Get Glowing Skin With the Best Glycolic Acid Face Washes

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Do you want to eliminate skin imperfections but lack the patience or energy to stay consistent with a complicated skin care regimen? Take the burden off yourself by choosing a face wash that does more than simply clean your skin.

Face cleansers with active ingredients effectively provide your skin with the nourishment it requires without using time-consuming and complicated skincare products. Glycolic acid face washes in particular are proof that less is more. 

But it might be challenging to select the ideal cleanser that provides the most significant benefits when so many options are available, each claiming to be equally promising. That’s why we handpicked the premium glycolic acid face washes of 2022 and critically evaluated each of them to help you find the perfect face cleanser for your skin.

Reviewing the Finest Glycolic Acid Face Wash of 2022

Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Face Wash  —  Best Overall

Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Face Wash is a fantastic choice if you're searching for a potent formulation because it contains both glycolic and salicylic acid. Its powerful ingredients, such as tea tree, lavender, shea butter, seaweed, and peppermint, all work together to make your skin brighter and healthier. This formula helps target and treat all skin imperfections with a 10% glycolic acid composition for a radiant complexion. 

This option comes in a set of three tubes of 2 fluid ounces each, making it a portable product. Thanks to its nourishing and powerful formulation, irritant-free composition, and no-cruelty philosophy, this glycolic acid face wash stands out as the best overall pick.

Pros

  • Strong formula for noticeable results
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • No irritants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
  • Travel and budget friendly

Cons

  • High AHA concentration can dry out the skin

QRxLabs Glycolic Acid Face Wash  —  High Strength Formulation

This glycolic acid face wash by QRxLabs has a tailored formulation for relieving skin imperfections with a 5% glycolic acid concentration and a low pH. It penetrates deeply into the skin for markedly better exfoliation and a better cell regeneration rate for anti-aging and anti-acne results. Along with the glycolic acid in the composition, it also contains papaya and royal jelly extracts that work to smooth the skin's texture.

The product is made in an FDA-approved facility and adheres to cruelty-free practices and uses eco-friendly packaging. It shows immediate benefits by controlling sebum production, removing impurities in addition to deep exfoliation, shrinking razor bumps and ingrown hairs, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, lines, and dark spots.

Pros

  • Silicone, paraben, and fragrance-free
  • Ideal for peel preparation and post-peel maintenance
  • Zero animal testing
  • High-quality and high-strength formulation

Cons

  • Excessive use causes dry skin

Body Merry Glycolic Acid Face Wash  —  Dual Action Formulation

Due to the inclusion of jojoba beads, which serve as a physical scrub, as well as 2.5 % glycolic acid, the Body Merry Glycolic Acid Face Wash has a dual action formula that works as a physical and a chemical exfoliator. This product’s formulation is ideal for clearing your skin, whatever type you have — sensitive, regular, oily, or dry. 

It functions by cleansing, exfoliating, lowering the frequency of pimples and acne, unclogging blocked pores, and controlling the production of oil and sebum. The inclusion of kojic acid and plant-based oils nourishes and hydrates the skin, avoiding drying out the skin like some other similar formulations. Plus, the pump bottle packaging is excellent and makes it easy to dispense the contents.

Pros

  • A physical and chemical exfoliant
  • Oils in formulation moisturize skin
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Jojoba beads can trigger skin irritation

Glytone Glycolic Acid Face Wash  —  Best for Acne

The mild gel cleanser by Glytone, which features an oil-free formulation, is the ideal option for those with acne-prone skin. The face wash comes in an easy-to-use pump bottle that dispenses the product quickly. Despite its lightweight formulation, this glycolic acid face wash can be lathered onto the skin to leave it soft and supple. Additionally, it has 4.7 free acid values of glycolic acid, which gives it a unique yet effective composition for addressing skin issues. 

This option also significantly improves tone and texture while eradicating blemishes and aging concerns. The composition contains glycerin, which moisturizes and plumps the skin while competitors’ glycolic acid face washes may leave it dry and irritated.

Pros

  • Dermatologist-recommended formulation
  • Devoid of scent to prevent irritation
  • A non-comedogenic formulation for oily, acne-prone skin
  • Convenient to use and zero-waste packaging

Cons

  • Pricing is on the higher end

Nip + Fab Glycolic Acid Face Wash  —  Best Value

With its moderate composition containing 2% glycolic acid, Nip + Fab's glycolic acid face cleanser is the perfect choice for people experimenting with active ingredients. It’s a budget-friendly option because the full-size bottle costs the same as a travel-sized one. 

It can be used for sensitive skin without worrying about the likelihood of irritation and other effects because it contains blue daisy, which calms and soothes the skin, and hyaluronic acid, which leaves it fresh and moisturized. Olive oil is another moisturizing component. The grapefruit-scented composition makes it simple to use for exfoliating the skin without stripping it of its natural oils and hydration.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • An excellent pick for beginners
  • Exfoliates, soothes, and hydrates
  • A small quantity goes a long way

Cons

  • The consistency of the formulation is watery
  • Grapefruit scent can be an irritant

Finding Your Ideal Glycolic Acid Face Wash: A Buyer’s Guide

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which include glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid, continue to be praised and loved by most skincare enthusiasts. Due to its wide range of advantages for all skin types, glycolic acids derived from sugarcane are particularly admired. We assembled a guide with all the other critical information about glycolic acid face washes so you can buy one with confidence, even if it's your first time.

What Is a Glycolic Acid Face Wash?

Glycolic acid face washes are cleansers with the chemical glycolic acid as the star ingredient, which is found and synthesized from sugarcane and various fruits. Glycolic acid is among the many AHAs and is regarded as the strongest one because of its small molecular size. This allows it to penetrate the skin more quickly despite brief contact. As a water-soluble exfoliant, its molecules pass more deeply through pores to break down cell complexes and help accelerate cell turnover, also making it an anti-aging ingredient.

Glycolic acid face washes have an ongoing impact on the skin's texture and appearance, as opposed to physical scrubs and exfoliants that just target the top layer and offer transient improvements. In contrast to physical exfoliants, chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid do not harm the skin's physical barrier; instead, they encourage the production of glycosaminoglycans, which give the skin a plumper, more hydrated appearance. Additionally, it possesses antibacterial qualities.

What Are the Benefits of a Glycolic Acid Face Wash?

As with the other effects of AHAs, a glycolic acid face wash has many benefits for the skin, which is the critical reason for its unparalleled popularity. Here are a few benefits of regularly using a glycolic acid face wash:

Improved skin texture

The keratolytic and exfoliation effects of glycolic acid on the skin enhance the breakdown of dead skin cells, making it easier to eliminate them and expose soft and supple skin.

Prevents breakouts

Face cleansers with glycolic acid are non-comedogenic and unclog pores by removing debris and muck, dramatically reducing blackheads, whiteheads, and acne for blemish-free skin. Its antibacterial properties also aid in minimizing the incidence of breakouts and comedones. A glycolic acid face wash is particularly beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin.

Anti-aging

Glycolic acid penetrates the skin deeply, severing cell bonds to speed up cell turnover. This can help the skin regain its young plumpness by stimulating collagen and elastin production. It also helps eliminate dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and other skin imperfections. 

Calming effect

Glycolic acid toners and serums have a more harsh effect on the skin, which can lead to irritation, but glycolic acid face washes contain several calming ingredients which aid in soothing the skin and retaining moisture.

How To Choose a Glycolic Acid Face Wash

With so many brands, formulations, and types of glycolic acid face cleansers, it can be challenging to pick one, but the following factors will help you shortlist and choose the one that works perfectly for your skin:

Concentration

This represents the amount of glycolic acid in the formulation. The packaging for most products lists the glycolic acid concentration, which typically ranges from 1 to 10%. It’s recommended to review the formulation if the concentration has not been specified explicitly. If you are still unable to spot it, check the location of glycolic acid in the ingredient list; if it’s near the top, it typically indicates a higher acid content.

The penetration power increases with the percentage. Even though it may be tempting to choose the most potent formulation, it’s best to start with a lower concentration and go up to a higher concentration once your skin has become accustomed to the product.

Budget

Glycolic acid face cleansers are available in both drugstores and high-end retailers. The prices range from $10 to $75, so you can choose the one that fits your budget.

Size

There are primarily two sizes of glycolic acid face washes: travel and full size. The travel-sized container is the preferred option if you're trying out a new product since it’s cost-effective and practical. But if you already have a go-to favorite, a full-sized container will be economical and enduring.

How to Safely Use a Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser 

Specialist studies suggest glycolic acid face washes are safe for all skin types, further supported since they’re often recommended by dermatologists. But by following a few precautions, everyday usage of these glycolic acid-infused facial washes can be made even safer:

  • Patch test: Before committing to full-time use of any product, particularly one with active components, it’s a good idea to conduct a patch test. While it's safe to use glycolic acid face washes, some formulations might have ingredients that aren't right for your skin type; in these cases, a patch test is a reliable way to find out.
  • A gradual start is better: It’s a good idea to gradually scale up the usage of face washes because some formulations, even those that have passed the patch test and been found to be safe, can still cause a delayed onset reaction.
  • Follow instructions: It’s essential to adhere to the safe use guidelines on the packaging, whether you use a dermatologist-recommended glycolic acid face cleanser or an over-the-counter product. Use just as directed; going beyond that threshold could negatively impact your skin.
  • Avoid other actives: Using only one active ingredient at a time is ideal because most active compounds exfoliate the skin. Using too many active compounds can result in over-exfoliation, which can have long-lasting effects on the integrity and appearance of sensitive facial skin.
  • Moisturizer: BHAs and AHAs, notably glycolic acid, can strip the skin of moisture, resulting in dry skin, which is especially problematic for people with dry or sensitive skin. When using a glycolic acid face cleanser, it’s vital to regularly apply moisturizer to your skin.
  • Sunscreen: Use copious amounts of sunscreen, whether inside or outside, because AHAs like glycolic acid makes your skin more susceptible to the sun.