Glycolic in Your Skincare? What Is It and Do You Need It

We answer any questions you might have about glycolic and whether you need it in your skincare.

If you don’t know what glycolic is or what is does, it’s a tiny molecule associated with the alpha-hydroxy acid family (AHA’s).

And as an AHA, glycolic naturally exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells, allowing for new skin cells to grow, leaving skin renewed and glowing.

Exfoliating acids like glycolic are usually derived from fruit enzymes, which is a derivative of high citrus and acidic fruits like pineapple, apple, oranges and even tomatoes.

This is also important as a healthy anti-ageing ingredient, as glycolic has been clinical proven to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as it cleanses and exfoliates without stripping the skin of natural oils; which help keep skin moisturised and youthful.

Weekly use of glycolic in your skincare has also shown to help reduce dark spots, skin pigmentation and blemishes.

From exfoliants to toners, we’ve sourced some of the best glycolic and enzyme-based skincare products to help you achieve your best skin yet.


For a deep cleanse which will help remove dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils, without damaging the skin try the new Enzyme Exfoliating Cleanser by Rejuvaphyl ($50.60). This is a coconut-derived exfoliant with added ingredients like green tea and fruit extracts which renew the skin, leaving skin smooth and refreshed.

Peter Thomas Roth have created a new mask-based exfoliant which acts like a chemical-peel, but without the harsh effect of using extreme chemical on the skin to deep clean the cells. Called FIRM Peeling Gel ($69) this mask uses fruit enzymes from pomegranate, pineapple and keratinase to unclog pores, remove impurities to reveal firm, radiant skin.

Another great mask which help to eat through dead skin cells and detoxify the skin is the Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Mask by June Jacobs ($27). If you love everything Autumn, this mask is literally like placing the season of autumn on your face, smelling like a spiced pumpkin pie, all while deeply cleansing the skin.


Using age-old skincare ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera and chamomile, Peter Thomas Roth have launched their new 8% Glycolic Solution Toner ($56) which exfoliates the surface of the skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, shrink pores, uneven skin tone and smooth the look of skin. Witch hazel has been used for decades now as a plant-based chemical exfoliant to help fight acne and blemishes, with some stunning results in dealing with scares and dark spots on the skin.

Serums & Treatments:

If you’ve never used glycolic before and the idea of using it all over your face scares you, Peter Thomas Roth have released their new Potent-C Targeted Spot Brightener ($81). This spot treatment can be used on problem areas of the skin, such as blemishes, pigmentation and dark spots. Used after cleansing, this spot treatment used potent ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to treat concerns throughout the day and can be easily worn under moisturiser and foundation.

Medik8 have released two great potent Vitamin C products which work to deeply exfoliate the skin, balance oils, cleanse away any build up in the cells and even brighten the skins overall appearance by combating with skin pigmentation. Try their White Balance Brightening Serum ($124) which is an innovative serum to combat pigmentation, uneven skin tone and even help with blemish control.

Their Medik8 Super C30 Antioxidant Serum ($89) used daily every morning after cleansing is a potent antioxidant serum, which not only helps combat any skin concerns, it helps keep the skin cells clear from dead skin cells and excess dirt.

TIP: When using any glycolic product; especially during the day, always wear sunscreen to protect the skin as AHA’s can cause skin sensitivity for many people.


Well-known Australian vitamin and skincare brand Hivita have released an incredible new skincare range called Luminious White. This new product is the first of its kind to use a rare, non-genetically modified white tomato which has been clinically proven to help clear skin, even skin tone, reduce pigmentation and fine lines and help combat a variety of skin concerns like blemishes and dark spots.

This new Luminious White Skin Renewal Cream ($98) can be used both morning and night to help reveal soft, glowing and smoother looking skin.

Rebecca Wilkinson

Beauty Editor

Rebecca is a freelance content creator and beauty editor for Bondi Beauty. She is a pescatarian, who may yet become vegan. She loves all things beauty, health & travel, has a weakness for coffee and is obsessed with cats and yoga. If she's not answering her mobile - it's probably because she's trying out the latest beauty trend, like massaging crushed pearls into her skin for the ultimate collagen and vitamin boost to skin cells.

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