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How Do I Choose the Best Glycolic Acid Toner?

Some skin toners contain citric acid.
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  • Written By: Janelle Martel
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 27 July 2014
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Glycolic acid toner is praised for its ability to exfoliate a person's skin, soften fine lines and wrinkles in that skin, and lighten any skin discoloration. This toner is good for both dry and oily skin, because it helps to improve both skin appearance and texture. It's main purpose is to restore the skin's pH to normal, which is between 4.5 and 6.0 on the ph scale. Toner with a pH of 4.5 to 6.0 works for most people, but those with dry skin should look for one with a range of 5.5 to 6.5, while those with oily skin should look for a range of 4.0 to 4.5.

Choosing a pH that is at the opposite spectrum of your skin's pH allows glycolic acid toner to work to return the skin's pH to a normal range. Another item to look at is the concentration of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). Alpha hydroxy acids are also known as fruit acids, with glycolic acid being the most common AHA used in skincare products. A higher concentration of AHA will tend to be more effective, so an acid concentration of at least 10% is recommended.

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To get the most out of the toner, it is important to use it properly. Skin care experts typically recommend using it once a day. For oily skin, using it in the morning is the best, because this will reduce shine and keep pores unclogged throughout the day. Drier skin types should use the toner in the evening, because this will give it a chance to penetrate and moisturize the skin. Toner should always be applied after the face has been washed — and not washed off — to get the best results.

Glycolic acid toner contains alpha hydroxy acid, the same acid found in a chemical peel, but it is designed to use every day. With this regular use, users should notice improvements in their skin: skin texture should be improved and oily skin should be calmed. The moisturizing effects will also benefit dry skin. In addition, the toner will help to remove impurities from the skin and soften lines and wrinkles to reduce the look of aging.

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