Melasma Glycolic Acid

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By Danjella Dusanic

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Melasma is a condition that causes brown or gray patches on the skin. It’s usually seen on the face, but it can also occur on other sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the neck, chest, and hands. Melasma is more common in women than men and often occurs during pregnancy or with the use of birth control pills.

While there’s no cure for melasma, treatments are available to help lighten the dark patches. Glycolic acid is one such treatment.

If you’re looking for a way to even out your skin tone and get rid of pesky dark spots, glycolic acid may be the answer. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that’s derived from sugar cane, and it’s commonly used in skincare products because of its ability to exfoliate and brighten the skin. It can be found in cleansers, serums, toners, and masks, and it’s even sometimes used in chemical peels.

While glycolic acid is safe for most people to use, those with sensitive skin may want to proceed with caution. Glycolic acid can cause irritation, redness, and dryness, so it’s important to start slowly by using products that contain a low percentage of glycolic acid. You can also add a hydrating serum or cream to your routine to help offset any drying effects.

If you’re struggling with melasma or other forms of hyperpigmentation, give glycolic acid a try. Just remember to use it sparingly at first until you know how your skin will react.

Is glycolic acid SAFE FOR BROWN/BLACK SKIN?| Dr Dray

Is Glycolic Acid Good for Melasma?

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from sugar cane. It is the smallest molecule in the AHA family, which makes it able to penetrate the skin more deeply than other AHAs. Glycolic acid has been shown to be effective in treating melasma, a condition characterized by brown or gray patches on the skin that is often difficult to treat.

One study found that glycolic acid was effective in reducing the appearance of melasma after eight weeks of treatment. The study participants who used glycolic acid had a significant reduction in melanin levels and an improvement in skin lightening. Another study found that a combination of glycolic acid and tranexamic acid was more effective than either one alone in treating melasma.

The combination therapy resulted in a significant reduction of melanin levels and hyperpigmentation after 12 weeks of treatment. Glycolic acid can be found in over-the-counter skincare products at concentrations ranging from 8% to 10%. Higher concentrations are available through prescription only.

Glycolic acid is typically used once or twice daily as part of a regular skincare routine for best results. Some people may experience mild irritation when first using glycolic acid, but this usually goes away with continued use. If you have sensitive skin, start with a lower concentration and increase as tolerated.

Which Acid is Good for Melasma?

There are a variety of acids that can be used to treat melasma. The most common and effective acids are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and kojic acid. Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is the smallest molecule in the group of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs).

Lactic acid is derived from milk products and has a larger molecule than glycolic acid. Kojic acid is derived from mushrooms and works by inhibiting the production of melanin. The best way to determine whichacid is best for you is to consult with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in ethnic skin.

Can Glycolic Acid Make Hyperpigmentation Worse?

There is some evidence that glycolic acid can make hyperpigmentation worse. This is because glycolic acid can increase the production of melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. When there is too much melanin in the skin, it can lead to hyperpigmentation.

Does Glycolic Acid Help With Hyperpigmentation?

Glycolic acid can help with hyperpigmentation in a number of ways. First, glycolic acid acts as an exfoliant, helping to slough away dead skin cells that can contribute to the build-up of pigment. Additionally, glycolic acid can help to lighten existing pigment by inhibiting melanin production.

Finally, glycolic acid can also stimulate collagen production, which can help to improve the overall appearance of skin tone and texture.

Melasma Glycolic Acid


Does Glycolic Acid Make Melasma Worse

Most people with melasma experience some sort of improvement when they use glycolic acid, but there are a small minority of patients for whom glycolic acid makes their melasma worse. If you’re thinking about using glycolic acid to treat your melasma, it’s important to be aware of this potential side effect. Glycolic acid is thought to improve melasma by increasing cell turnover and exfoliating the top layer of skin, which helps to lighten dark spots.

It’s also believed to have a depigmenting effect on melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment in the skin. For most people, these effects are positive and result in an improvement in their melasma. However, there is a small subset of patients for whom glycolic acid has the opposite effect and actually makes their melasma worse.

There are a few theories as to why this might be the case. One possibility is thatglycolic acid disrupts the barrier function of the skin, which can lead to increased melanin production and worsen existing pigmentation problems like melasma. Another theory is that glycolic acid irritates the skin and triggers inflammation, which can also make pigmentation problems worse.

If you’re considering using glycolic acid to treat your melasma, it’s important to be aware of these potential risks. If you do decide to use it, start with a low concentration product and apply it sparingly at first to see how your skin reacts. And if you notice any worsening of your symptoms, stop using it immediately and talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options.

Melasma Glycolic Acid Peels

Melasma is a common skin condition that results in brown or gray patches on the face. Although it can occur in people of any age, melasma is most commonly seen in women during their childbearing years. There are many possible causes of melasma, including sun exposure, hormone changes, and certain medications.

Glycolic acid peels are one treatment option for melasma. Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from sugar cane. AHAs are often used in cosmetic products because they can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Glycolic acid peels work by exfoliating the top layer of skin cells, which allows new, healthier cells to grow in their place. There are several different types of glycolic acid peel available, ranging from milder superficial peels to deeper medium-depth peels. The depth of peel will be determined based on the severity of your melasma and your overall health.

Glycolic acid peels are generally safe when performed by a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. However, as with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of side effects, which can include redness, swelling, and blistering. If you’re considering glycolic acid peels for the treatment of melasma, be sure to discuss all potential risks and benefits with your doctor beforehand.

Best Glycolic Acid for Melasma

There are many different types of glycolic acids on the market today. So, how do you know which one is best for melasma? Let’s take a look at a few factors that will help guide your decision.

The first thing to consider is the strength of the glycolic acid. Melasma can be stubborn, so you’ll want to choose a product with a high concentration of glycolic acid. But be careful – too much glycolic acid can irritate the skin and make the melasma worse.

Another factor to consider is whether you want a leave-on or wash-off product. Leave-on products tend to be more effective, but they can also be more irritating. Wash-off products are less likely to cause irritation, but they may not be as effective at treating melasma.

Finally, consider your budget. Glycolic acids can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive. There are great options available at all price points, so find one that fits into your budget and give it a try!


Melasma is a skin condition that causes brown or gray patches on the face. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that is often used to treat melasma. It works by exfoliating the top layer of skin, which helps to lighten the dark patches.

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