Glycolic Acid vs. Salicylic Acid: Is it for Your Skin Type & Concern?

It's September, the time where fresh starts begin!

And given that you guys were probably out all summer burning to a crisp, let us get your skincare in order with a fresh start. How do you do that? Exfoliation. 

Let’s understand it together.

What is glycolic acid and salicylic acid?

In general, chemical exfoliants are better than physical ones. 
The most common ones are glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid and salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid.

I see patients every day in my office and 40% of the time, people do not know which exfoliant to use, and overuse the wrong one, which does not make their skin happy. Let’s talk about the science behind the two acids so that you guys know which one to use and which one is better for your skin. 

The primary function in skincare of glycolic acid or salicylic acid is exfoliation. But exfoliation is not created equal across the board. 

To simplify matters:

  • glycolic acid is best for surface exfoliation
  • salicylic acid is best if you have oily skin or even acne

But you do have to understand there is more to it…

What does this mean for your skincare routine?

Watch this video where Dr. Shereene Idriss dives into how exfoliation works, what to use for your skin concern and some product recommendations.