Glycolic acid is a popular ingredient in both facial peels and creams used to remove or lessen the appearance of liver spots and other blemishes from the skin. Glycolic acid can be very beneficial in helping the skin to rejuvenate itself, and for that reason, it is widely available in many high-end skin care products today. If you have liver spots that have become more noticeable, glycolic acid is an inexpensive way to lessen the effects, though it must be used over a long period of time to achieve dramatic results.

What Is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), characterized by a small molecular size which allows it to penetrate cell walls. This allows the skin to begin producing new collagen to reduce the look of wrinkles by plumping the skin. Glycolic acid also helps to create new keratin cells in the bottom layer of skin that also contributes to the skin's smooth appearance.

Glycolic Acid Pros

There are many pros to using products with glycolic acid. The most significant one is that over time with continued use, glycolic acid can help to minimize the appearance of liver spots and other skin blemishes such as scars. The degree of the results will depend on the method used. A series of treatments at a salon or dermatologist will have better effects than home DIY kits or creams, however, all will have some effect in lightening the affected areas. An in-office treatment will have more glycolic acid than a home kit or over-the-counter cream, and quicker results can be expected because of it.

Another large pro with glycolic acid is the cost. There are many skin lightening creams available ranging from $50 to $100 and in-spa or dermatologist treatments start around $100 a session. This is less expensive than some of the other treatments for liver spots, but many of these treatments require repeat applications or peels to maintain your skin.  

Glycolic Acid Cons

While there are many positives about using glycolic acid to remove liver spots, it may not achieve the desired effects for you. While this treatment does lighten liver spots, it requires continued care and treatment over a course of several months to effectively diminish liver spots. If you are interested in a quick fix, glycolic acid may not be the right choice for you.

An additional con of using glycolic acid products is the sun sensitivity that glycolic acid creates in your skin. Though reactions vary, it is extremely important to protect your skin after any peel or treatment containing glycolic acid by using sunscreen every time you are exposed to the sun.    

Glycolic acid can be a great tool in your fight against sun damaged skin and liver spots. Consult with your doctor or dermatologist for more information on whether or not glycolic acid would be a good choice for your skin.