To understand this best let's talk about what the percentage really means. The percentage of glycolic means the dilution of the acid. The higher the percentage theoretically the stronger the acid. However, in most over the counter beauty and skincare products the glycolic acid is formulated with other ingredients. This causes a big problem. Other ingredients when mixed with glycolic can decrease or worse neutralize the glycolic acid. For example, a product claims to have 25% glycolic acid but adds another ingredient that neutralizes or dilutes the acid then you're basically left with 0% of glycolic acid. In short the other ingredients cancel out the skin-loving benefits of glycolic.
So you may be wondering why brands neutralize, cancel, or buffer their glycolic acid. Because what's the point if you don't receive any of the benefits of glycolic acid? Well, we asked Dermatologist Dr. B, "Glycolic acid is meant to tingle or sting when applied. That's how you know you have a real product." Further he added, "These big beauty companies don't want to mess with explaining and educating the customer on how to handle this clinical-grade ingredient, rather they just neutralize it so you think you're getting something worth while. Unfortunately, it does nothing. Rather, here at Dermatologist's Choice we trust our customers to know what is right for their skin and help educate them on the real non-neutralized glycolic."
Instead of looking at the percentage of glycolic acid on the front of the skincare product packaging, look at the back for the ingredients. If you see that glycolic is not one of the first ingredients or there are neutralizing ingredients then the glycolic is neutralized or buffered and you're likely not getting 20%, 45%, or 65% glycolic acid as advertised.
Other than looking at the ingredients, the best way to tell if you're getting the full benefits of glycolic acid is by trying it on your skin. If you FEEL the glycolic entering your skin with a tingle (we call it the Trustworthy Tingle) or sting then you know you are applying real non-neutralized glycolic acid.
So next time you're shopping for a glycolic acid product don't pay any attention to the percentage. It is best to look at the ingredients and try the product on your skin. Non-neutralized glycolic, used in Dermatologist's Choice, will provided you the clinical-grade potency and benefits you want.
Try the real non-neutralized glycolic acid here. Dr. B recommends the Facial Enhancement Cream with mild non-neutralized glycolic. For those who have used glycolic acid or more tolerant to non-neutralized glycolic will enjoy the stronger Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with non-neutralized glycolic acid.