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Ingredient Spotlight: Glycolic Acid

In your hunt for the best skincare products, you may have come across a slew of products with acids in them, unsure which is right for you. We’re zeroing in on one of the core acids used in our iconic Renewal Collection, Glycolic Acid, and breaking down everything you need to know about the ingredient, how it works, and some of our favorite products formulated with it. Starting our very first product, the Moisturizing Renewal Cream Nightly Retexturizer, RéVive has used glycolic acid in numerous products, including our recently launched Moisturizing Renewal Lotion Nightly Dual-Acid Retexturizer. With potent anti-aging properties, Glycolic Acid rightfully earned its place in collection, and we’re diving into the science behind the ingredient and why it’s a need for your skincare routine.

What is glycolic acid?

In skincare, almost all these different acids can fall under three main categories- alpha-hydroxy acids, (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) and poly-hydroxy acids (PHAs). Glycolic Acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid, which are acids that naturally occur in sugarcane, milk, and fruits. Glycolic acid itself is derived largely from sugarcane, although it can also be found in plants and fruits like beets, pineapples, and grapes. What makes glycolic acid unique is that it has one of the smallest molecular sizes, which allows it to penetrate the skin deeper for more effective exfoliation.

How does it work?

Glycolic Acid is commonly known for its exfoliating properties. Targeting the surface of the skin, it speeds up cell turnover and dissolves the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, in turn making them easier to shed. Glycolic Acid is also a powerful also stimulates collagen production to help skin feel firmer, which declines as we age and leads to a loss of elasticity and volume in the face and body.  


Because glycolic acid is one of the smallest molecules, it can better penetrate the skin to lift away dead skin cells without being abrasive. Glycolic acid is highly beneficial for acne-prone skin with its antibacterial properties that remove keratin debris to clear up clogged pores and prevent future breakouts. This ingredient’s exfoliating properties also help to improve skin’s texture by revealing new, healthy skin cells on the surface of the skin. It can also help smooth skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles while also helping to fade dark spots, acne scars, and discoloration- making it the perfect ingredient for those suffering from sun damaged skin.

Glycolic acid is a great barrier supporting ingredient, too. As a humectant, it works to retain moisture essential for the skin barrier by attracting, and binding water to cells. With regular usage, Glycolic Acid improves both complexion and texture over time, leaving you with radiant, healthy-looking skin.

How to use it

If you are new to Glycolic Acid, start by applying your products with it 2-3 times a week at first. As you notice the skin start to feel smoother with no signs of irritation, you can increase how many times a week you use it. The new skin cells revealed after Glycolic Acid removes the top layer of dead skin cells are vulnerable to the sun’s harsh rays, so make sure you only use skincare with Glycolic Acid at night. Be sure to apply sunscreen during the day when using Glycolic Acid and other AHAs!

RéVive’s Picks

  1. Moisturizing Renewal Cream Nightly Retexturizer

Glycolic Acid is key in this classic formula. The Moisturizing Renewal Cream Nightly Retexturizer is formulated with our signature Bio-Renewal Technology for skin renewal and a healthy dose of Glycolic Acid to help exfoliate the skin. With the Glycolic Acid helping to remove dead skin cells, our Bio-Renewal Technology penetrates the skin deeper for increased cell renewal, leaving you with glowy, youthful-looking skin. It’s the perfect moisturizer for all skin types demonstrating the early signs of aging.

  1. Moisturizing Renewal Lotion Nightly Dual-Acid Retexturizer

If you are looking for a more lightweight moisturizer that provides the same hydration and glow as our classic Moisturizing Renewal Night Cream, look no further than the new Moisturizing Renewal Lotion Nightly Dual-Acid Retexturizer. This nighttime face lotion contains our Bio-Renewal Peptide and a timely released dual-acid blend consisting of Glycolic Acid (alpha-hydroxy acid) and Gluconolactone (poly-hydroxy acid) that work in unison to exfoliate and renew the surface of the skin while also helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and pores. Perfect for those with oily and acne-prone skin.

Dual-Acid Blend with Glycolic and Gluconolactone (Poly-hydroxy Acid).

  1. Moisturizing Renewal Cream Supreme​ Nightly Retexturizer

If you suffer from dry skin and need an ultra-rich moisturizer, opt for the Moisturizing Renewal Cream Supreme Nightly Retexturizer. This moisturizer features all the power of the classic Moisturizing Renewal Night Cream, with our Bio-Renewal Peptide and Glycolic Acid, along with skin-identical moisturizing conditioners like Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, Barley, and Licorice Extract that help to retain essential moisture and keep skin hydrated from the inside out. This moisturizer is great for anyone who needs an added boost of moisture in their skincare routine.


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