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Difference Between Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid Which is best 

Difference Between Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid - Vandyke

Difference Between Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid: Which is best 

Embark on a skin care journey discovering the difference between glycolic acid and salicylic acid. These powerhouse acids, glycolic acid derived from sugarcane and salicylic acid derived from willow bark, provide specific benefits. Glycolic exfoliates, while salicylic targets acne. Uncover the secrets of these acids to tailor your skin care routine to a glowing complexion.

In this article you will know the difference between these two and along with this you will also know which one can prove to be better for you. I have done in-depth research about these two acids, only after which I am going to tell you what is special about these two acids and what are the things that make them different. Make sure you don’t miss anything in it. So let’s start.

Difference between two powerful ingredients Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid

Talking about glycolic and salicylic acids, both of them have skin-rejuvenating properties, however, the mechanism of action of these two acids does not work equally for everyone and their results may vary.

Glycolic acid, which works on the outer layer of the skin, is a powerful exfoliator that is known to remove dead cells from the skin and causes the skin to glow, making the skin look fresh and soft. 

However, the process by which salicylic acid works comes with a difference between glycolic and salicylic acid. Compared to glycolic acid, this acid can penetrate deeper layers of the skin and also helps in exfoliating the skin pores and is also known for its ability to unclog them.

What is Glycolic acid

Natural carbonic acid obtained from sugarcane is called glycolic acid. It can also be made in the lab. It is used more often in skin care than other acids. To remove dead cells from the skin, glycolic acid breaks down the connections that hold them together.

Because it makes the skin more radiant, it contains AHAs, which exfoliate the skin and reveal healthy skin cells. Glycolic acid is a frequently used and important ingredient in moisturizing and serums due to its hydrating and anti-aging properties. When applied correctly, it additionally helps to enhance the general health and appearance of your skin.

Benefits of Glycolic acid

Like there is a difference between salicylic and glycolic acid and there is no doubt about it. Similarly, some of its benefits are slightly different which provide different results for different skin conditions. So let’s first see the benefits of Glycolic acid.

  • Removes dead skin cells

Glycolic acid gently loosens the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be shed more effectively.

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

By promoting cell turnover, glycolic acid can stimulate collagen production, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the skin

  • Improve skin texture

Regular use of glycolic acid can even out skin texture, reduce the appearance of rough patches and enlarged pores.

  • Reduces dark spots and sun damage

Glycolic acid helps lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin production and encouraging cell turnover.

  • Treats melasma

Glycolic acid may be effective in treating melasma, a type of hyperpigmentation that often appears on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip.

What is Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid, a skin-protecting superhero, is still used to treat pimples and imperfections. This also exfoliates the skin. It is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) taken from the bark of willow trees. It penetrates deep into the skin and removes oil and dirt, clearing the pores and providing relief from irritation.

It is considered a successful acne treatment as it also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It works like a superhero to keep your skin clear and free from blemishes. It works well for all skin types.

Benefits of salicylic acid

There is no doubt that there are differences between salicylic acid and glycolic that provide different results and benefits for different people. And when it comes to its benefits, they are slightly different though. Read below to know this.

  • Oil solubility

Unlike water-soluble AHAs like glycolic acid, salicylic acid’s oil solubility allows it to penetrate deeply into pores.

  • Comedolytic action

It has comedolytic properties, which means it breaks down the bonds within existing blackheads and whiteheads, preventing breakouts as well as breaking them up.

  • Anti-inflammatory

Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the redness and irritation associated with acne. It also reduces swelling on the face.

  • Antibacterial

This acid exhibits antibacterial properties, thereby reducing the growth of acne-causing bacteria on the skin surface.

Can I use salicylic acid and glycolic acid together

The shortest answer would be that yes, you can absolutely use it with one if you mix them with the same acid. It is not recommended to use these acids with different products but there is no doubt. That these acids work very well together. 

Since you’re using double the amount of active exfoliating ingredients, you’ll want to maintain some protection, so start with a lower concentration and then gradually increase it depending on your skin concerns. While using it, you should also keep in mind the sensitivity and if you feel anything like this then you should stop using it and consult experts.

Which one is better for you 

The correct answer depends on the concern of your skin. If your skin is dry or sensitive then you should choose glycolic acid. This can be the best option for you at this time and if your skin is oily or acne-prone. The best option for you would be Salicylic Acid 02%.

Glycolic acid is a good choice if you:

  • If you have sensitive or dry skin
  • If you make your skin’s texture better
  • If you want to know how to get rid of fine wrinkles on your face,
  • If you’re itching to get rid of your face’s dark patches and acne.

Salicylic Acid is a good choice if you:

  • If your skin is oily or acne-prone
  • want to play holes
  • Want to reduce swelling on the face or control oil on the face

Only after seeing these concerns on your skin can you come to a conclusion and prefer Salicylic Acid 02% or Glycolic Acid for your skin.

Where should I buy salicylic acid and glycolic acid products?

As I already mentioned, salicylic acid and glycolic acid have different benefits and results because they produce different things. But, to use it for any specific skin condition, you have to buy it. To buy items like Salicylic Acid 02%, you need to visit the official website of Vandyke, where you can find them at the best price. To exfoliate and brighten your skin, you can also use AHA Pha Bha 32%, combined with substances like lactic, mandelic acid and glycolic acids. Visit Vandyke to conveniently purchase both these items at affordable prices.


In conclusion, Finally, it is important to understand the difference between glycolic acid and salicylic acid for personal skin care. While glycolic acid excels at exfoliation and brightening, salicylic acid targets acne and promotes clear pores. Choose wisely based on your skin needs, and consult skin care experts for best results in your skin care journey. Upgrade your routine with knowledge and embrace the unique benefits each acid offers.

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