What Is the Difference Between Glycolic and Hyaluronic Wash?

Some facial cleansers can improve the appearance of your skin.

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If you’re like most stylin' divas, you probably want brighter, healthier-looking skin, and facial cleansers can often help with this. But with so many cleansers on the market, it can be difficult to choose one, especially when they contain ingredients like glycolic acid or hyaluronic acid, terms you may not be familiar with.

Glycolic Acid

As with many alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid promotes peeling. Washing your face with a glycolic acid cleanser helps to slough away dead skin cells on the surface layer of your skin. When old skin cells are buffed away, it allows new skin cells to form.

Benefits of Glycolic Acid

With the growth of new skin cells, you should see some minor improvements in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It may also help to correct any discoloration associated with age spots or other areas of irregular pigmentation and might even minimize the appearance of your pores. All in all, a glycolic wash can go a long way to improving the tone and texture of your complexion.

Disadvantage of Glycolic Acid

Beauty, of course, can sometimes come at a cost. Glycolic acid has been known to cause minor skin irritation, so you may notice some redness after washing your face. To prevent this, experts from the Cleveland Clinic recommend only using products with any alpha hydroxy acid every other day. As your skin adjusts to the product, you can start using it every day.

Hyaluronic Acid

Like glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid is said to reverse the signs of aging. The process, however, is much different. Instead of sloughing away dead skin cells, hyaluronic acid attracts and holds water. While this might help hydrate and plump up your skin, thereby minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, scientific evidence is lacking to support any claims that it actually stops the effects of aging.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Although a facial wash containing hyaluronic acid isn’t likely to improve the look and feel of your skin, especially when it comes to aging, this doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial. Hyaluronic acid can be used as a dermal filler to fill in deeper depressions and wrinkles, making you look much older than you feel. Almost any wrinkle that crops up on your face -- such as frown lines, laugh lines, crow’s feet or labial folds -- can be corrected with a little hyaluronic acid. Talk to a dermatologist to see if this filler is an option for you.

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