Can I Use Moisturizer After Glycolic Acid?

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Are you wondering if it’s okay to use moisturizer after applying glycolic acid? Glycolic acid, a popular alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is known for its skin exfoliation properties but can sometimes leave your skin dry.

This blog post will guide you on how best to incorporate glycolic acid into your skincare routine and share why moisturizing afterwards could be beneficial to your complexion. Let’s dive in and unveil the secret to healthier skin!

  • Using moisturizer after glycolic acid is important to prevent dryness and maintain the health of your skin.
  • Choose a moisturizer that contains soothing and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and aloe vera.
  • Avoid moisturizers with additional acids or exfoliants as they can be too harsh on your skin after using glycolic acid.

Can I Use Moisturizer After Glycolic Acid?

Using moisturizer after using glycolic acid is essential for maintaining a healthy and balanced skincare routine.

The Importance of Moisturizing after Glycolic Acid

Using a moisturizer after applying glycolic acid is important for maintaining the health and appearance of your skin. Glycolic acid is an exfoliant that can potentially dry out the skin, so moisturizing afterwards helps to combat this effect.

It is recommended to use glycolic acid in the evening and follow it with a moisturizer suitable for your skin type. By doing so, you can prevent severe dryness, peeling, flaking, or “frosting” of the skin that may occur if you skip this step.

Additionally, using a high-quality moisturizer helps to seal in moisture and keep your complexion hydrated. Remember to choose a moisturizer that does not contain additional acids or glycolic acid itself.

After applying glycolic acid, it is recommended to wait for about 5-10 minutes before applying moisturizer. This allows the glycolic acid to fully absorb into your skin and work its exfoliating magic.

Waiting ensures that you get the maximum benefits from both the glycolic acid and the moisturizer. So, be patient and give your skin a little time before slathering on that hydrating goodness!

How to Choose the Right Moisturizer for Use after Glycolic Acid

When choosing a moisturizer to use after glycolic acid, look for products that contain soothing and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide.

Ingredients to Look for in a Moisturizer

To get the most out of your moisturizer after using glycolic acid, it’s important to choose the right one. Look for a moisturizer that contains these key ingredients:

Hyaluronic Acid: This ingredient helps to attract and retain moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated and plump.

Ceramides: Ceramides are natural lipids that help to strengthen the skin’s barrier and lock in moisture.

Glycerin: Glycerin is a humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin, helping to keep it moisturized.

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera has soothing properties that can help calm any irritation or redness caused by glycolic acid.

Vitamin E: This antioxidant is known for its ability to hydrate and nourish the skin, promoting a smoother complexion.

Shea Butter or Jojoba Oil: These ingredients provide intense hydration and help seal in moisture, preventing dryness.

Avoiding Irritation and Sensitivity

To avoid irritation and sensitivity when using glycolic acid, it’s essential to choose a moisturizer that is gentle and soothing for your skin. Look for moisturizers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides, as these can help hydrate and nourish the skin without causing further irritation.

Avoid moisturizers that contain additional acids or harsh ingredients, as they may exacerbate sensitivity. Applying the moisturizer after glycolic acid helps to lock in moisture and prevent dryness or flaking.

Remember to wait a few minutes after applying glycolic acid before applying your moisturizer to allow it time to fully absorb into the skin. By following these steps, you can maintain a balanced skincare routine while reaping the benefits of both glycolic acid and proper hydration.

Tips for Using Glycolic Acid and Moisturizer Effectively

To use glycolic acid and moisturizer effectively, make sure to layer the products correctly by applying the glycolic acid first and giving it enough time to penetrate before applying the moisturizer.

Use glycolic acid products with caution and start with lower strengths if you have sensitive skin. Gradually increase the frequency of use as your skin adapts. Remember to always follow up with sunscreen during the day to protect your skin from potential sun damage.

Layering Products Correctly

To effectively incorporate glycolic acid into your skincare routine, it’s important to layer your products correctly. Here’s how:

  1. Cleanse your face with a gentle face wash to remove any dirt or impurities.
  2. If you use toner in your skincare routine, apply it after cleansing and before using glycolic acid.
  3. After applying glycolic acid, wait a few minutes for it to fully absorb into your skin before moving on to the next step.
  4. Next, apply a hydrating moisturizer to replenish moisture and prevent dryness caused by glycolic acid.
  5. If you use any other retexturizing products, such as retinol or hyaluronic acid, apply them after your moisturizer.
  6. Finally, don’t forget to apply sunscreen during the day as glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Frequency of Use

Using glycolic acid too frequently can irritate the skin and cause dryness. It is recommended to start with a lower concentration of glycolic acid and gradually increase the frequency as your skin builds tolerance.

For most people, using glycolic acid 2-3 times a week is sufficient to see results without risking irritation. However, it’s important to listen to your skin and adjust accordingly.

If you notice any redness, flaking, or discomfort, decrease the frequency of use or consult with a dermatologist for personalized advice on how often you should incorporate glycolic acid into your skincare routine.


Using a moisturizer after applying glycolic acid is crucial to prevent dryness and maintain hydration. Make sure to choose a moisturizer that suits your skin type and does not contain additional acids.

Applying glycolic acid at night and following it with a moisturizer will help improve the overall condition of your skin. Don’t forget to also apply sunscreen in the morning for added protection!


1. Can I use moisturizer after applying glycolic acid?

Yes, you can apply moisturizer after using glycolic acid to prevent your skin from drying out and intensify the effects of the moisturizer.

2. What are some tips for incorporating glycolic acid into my skincare routine?

To effectively incorporate a glycolic acid peel into your skincare routine, start by doing a patch test to see how your skin reacts; if there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase its usage and always remember to moisturize afterwards.

3. What benefits does glycolic acid provide my skin with?

Glycolic acid offers multiple benefits including exfoliating dead skin cells, brightening complexion, reducing acne scarring and promoting healthy cellular regeneration.

4. Are there any potential side effects of using glycolic acid and if so how can they be mitigated?

While proper use of acidic products like Glycolic Acid generally enhances skincare outcomes, potential side effects may include mild irritation or dryness in some people- applying a suitable moisturizer helps mitigate such issues.

5. How do I choose the right moisturizer to pair with my glycolic treatment?

When deciding on which product accompanies well with Glyocoly Acid regimen; consider your skin type -Oily,dry or normal- also ensure that chosen product does not contain ingredients that might react negatively with the chemical peel.

Can I Use Moisturizer After Glycolic Acid?
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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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