Glycolic acid is a form of alpha hydroxy acid. When applied to your skin in a lotion, it accelerates the skin cells' turnover--the process of old skin cells being replaced with newer ones--making it an effective exfoliant. It's commonly used to keep skin bright and even-toned, and to enhance skin's brightness and keep pores clear.
Neostrata Daytime Smoothing Cream
Neostrata offers several versions of its smoothing cream, intended for various types of skin, such as normal skin and oily skin. The cream comes formulated with glycolic acid to help exfoliate your skin and get rid of dead skin cells; the company promises more radiant skin within 10 days of using the lotion. It also includes built-in sunscreen to shield your skin against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays.
Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Complete Acne Therapy System
Dermatologist Mary Lupo, reviewing Neutrogena's acne therapy system for InStyle.com, loved its combination of glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. The system is comprised of a lotion, toner and cleanser. Benzoyl peroxide helps kill bacteria while the acids exfoliate your pores and skin to keep pores from becoming clogged with oil and other debris. InStyle.com's beauty editors named it the best acne prevention system available.
Vivité Vibrance Therapy
Dermatologist Jeanine Downie's favorite facial treatment is Vivite's glycolic acid-enhanced facial cream. She likes it because its glycolic acid effectively exfoliates the skin, while additional active ingredients, like retinol and soy, help rebuild and rejuvenate the skin for more even skin tone and potentially fewer wrinkles.
Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel
To fade age spots and other skin discolorations caused by the sun, try Murad's spot treatment. Dermatologist Derek Kenneaster, reviewing the product for InStyle.com, said that the acid helps enhance the fading of poor skin tone. InStyle.com picked it as one of the best spot lighteners on the market.
Alyria Resurfacing Body Care
Dermatologist Arielle Kauvar, writing for "Real Simple" magazine, recommends Alyria's Resurfacing Body Care lotion for exfoliating dead skin cells on areas like your arms. She writes that it will leave your skin feeling softer without excessive irritation. The manufacturer also adds vitamin E as an antioxidant to nourish the skin and guard against wrinkles, sun spots and other signs of aging.