Is Glycolic Acid Good for Dry Skin? Everything You Need to Know

Discover the benefits of using glycolic acid on dry skin: exfoliation, moisture retention, and improved texture. Learn how to use it properly and the drawbacks to consider. #skintype #glycolicacid #dr

Glycolic acid has become a popular ingredient in skincare products due to its exfoliating properties and ability to improve the appearance of the skin. But is glycolic acid suitable for dry skin? In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using glycolic acid on dry skin and provide recommendations for incorporating it into your skincare routine.

What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from sugar cane. It is known for its small molecular size, which allows it to penetrate the skin deeply. This makes it an effective exfoliant that can remove dead skin cells and unclog pores.

Benefits of Glycolic Acid for Dry Skin

Glycolic acid can offer several benefits for dry skin when used properly:

  • Exfoliation: The exfoliating properties of glycolic acid can help remove dry and flaky skin, revealing a smoother and more radiant complexion.
  • Moisture Retention: Glycolic acid can help improve the skin's ability to retain moisture by stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid, a natural moisturizing factor.
  • Improved Texture: Regular use of glycolic acid can help improve the texture of dry skin, making it appear smoother and more even.

How to Use Glycolic Acid on Dry Skin

When using glycolic acid on dry skin, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  • Start with a Low Concentration: If you have dry skin, start with a low concentration of glycolic acid, such as 5% or 7%. This will minimize the risk of irritation and allow your skin to adjust to the exfoliating effects.
  • Limit Frequency: Begin by using glycolic acid once a week and gradually increase the frequency if your skin tolerates it well. However, it is important not to overdo it, as excessive exfoliation can further dry out your skin.
  • Moisturize: After applying glycolic acid, always follow up with a rich moisturizer to help replenish lost moisture and maintain the skin's barrier function.

Drawbacks of Glycolic Acid for Dry Skin

While glycolic acid can provide benefits for dry skin, it is not suitable for everyone. Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Potential Irritation: Some individuals with dry skin may experience irritation, redness, or sensitivity when using glycolic acid. It is important to patch test the product and discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur.
  • Increased Sun Sensitivity: Glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun's harmful rays. It is crucial to apply sunscreen with a high SPF when using glycolic acid and limit sun exposure.


Glycolic acid can be beneficial for dry skin when used correctly and in moderation. It can help exfoliate dry and flaky skin, improve moisture retention, and enhance overall texture. However, it is essential to start with a low concentration, limit frequency, and moisturize adequately. If you experience any irritation or adverse reactions, it is best to consult a dermatologist.

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