These Glycolic Acid Creams Exfoliate and Moisturize At The Same Time

We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our affiliate links below. Learn more about how we review products and our sources of information.

Best Glycolic Acid Creams

For some people, any product that contains exfoliating acids should stay inside of a dermatologist’s room. But for others, it’s a skincare treatment with long-term benefits that should be inside at least one of your daily skincare products. The latter can enjoy the best glycolic acid creams listed below. And the former might want to check out glycolic acid toners.

A variety of hydroxy acids are used commonly in chemical peels. Lotions and creams usually focus on a smaller array of acids -the most popular being glycolic acid. Even though there’s a new type of acid popping up every day, glycolic acid remains the gold standard for exfoliation.

In case you’ve missed our guide, glycolic acid belongs to the alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) family. And it’s known for its tiny molecular structure. This structure makes this acid highly effective as it can reach deeper layers of the skin.

Glycolic acid dissolves the dead skin cells accumulated on the surface of the skin. By loosening them, glycolic acid sheds those skin flakes off. This chemical exfoliation promotes skin turnover, cell rejuvenation, and collagen growth, which are all amazing anti-aging benefits.

As a result, glycolic acid reveals a smoother and brighter complexion. And it softens wrinkles, reduces dark spots, and fades acne as well.

A glycolic acid cream gives you all the benefits of exfoliation without the need for a separate skincare step. Using a daily glycolic acid moisturizer, lotion, or cream, you can smooth out your skin texture while moisturizing the skin.

Another benefit of using glycolic acid in cream form is avoiding irritation. There are glycolic acid serums and treatments, which work amazing for exfoliation.

But as they’re more concentrated, they can potentially be more irritating for the skin. The added moisturizing component of glycolic acid creams makes sure your skin doesn’t dry out or feel tight.

The Best Glycolic Acid Creams

Below are the best glycolic acid creams to achieve your smoothest skin ever.

1. Neostrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream

Neostrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream - Best Glycolic Acid Creams For Acne Scars

Instead of rubbing your face with scrubs, try this glycolic acid cream to gently exfoliate the skin and bring up a healthier layer. Masters of exfoliating acids, Neostrata has the best glycolic acid cream to transform your skin. The daily moisturizer contains a total of 10% AHAs, glycolic and citric, to resurface the skin with each use.

It repairs the skin and reverses pollution and UV-induced damage to reveal smoother and more resilient skin. Plus, it’s oil-free and fragrance-free, making it an amazing glycolic acid cream for people with oily and acne-prone skin too. You can tackle both acne and hyperpigmentation from acne scars.

2. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer - Best Glycolic Acid Creams For Face

Glycolic acid is mixed together with lactic acid in this one. Lactic acid is the gentlest of alpha-hydroxy acids. The two AHAs give you a thorough exfoliation. The daily moisturizer also contains papaya enzymes to amplify the effects. Enzymes are natural exfoliators that work just like chemical exfoliants to reveal smoother skin.

The cream has a light moisturizing base formulated with squalane to keep your skin supple and replenished. With regular use, the cream exfoliates the skin layer by layer and improves your skin texture without leaving it parched.

3. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant

This moisturizer is a daily facial in a box. It’s an intense glycolic acid lotion that’s full of antioxidants to charge the skin with all the nourishing goodies. The daily moisturizer provides a gentle day-long exfoliation to improve skin texture without stripping it. It’s perfect for aging skin that’s dealing with sun damage. In addition to 8% glycolic acid, it has antioxidant-rich vitamin E.

It provides free radical protection against the damaging effects of oxidative stress and reduces the visibility of lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. The cream also calms the skin with botanicals like allantoin and chamomile. The light lotion form feels comfortable on the skin and banishes flakiness.

4. Exuviance Glycolic Expert Moisturizer

Exuviance Glycolic Expert Moisturizer

This one contains 10% percent glycolic acid to revitalize the complexion. In addition, it has aloe to calm and soothe the skin as well as amino acids to plump it up. Combining vitamin E with nourishing botanicals like calendula and chamomile, the moisturizer layers the skin with antioxidants for more radiant skin.

The daily moisturizer gently exfoliates and gets rid of any dullness, flakiness, and congestion on the skin. And it leaves the skin looking smoother and brighter than ever.

5. Lancer Retexturizing Treatment Cream With Glycolic Acid 10x

Lancer Retexturizing Treatment Cream With Glycolic Acid 10x - Best Glycolic Acid Creams for Dry Skin

Dry skin tends to show signs of aging earlier than oily skin. That’s why it’s essential to keep dry skin hydrated and plump. Because hydration makes the skin feel bouncy. And who doesn’t love plump skin? And while we’re at it, who doesn’t love smoother skin with refined pores and softened wrinkles? This packs your daily dose of exfoliants, antioxidants, and humectants!

Formulated with 10% glycolic acid, the potent daily cream speeds up skin turnover to get rid of rough skin. And it has coenzymeQ10, a powerful antioxidant, to protect your new, healthier skin. With the added lipids, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, it improves moisture retention as well. It hydrates, softens, and smoothes the skin through slow and steady exfoliation. Additional benefits include antioxidant-rich green tea.

6. Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Night Cream

Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Night Cream - Best Glycolic Acid Creams for Dark Spots

If you prefer keeping your glycolic acid cream for your evening skincare routine, this one is the perfect one to slather on! The night cream contains works overnight so you can wake up to smoother skin without worrying about irritation or redness in the morning. It also contains hydrating squalane, vitamin B5, and hyaluronic acid to replenish dry and dehydrated skin.

The emollient formula is also super brightening. Viniferine, their patented formula, works similar to resveratrol and brightens the complexion by reducing hyperpigmentation. The nightly glycolic acid cream is perfect for smoothing out the skin texture, reducing dark spots, and achieving glowing skin. This is my current favorite because its thicker texture keeps my skin moisturized all night long.

7. Alpha Skin Care Revitalizing Body Lotion

Alpha Skin Care Revitalizing Body Lotion - Best Glycolic Acid Creams for Body

If you’re looking for a glycolic acid body lotion, you’re probably dealing with keratosis pilaris. Those tiny rough bumps that appear all over the body can easily be eliminated with an exfoliating body lotion like this one. The cream softens your skin all over and gets rid of any skin flakes to give you a smoother texture.

You can also use the glycolic acid cream for your hands to soften them or for other rough areas like knees and elbows. The 12% glycolic acid lotion moisturizes without leaving a sticky feel on the skin and it’s budget-friendly too.

8. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Moisturizer

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Moisturizer - Best Glycolic Acid Creams for Large Pores

This intense moisturizer contains a bunch of alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic, malic, and mandelic. But the addition of salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, makes this one the best glycolic acid cream for oily skin and acne. Salicylic acid is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and works wonders on enlarged pores.

Combining the two types of hydroxy acids makes this cream super targeted for exfoliating congested skin, treating and preventing acne, and improving the overall texture and radiance of the skin. The oil-free and non-comedogenic formula hydrates with ceramides and squalane and soothes with aloe and cucumber.

9. Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Ultra Firming and Dark Spot Correcting Moisturizer SPF 30

Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Ultra Firming And Dark Spot Correcting Moisturizer SPF 30

A super helpful multi-tasking cream that renews, moisturizes, refines, and protects. This glycolic acid cream contains SPF 30 for those of you who keep ignoring the importance of sunscreen while using products with chemical exfoliants! The luxury day cream provides the ultimate anti-aging package. In addition to exfoliating with glycolic acid, it also treats and prevents free radical damage with antioxidants.

Vitamin E and vitamin C neutralize free radicals and stimulate collagen synthesis. Resorcinol, a synthetic antioxidant, reduces melanin production and fades dark spots. The oil-free formula gives you all-day skin renewal besides moisture with hyaluronic acid.

10. Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Resurfacing Cream With Fruit-Derived AHAs

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Resurfacing Cream With Fruit Derived AHAs

If you want to get in on glycolic acid creams with a super gentle one, this is where you start. This one contains several fruit acids, the natural source of hydroxy acids. In addition to glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acids, the night moisturizer also contains potent antioxidants.

It has vitamins C and E to add glow to your new smoother skin. Besides, it has hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing aloe to care for the skin. Waking up to brighter and more radiant skin with this night cream will make you want to add a glycolic acid cream into your morning routine as well.

So these are some of the best glycolic acid creams and lotions you can use to get rid of flaky skin. If you can use it at night, definitely try Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Night Cream. You only need a tiny scoop of it. If you’re prone to acne, Neostrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream will clear up your skin and prevent future blemishes too. Also, Lancome’s Ultra Firming And Dark Spot Correcting Moisturizer is an amazing option if you’re prone to hyperpigmentation because it comes with SPF.

How to Use a Glycolic Acid Cream?

If you’re new to glycolic acid, start by using your cream a few times a week at first. This will ensure your skin isn’t overwhelmed and irritated by your sudden interest in exfoliating daily.

As your skin gets used to the ingredient, you can start using it once daily and then twice daily. Apply your glycolic cream as the last step in your skincare routine. Just like a regular moisturizer, use your glycolic acid cream after you apply your toner and serum.

Make sure your skin is dry before you apply your cream. As damp skin is more absorbent, your cream can irritate your skin. Additionally, be aware of your other skincare products.

And make sure you’re not using your glycolic acid cream in the same routine you use a retinol product or other exfoliating products. Last but not least, AHAs make the skin prone to sunburn. Always wear sunscreen to protect your new glowing skin.

Read Next: The Best Peel Pads to Get Rid of Wrinkles

Scroll to Top