Understanding Glycolic Acid – An Acne Preventative and Maintainer

This article addresses common problems people face with Glycolic Acid and ways to introduce your skin to it.

We, at ACNE.ORG.ZA, have seen the beauty industry mislead women for years by saying that perfect skin is achievable. What is perfect exactly? We believe you are beautiful as you are, and that doesn’t mean having to have flawless skin. We would love to flip this notion on its head. All skin can be beautiful and well maintained, no matter the skin issues you encounter. 

We believe in obtaining the correct information about skin care from a trusted source, like ACNE.ORG.ZA, and keeping a consistent skin care regime. 

On your skin journey, we recommend starting with our three-step protocol. This will leave your skin debris-free and feeling good. Maintaining this is the next step. So we suggest using our Maintain product next.

It is important to know how to use it correctly because when used incorrectly, it can harm your skin and leave you feeling despondent, as yet another beauty product doesn’t work. We only believe in products that work and are backed by science. We are here to change your life. 

As Mbali testified, “My confidence has been restored. Thanks to Acne.org.za. You guys will always shine in my heart.”

Below are the most asked questions relating to our Maintain product. Have more questions? Book a free consultation with our beauty consultant – Kristin Swan 

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition where red pimples form on the skin as a result of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands. It can be caused by a variety of things like genetics, hormones, incorrect hygiene practices, or oily skin. We, at ACNE.ORG.ZA, believe everyone can have an acne-free or acne-maintained life. Why? Because we have seen it happen over and over again. 

Glycolic Acid at Acne.org.za

Our product, Maintain, is a cream-based moisturiser containing 10% AHA with probiotics to maintain a healthy level of bacteria on your skin and Squalene to restore your skin’s moisture. Our Maintain product prevents acne and maintains hydrated and balanced skin. 

All skin has a healthy level of bacteria on its surface. This bacteria is called your microbiome. It refers to all the bacteria living in your glands, hair follicles, and all the layers of your skin. Using cleansers can strip your skin of all of this bacteria, leaving it unhealthy and feeling dry and ‘stripped’. The probiotics in our Maintain product help restore healthy bacteria to your skin. 

What is Glycolic Acid? 

Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), which is a water-based acid. It deeply exfoliates your skin and removes dead skin cells, bacteria picked up from daily life, and oil build-up. 

After using Glycolic Acid, my face felt burnt, and/or a rash appeared. Why?

Glycolic Acid is a strong product, as stated before it is a at-home chemical peel and needs to be handled with care. A rash or burn indicates that you have used too much, too soon. Glycolic Acid is a at-home chemical peel that needs to be experimented with care and reverence.  

If this ever happens to you, cool your face down immediately with a cold press. Apply soft gentle creams and rest your skin from any, and all harsh products. Any acid applied on your skin needs to be done at a leisurely pace. 

Some tips when using Glycolic Acid:

  • You may need to use it once a week if you find it causes your skin to be irritated. 
  • Do not use it if you are planning to be out in the sun the whole day. 
  • Benzoyl Peroxide is an active ingredient. So it cannot be placed on your skin, anywhere near AHA. 
  • Use sunblock daily when using AHA.
  • Not everyone can use it twice a day. It’s about trial and error.
  • If you apply AHA and your skin has a slight tingle in some areas, your skin’s barrier is compromised. Try looking for a deeper/fattier cream to help with this.
  • Do not use AHA on inflamed acne. 

How often do you use it?

Your skin needs to be introduced to AHA slowly, no matter the strength. Use it once a week and see how your skin reacts. Then you may move towards twice a week while continuing to monitor your skin’s reaction. Over a month of using AHA on your skin will give you a clear indication of how you handle it.

Some clients take three months to be introduced to AHA while others take just over a month. You have your journey. Get to know your skin and be flexible in how it changes with age and within different environments. 

Some of our clients use our Maintain product as a night mask once a month and then remove excess product the next morning. This can be effective but again, be aware of sun damage when practicing this method. 

AHA products are seen as an at-home peel for your skin and need to be handled carefully. 

It is best to work alongside a dermatologist when dealing with AHA.

Where not to place it?

Do not place AHA around your eyes and nostrils. Both these areas are delicate and thin layers of the skin. You do not want to unnecessarily remove layers of the skin here. If you apply it too close to your eyes it will create bags or saggy skin. 

General, non-acne related benefits of Glycolic Acid

  • It removes fine lines and smoothes your skin.
  • It assists with pigmentation and dark spots.
  • It assists your skin’s healthy barrier and maintains your skin’s healthy fatty layer. That fatty layer keeps moisture in and bad bacteria out.

It is no surprise that Glycolic Acid is a favorite among many, especially our beloved clients. 


Mode of action of glycolic acid on human stratum corneum: ultrastructural and functional evaluation of the epidermal barrier


The skin microbiome


Glycolic Acid Skin Care Benefits:


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