Skin Care

Can You Use Glycolic Acid And Retinol Together? Let’s Find Out

When it comes to skincare, there are several actives regarded and recommended as wonder ingredients that should be a part of your skincare routine, if not already. Some of those names that you would have heard are Hyaluronic acid, Niacinamide, Glycolic acid, Retinol, and more. These ingredients individually are known for their countless benefits and how they help improve the quality of your skin. However, the question is – is using these actives together a good idea or not? For instance, Glycolic acid and retinol are two popular ingredients that have their own unique benefits on the skin. But can you use glycolic acid and retinol together in a skincare routine? Allow us to solve this query for you. We’re here to tell you everything about glycolic acid and retinol and whether they are compatible with each other.

Understanding glycolic acid and retinol

1. Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It is derived from sugarcane and is renowned for its ability to exfoliate the skin. It removes dead skin cells gently, unclogs pores, and promotes cell turnover that results in smoother, more even-toned skin. Glycolic acid is very good for those who suffer from acne, hyperpigmentation, and ageing signs. You can head to the Glycolic Bright range by L’Oréal Paris that has a variety of products enriched with glycolic acid.

2. Retinol

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that belongs to the retinoid family. It is well-known for its anti-ageing properties as well as its ability to improve skin texture and tone. Retinol works by boosting cell turnover, promoting collagen formation, and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help to reduce acne and unclog pores while improving the overall skin clarity. The Revitalift range by L’Oréal Paris has moisturising creams that are infused with pro retinol. They have anti-ageing properties along with hydrating and brightening properties.

Can glycolic acid be used with retinol?

Now that you know about the individual benefits of these two ingredients, let’s understand if they can be used collectively. The answer is yes, glycolic acid and retinol can be used together. However, one should exercise caution to avoid skin irritation or sensitivity.

How to use glycolic acid with retinol?

Both these ingredients are extremely concentrated and have the potential to cause dryness, redness, or peeling if used incorrectly. Thus, it's important to include them slowly into your skincare routine and follow a few essential guidelines to benefit from mixing glycolic acid with retinol.

  • 1. Start Gradually
  • To use glycolic acid with retinol, add one product to your routine at a time in the initial stages. Begin with a low concentration of either glycolic acid or retinol and see how your skin reacts before increasing the concentration. Once you notice your skin is reacting positively, gradually increase your concentration over time. Also, to check for any irritation or allergies, perform a patch test on a small area of the skin before applying the products on your entire face.

  • 2. Use glycolic acid and retinol alternatively
  • To reduce the risk of irritation, use glycolic acid and retinol on different nights. This allows your skin to adjust to the two ingredients and protect the skin's barrier from getting overloaded. It is important to note that you should use both these ingredients only at night or in the evening as they can make your skin sensitive to UV rays. We recommend using the Revitalift Moisturizing Night Cream on one night and the L’Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Glowing Night Cream on the other night. The Revitalift night cream helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, boosts skin firmness, and leaves you with radiant looking skin the next morning. The Glycolic Bright night cream combats dullness and gives you brighter looking skin.

    L’Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Glowing Night Cream, 15ml

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    You can also use a product that combines the goodness of both glycolic acid and retinol, but in lesser concentration to ensure that it doesn’t irritate your skin.


  • 3. Hydrate and protect:
  • Both glycolic acid and retinol could leave your skin more vulnerable to the sun. Hence, wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF during the day is essential for protecting your skin from the damaging UV radiation. So, don’t forget to wear sunscreen or an SPF moisturiser before stepping out as it will help counteract any dryness induced by these ingredients.

  • 4. Pay Attention to Your Skin:
  • Keep an eye on how your skin reacts to the combination of glycolic acid and retinol. If you have persistent redness, severe dryness, or pain, your skin may be sensitive to the combination. In such instances, stop using the two and get personalised guidance from a dermatologist.

With proper care, the combined benefits of glycolic acid and retinol can help you attain a healthier, radiant complexion. So, what are you waiting for, browse through the wide range of skincare products by L’Oréal Paris to get yourself products enriched with glycolic acid and retinol. You can also use the Skin Genius virtual tool to help you choose the right products for your skin type.