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Glycolic acid is a popular ingredient in chemical peels today, as a less invasive option for fighting the signs of aging and sun damage. But just because it's popular doesn't mean it is entirely safe. Glycolic acid might do wonders for your skin, but it isn't for everyone and, in some cases, the outcome may not be what you expect.

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1. Exfoliation

Exfoliation entails removing the topmost layer of dead skin cells, which helps topical treatments penetrate deeper. Among alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid has the smallest molecular weight and is water-friendly, making it a popular and effective chemical peel agent. It loosens the adhesion between the keratin-connected cells on the outermost skin layer, the stratum corneum. The result is old skin falling away, leaving a fresh glow.

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