin looking refreshed and firmer. Just the toner you need to tame and control those unwanted lines, give this anti-aging formula a try if you haven’t already.

Pros:

  • Mild formula
  • Refines and diminishes pores
  • Soothes and smoothens the skin
  • Improves the skin’s texture and tone
  • Ensures younger-looking complexion
  • Suitable for combination and dry skin
  • Gluten-free, alcohol-free, and vegan

Cons:

  • It may irritate sensitive skin.

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8. Mederma AG Moisturizing Face Cream

Beat dryness with this hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid blend in a moisturizing cream. Retaining the optimal moisture for your skin to look supple, hydrated, and plump, this cream also eases fine lines and wrinkles effortlessly. And given how dryness can lead to the accumulation of dead skin cells, this ultra-moisturizing blend will shed it all to leave a touchable soft glow. Indulge and pamper, ladies!

Pros:

  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Ultra-creamy formula
  • Retains moisture
  • Soap-free and fragrance-free
  • Hypoallergenic, gentle, and non-comedogenic
  • Suitable for dry, damaged, sun-damaged, and rough skin

Cons:

  • Thin consistency
  • Not suitable for acne-prone skin

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9. Yeouth Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel

This bottle may look small, but do not underestimate its powerful formula! Softening the look of the fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, dark spots, and minimizing pores, it’s like an age-reversing tonic in a bottle! Leaving your skin refreshed and hydrated (all thanks to the infused hyaluronic acid), the formula also contains green tea, retinol, and 30% glycolic acid. One of the best glycolic acid peel products, try it to witness the glow up!

Pros:

  • Boosts collagen
  • Exfoliates clogged pores
  • Corrects uneven skin tone
  • Ensures a healthy complexion
  • Prevents acne and breakouts
  • Diminishes sunspots and hyperpigmentation
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons:

  • Pricey

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10. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% Aha Gel Exfoliant

Moisturizer but with exfoliating power! Watch your skin renew and refresh back to its glowing days with this one. Loosening and clearing the dead skin cells and making way for softer, healthier, and new skin, this anti-wrinkle exfoliant is a must-try for those dealing with skin discoloration too. And the best part, the formula is anything but harmful! Along with 8% glycolic acid, the gel contains green tea and chamomile to soothe your skin and soften stubborn fine lines as well. Also, are you looking for paraben-free glycolic acid products? Then Paula’s Choice is the one for you!

Pros:

  • Lightweight gel
  • Hydrates intensely
  • Corrects uneven skin tone
  • Exfoliates and refines pores
  • Leaves skin healthy and radiant
  • Improves complexion and repairs sun damages
  • Gentle and fragrance-free
  • Suitable for normal, dry, oily, and combination skin

Cons:

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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11. Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Dryness, dullness, and rough skin stand no chance against this triple-action exfoliator! Claiming to cleanse intensely but gently enough to not irritate, watch the dullness and dryness fade like a charm with Murad. Powered with not one but three acids— glycolic, salicylic, and lactic, it leaves your skin with no choice but to break free from dullness and appear brighter and younger again. Don’t believe us? Try it!

Pros:

  • Boosts cell turnover
  • Ensures a polished look
  • Improves the skin’s texture
  • Suitable for combination, oily, normal, and dry skin

Cons:

  • It’s not fragrance-free.

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12. Touch KP Exfoliating Body Wash

Why settle for a regular body wash when Touch KP Exfoliating Body Wash guarantees a healthy glow from head to toe? Switch now to this body cleanser with glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, salicylic acid, aloe vera, and Gotu Kola as it promises to make your skin look healthy and hydrated always. Also, it claims to deep-clean skin without drying and is a must-try for those with keratosis pilaris, body acne, dullness, uneven texture, tone, and more. Why miss it?

Pros:

  • Oil-free formula
  • Stimulates collagen
  • Retains and boosts moisture
  • Soothes and reduces redness
  • Eliminates bumps, roughness, and sebum
  • Cruelty-free and FDA-registered
  • Non-irritating, non-drying, and 3.5 pH balanced
  • Free from drying alcohols, dyes, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and more

Cons:

  • Not ideal if you are sensitive to smell

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13. Glycolix Elite Glycolic Acid Facial Cream

This exfoliating cream packed with pure crystalline glycolic acid feels nothing but luxe on the skin. Unfurling the experience of a rejuvenating spa as you apply, the infused antioxidants make sure your skin is thoroughly exfoliated and pampered in the process. And if you are wondering what makes it so premium, it’s the power-packed formula that contains 20% glycolic acid, vitamin C, A, E, and green tea. Now, who’s ready to say goodbye to discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin damages with this one?

Pros:

  • Anti-aging formula
  • Improves texture and tone
  • Protects from free radicals
  • Leaves skin healthy and younger-looking
  • Non-comedogenic and oil-free
  • Fragrance-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free
  • Suitable for dry, normal, and combination skin

Cons:

  • Expensive

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14. Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser

All eyes on this one, because exfoliation is a must for your skin! Get rid of the dirt, oil buildups, pollution, and impurities with this ultra-creamy yet sulfate-free face wash. A great option to use pre-shave to soften hair, this cleanser targets dead skin cells, razor bumps, ingrowths, and clogged pores as well. Guaranteeing the deepest clean with every wash, it is infused with 4.2% glycolic acid, vitamin C, A, E, and aloe vera. Do you know a better combo of exfoliation and nourishment than this? Tell, we’ll wait.

Pros:

  • Non-foaming cleanser
  • Retains moisture and soothes skin
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protects against free radical and environmental damages
  • Dermatologist-tested, allergy-tested, and cruelty-free
  • Free from parabens, triclosan, phthalates, GMOs, gluten, and more
  • Suitable for oily, combination, and normal skin

Cons:

  • Not ideal if you prefer rich lather

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15. purlisse Watermelon Energizing 2 Minute Polishing Peel

Saving the bliss for the last— this fruity face mask will make your skincare routine utterly delightful (especially if you are a fruit lover!). High on watermelon, glycolic acid, lychee, beet, and purple carrot, it’s like a refreshing and healthy juice for your skin to stay supple, healthy, and hydrated. Moisturizing while exfoliating the dead skin cells, we don’t know about you, but your skin will definitely enjoy the benefits of this fruity-scented face mask. Try it!

Pros:

  • Ensures results in 2 minutes
  • Softens and smoothes skin
  • Brightens and repairs damages
  • Leaves skin polished and glowing
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • Not suitable if you are sensitive to smell

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Exfoliating skin at home now looks easy-peasy! There you go, those were the 15 best glycolic acid products that you much check out this season. And, if you need assistance with choosing the right ones, we’ve listed some tips in the buying guide below.

Buying Guide

How To Choose The Best Glycolic Acid Products?

Look out for the following features in the product before buying:

  • Skin type: First and foremost, no matter what product you choose, it should be suitable for your skin type if you want to enjoy the maximum benefits and witness desirable results.
  • Percentage of glycolic acid: Yep, don’t just look for glycolic acid; inspect the percentage of glycolic acid in the formula to know how intensely it will act on your skin. Those with visible fine lines, wrinkles, dead skin cells, or dryness issues must opt for up to 15% glycolic acid, or consult your dermatologist before applying.
  • Non-drying & non-irritating: Many exfoliation products end up drying or stripping the natural oils in the process, which is a big no if you want to restore your natural glow. Hence, pick a formula that guarantees non-drying and non-irritating exfoliation for the best experience.
  • Anti-aging benefits: Why settle for exfoliation only when products with glycolic acid offer anti-aging benefits as well? Hence, inspect whether the product can deal with fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and hyperpigmentation.
  • Nourishing formula: Other than glycolic acid, look at the other ingredients too, and how beneficial they are for your skin. The more nourishing, moisturizing, and hydrating the formula is, the quicker your skin will heal and radiate.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get ready to exfoliate like a pro in the comforts of your home. Yes, wake up to gorgeous and younger-looking skin every day. We mean, why use makeup to hide your dullness when these glycolic acid-rich products can banish the dullness effortlessly. Now, whether you have deep-set wrinkles, dryness, acne, or clogged pores, our list above has a solution for all your skin woes. So, wait no more! Go, get your exfoliator today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is glycolic acid good for your skin?

If your skin is looking dull, dry, rough, or dealing with stubborn aging lines, then face products with glycolic acid will fight all these problems for you. Besides these, it exfoliates intensely to unclog pores and helps with skin renewal as well.

Are products with glycolic acid safe during pregnancy?

Yes, topical usage of glycolic acid is safe during pregnancy. However, we recommend you consult your doctor before using pregnancy-safe glycolic acid products.

Does glycolic acid make your skin glow?

Yes, absolutely! Glycolic acid is a natural exfoliant that sheds all the dead skin cells effortlessly, thus making way for newer, healthier, and glowing skin to the surface.

Is it OK to use glycolic acid every day?

It depends on your skin type. Ideally, products with up to 15% glycolic acid are safe to use once a day, daily.

Can I leave glycolic acid overnight?

To enjoy the maximum benefits of glycolic acid, you can use it overnight as it helps the skin recover without any interference of skin-damaging radicals or other topical applications.

Is retinol or glycolic acid better?

It depends on your skin condition. If dull, dry, or tired skin is a concern for you, then glycolic acid is a better option as it is milder than retinol.

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Sneha Manandhar holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Pune. She has previously worked with media and publication houses in varied capacities as a lifestyle writer, an editor, a copywriter, and a translator. She reviews beauty, skin care, and wellness products from specialized curated lists. She believes that SEO-driven content is the present and the future and keeps herself busy by dabbling in SEO-related tools and honing her editing skills.