The 5 Best Glycolic Acid Products For Radiant Skin

Glycolic acid is a powerhouse skincare ingredient. Seriously, if you want clearer, brighter, smoother feeling skin, it's time to introduce glycolic into your regimen, whether that's through a serum, a cleanser, or a mask. Especially if you're struggling with acne and aging, this acid can work miracles. Because it's a chemical exfoliant, glycolic acid gently sloughs off the outermost layer of the skin (which, fun fact, is all dead skin cells), revealing newer, more radiant skin underneath. It's awesome at treating and preventing wrinkles, correcting dullness, staving off acne, and lightening dark spots. What's not to love? If you're ready to try glycolic acid for yourself, you can't go wrong with any of the products on this list.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Everyone's favorite miracle serum

This Drunk Elephant serum is every skincare lover's BFF.
Best Overall

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The Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is one of those coveted holy grail products that works like none other. A 12% AHA/BHA nighttime treatment serum, T.L.C. Framboos is formulated with gentle, yet highly effective, ingredients that help to resurface dull skin, scrub away dead cells, and reveal clearer, more luminous skin. If your main skin concerns include acne, aging, and dull or uneven texture, there’s almost no better product to use than this serum. Also, unlike some other glycolic-based products that can be harsh and irritating on the skin, Framboos delivers potent chemical exfoliation without any negative side effects.


  • An incredible product for acne, aging, and dull or uneven skin.
  • Super-potent but gentle and non-irritating.
  • Skin appears more luminous, smoother, and clearer after just a few uses.
  • Cruelty-free.


  • The price tag.

The Perfect Image Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel

Peel all your skincare concerns away

This super-strong glycolic peel from The Perfect Image Store isn't for the faint of heart.
Best Chemical Peel

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Not appropriate for skincare newbies, The Perfect Image Glycolic Acid Gel Peel is essentially a professional-quality chemical peel. In addition to glycolic acid, it’s infused with retinol (easily the best anti-aging ingredient available), green tea, chamomile, and cucumber extracts. This powerful combo promotes collagen, delivers antioxidants to the skin, and effectively removes dead skin cells. After just one use, you’ll notice that your pores look tighter and smoother, any wrinkles and fine lines aren’t as prominent, and your skin texture is more even and brighter. Not too shabby for a single product.


  • Basically a professional chemical peel at half the price.
  • Powerhouse combo of ingredients, including glycolic acid, retinol, green tea, chamomile, and cucumber.
  • Tightens pores, smooths skin, and gives you a healthy, radiant glow after just one use.


  • Probably too strong for those who are new to glycolic acid or have sensitive skin.

The Botanic Tree Store Glycolic Acid Face Wash

Gentle yet mighty effective

This cleanser from The Botanic Tree Store is a great starter glycolic product.
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For those with sensitive skin who still want to try glycolic acid, sometimes it’s best to try it in a gentler product, like a cleanser, rather than a serum. Enter the Glycolic Acid Face Wash Cleanser from The Botanic Tree Store, which contains just 10% glycolic acid, along with natural, organic ingredients like tea tree, bamboo, willow bark, peppermint, and lavender. It’s a gentle, soothing face wash that’s wonderful at unclogging pores, sloughing away dead skin, getting rid any of dirt or debris, and nourishing the skin.


  • Good intro to glycolic acid for those with sensitive skin.
  • Contains soothing, all-natural ingredients like bamboo, willow bark, peppermint, and lavender.
  • Provides a deep, nourishing cleanse; skin looks smoother and brighter every time you use it.


  • Definitely on the expensive end of the facial cleanser spectrum.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Tone and improve your skin's appearance

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution is another cult fave product, for good reason: It works like magic.
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The Glycolic Acid Toning Solution from The Ordinary is simply a fantastic product. It’s a mildly exfoliating toner, so if you have extra-sensitive skin, this is a great way to reap the benefits of glycolic acid without causing inflammation or irritation. Apart from glycolic, this toner contains a calming blend of aloe vera, amino acids, and ginseng, all of which help to improve skin tone, quality, and texture. And, it’s available at a super-affordable price.


  • Provides mild exfoliation, so it’s awesome for sensitive skin types.
  • Contains aloe vera, amino acids, and ginseng, all of which help to soothe and brighten the skin.
  • Effective at preventing acne, clearing up hyperpigmentation, and improving skin texture and tone.


  • Has a fairly strong chemical smell.

InstaNatural Store Glycolic Acid Facial Peel

Tighten and brighten

Enjoy skin that's brighter, smoother, and more youthful-looking with this vitamin C-infused facial peel from The InstaNatural Store.
Best Vitamin-C Infused

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Vitamin C follows closely behind glycolic acid when it comes to must-use skincare ingredients, so why not get a product that contains both? The InstaNatural Store Glycolic Acid Facial Peel boasts a crazy-effective anti-aging formula that has vitamin A, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and sunflower seed oil, plus a hefty dose of glycolic acid. All of the ingredients are clean and natural-derived, with no harmful chemicals like parabens, petroleum, or synthetic dyes. Get ready to bring younger, smoother, healthier skin to the surface almost instantly.


  • Contains vitamin C and glycolic, both of which are two of the best anti-aging, brightening ingredients available.
  • Penetrates deeply into the skin, revealing a smoother, younger-looking complexion.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Doesn’t contain harmful ingredients, like parabens or synthetic dyes.


  • The packaging needs to be improved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all skin types use glycolic acid? 

While all skin types can benefit from using glycolic acid in one form or another, those with oily, acne-prone, normal, or combination skin types will reap the most benefits. If you have extra-sensitive or dry skin, you should try using a gentler or more hydrating acid, instead.

How should I incorporate glycolic acid into my skincare routine?

Especially when you’re first introducing glycolic acid into your routine, it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t mix glycolic acid with other acids or retinol. You should also be very diligent about applying sunscreen every day, since glycolic acid makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

If I’m breaking out and also worried about wrinkles and aging, is glycolic acid the right product for me?

A resounding yes. In fact, glycolic acid was designed specifically for your skin. If you have acne and also want to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (and prevent acne and aging in the first place), glycolic is the perfect ingredient.