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The Innovation Blog

Highlighting the inventiveness and trends shaping our industry and its future.

Glycolic Acid, the Blackhead Buster!

Of all the pesky skin problems we suffer, blackheads are always a leading consumer concern. Most frequently littering the skin on the forehead, nose, and chin, blackheads can create a perpetually “dirty” looking complexion – and provide an endless sense of frustration to sufferers.

But, luckily for the fifty million consumers dealing with acne in the United States, there’s an easy-to-find, affordable, blackhead busting ingredient that can be used to banish those annoying bumps: glycolic acid, the master exfoliator and acne combatant.

The Smallest Form of Acne

Every hair follicle on the face contains both a single hair and an oil-producing sebaceous gland that helps to keep the skin soft. As the face naturally sheds dead skin cells, the dead cells can mix with the oil from the sebaceous gland, and then become trapped within the hair follicle.

This trapped plug of dead skin cells and oil will clog pore and form a comedone, or a raised, bump comprised of the trapped dead cells. If the skin around this bump opens up, air oxidizes the melanin in the dead skin cells, turning it black or gray, and forming what is known as a blackhead.  Or, if you’re a consumer, “the super annoying” “bane of your grooming routine.”

Glycolic Acid Pad

Blackhead Causes and Stressors

Blackheads are often a result of excess oil produced by the facial pores. This can be a result of shifts in hormones, such as during adolescence or pregnancy. But, aside from hormonal shifts, many blackheads are caused by too much or too little exfoliation.

Without regular exfoliation, dead skin cells and oil build up on the face and will create scatterings of these annoying polka dot like blemishes. Consumers without a regular cleansing and exfoliation routine will surely suffer from blackheads.

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Learn about GlyAcid®

On the other hand, too much exfoliation can also exacerbate the blackhead problem. Many sufferers mistake blackheads for dirt and will try to scrub away blackheads with grainy exfoliators. Unfortunately, this often makes the problem, worse, not better. Overzealous scrubbing of the skin can create overly dry and irritated skin.

Then, when the skin is dried out from too much rubbing, scrubbing, or harsh cleansers, the sebaceous glands on the face will kick into overdrive and try to produce even more oil than usual to remedy the dryness. This overproduction of oil then only leads to…more blackheads.

Glycolic Acid Beats Blackheads

Blackheads can be solved with consistent – and gentle – exfoliation. And for gentle, effective exfoliation there is no better ingredient to use than glycolic acid. Glycolic acid banishes blackheads with a trifecta of blemish-busting properties.

First, as the smallest Alpha Hydroxy Acid, glycolic acid most deeply penetrates the tiny size of the facial pore. Then, glycolic works to remove blackheads by dissolving the glue holding the excess sebum and dead skin cells that create the raised black bump together.

Finally, glycolic acid helps remove blackheads on a deeper level, thanks to its ability to drive new skin cells to the surface of the face. These new skin cells are less likely to become clogged and will exfoliate naturally on a regular and consistent basis, ensuring blackheads are less of an occurrence in the future.

Blackheads don’t have to annoy consumers forever. Instead, innovative formulators can help consumers treat this pesky form of acne with effective, affordable, and gentle skincare products featuring the superstar exfoliator, glycolic acid.

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