August 24, 2018 by Jack

Are you interested in clearing your skin, evening out its tone, and adding age-defying properties to your daily routine? 

The obvious answer is YES, and the solution is Glycolic Acid. The good news is it's an active ingredient in several Jack Black® products.

What is Glycolic Acid? 

Derived from sugar cane, Glycolic Acid belongs to the Alpha-Hydroxy acid (AHA) family, along with Salicylic and Lactic acids. GA is unique because it has the smallest molecular size out of all the AHAs, which means it can penetrate the skin on a deeper level. Not only does this mean you’ll get better results, but all of your other skincare products will absorb more efficiently. Why? Its primary function is to exfoliate the skin by ungluing dead cells from each other. It also stimulates collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans, aka natural skin hydrators. 

Glycolic Acid vs Lactic Acid 

Glycolic Acid is derived from sugar cane, whereas lactic acid comes from milk. While the two have a lot in common regarding benefits for the skin, Lactic Acid is gentler. Its molecular size isn’t as small as Glycolic, meaning it can’t penetrate the skin as deeply.

  • Glycolic Acid stimulates the production of natural skin hydrators such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin—the secret recipe for healthy skin.
  • Lactic Acid also promotes collagen production, but it’s also essential for healthy barrier function because it’s one of the skin's natural moisturizing factors. 

Glycolic Acid Benefits


Glycolic acid has a superior ability to exfoliate effectively, with age-defying benefits. When cell turnover is increased, it promotes smoother, brighter, healthier-looking skin. It can also reduce the appearance of excess pigment from old acne scars, age spots, and sun damage. Up your anti-aging game by incorporating an eye cream or gel into your routine.



Glycolic Acid is excellent for acne-prone skin. Acne forms when excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria clog pores. GA helps loosen those dead cells from each other, reducing acne and residual scarring. It also has moisturizing properties that keep the skin hydrated and soft, which makes it easier for blemishes to heal.



Except for sensitive skin and those with rosacea, most skin types react well to Glycolic Acid. If your skin is sensitive, we recommend you try our products on a small area to test. If you’re experiencing any irritation, stop using the product. And remember: Always use sunscreen when using a product with Glycolic Acid.

How to Use Glycolic Acid

When to Use Glycolic Acid

Start by incorporating Glycolic Acid into your routine a few times a week. If you see desired results, stick with that schedule. If you want increased benefits, gradually work up to using it daily. Discontinue use if you’re experiencing irritation. 

Glycolic Acid For Armpits

When asking yourself, “What is Glycolic Acid used for?” you may not necessarily think about your armpits. However, it can help prevent sweat and stench by lowering the skin's pH so the bacteria that cause unpleasant odors can’t survive.  

Can You Use Retinol and Glycolic Acid?

Avoid using Glycolic Acid and Retinol at the same time. Gradually introduce one or the other into your routine and use it consistently before switching. 


Put glycolic acid to the test with our Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser!