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Spadge99

Can someone please explain something?

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Basically, I'm using a BHA to help non-inflammatory acne. It's helping a lot, however I am still getting about one pustule type thing a week. A lot of people are reccomending me to use Glycolic acid 10%.

I don't really understand how this stuff works and how it should be used (I've read the sticky.) Would it be something to use instead of a BHA/ on top of/ or alternating, and would it be applied in the same way, all over the face. In which case is glycolic acid something which treats non-inflammatory like BHA, but also helps with pustules etc? I don't get it, does this mean I picked wrong using BHA and I should have gone for glycolic acid?

Or - do they work in different ways and I should continue with BHA and use glycolic acid aswell either for spot treatment or prevention of cysts in certain areas?

Please can someone wise who knows about this stuff answer my questions. Help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers. ;)

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I use both a BHA and a Glycolic acid product (an AHA) and I found that they work so well together at preventing acne and with non-inflammatory acne as well. I use Alpha Hydrox 12% Glycolic souffle then wait about five to ten minutes, then I apply my Salicylic Acid. They both exfoliate the skin but in different ways. BHA's penetrate the pore and exfoliate inside the oil glad while AHA’s exfoliate the surface of the skin by loosening up the skin cells (ungluing the skin cells).

Hope this helps

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It does thanks a lot. Does Glycolic acid help in particular with tougher acne (nodules, cysts etc) as all I basically need something for is to prevent the occassional one of these? A lot of people have reccomended this product, is that a good way to go? Also, I've heard you can use it to spot treat, how does this work? Just apply it on the spot and it reduces inflamation or what?

Also, would there be an initial break out period, like with BHAs (bearing in mind I've been using the BHA for a couple of months and am over the 'purging period')

And one more (sorry) - would a glycolic cleanser or something else be the right route for me?

Thanks a lot. ;)

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Hey Spadge,

I'm not sure if glycolic acid will help with cysts and nodules but I would assume it does since it helps other types of acne. I do recommend the Alpha Hydrox 12% Glycolic souffle. It actually cleared me up and is keeping my acne under control. I do not use it as a spot treatment. I don't really see how it would reduce inflammation because all it does is exfoliate. If you want to reduce inflammation, you can ice your pimple and take Aleve or Ibuprofen. I use 100% aloe vera gel as a spot treatment. Its great and reducing redness and inflamation.

Some people have an initial breakout with AHAs and BHAs but since you already had it with the BHA, you probably won't with an AHA. If you want to use a glycolic cleanser, such as Aqua Glycolic, then I would not recommend using the souffle after it because that would be too irritating. I would suggest one or the other.

Good luck :)

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Thanks mate. Is there any difference between how the glycolic cleanser and the topical stuf works? Are they equally as effective? I'm bit sceptical about the cleanser as people always say that a cleanser can't really be effective against acne as it doesn't stay on for long enough.

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I use both a BHA and a Glycolic acid product (an AHA) and I found that they work so well together at preventing acne and with non-inflammatory acne as well. I use Alpha Hydrox 12% Glycolic souffle then wait about five to ten minutes, then I apply my Salicylic Acid. They both exfoliate the skin but in different ways. BHA's penetrate the pore and exfoliate inside the oil glad while AHA’s exfoliate the surface of the skin by loosening up the skin cells (ungluing the skin cells).

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Hi there! Looks like you've already received a few great replies with excellent information about glycolic acid and beta hydroxy acids.

I have used both with great success. Now I primarily use glycolic acid in 10% toner strength. The product I use is the Avon one in my signature, but the alpha hydrox one is exceptionally good as well. Aqua Glycolic also makes some very good glycolic acid products. I'd stay away from the Aqua Glycolic cream, though, as some have said it does cause clogged pores.

Even a large cyst or nodule starts out as a clogged pore; for that reason, I think that glycolic acid can also help reduce the future appearance of nodules or cysts. Glycolic is exceptional at reducing comedonal acne. When I added in BHA with the glycolic acid (full face, not spot treating), I had exceptional clearing. BHAs and AHAs are best used as full face treatments. You can even add in BP as needed.

I apply my glycolic product, let it dry and then apply Paula's Choice 2% liquid BHA (infrequently now). I've been using the glycolic acid almost since April and it alone cleared me 85%. When I was completely clear, I kind of got lazy on my regimen so broke out a bit with the help of a makeup that disliked my skin (MAC SkinFinish).

Paula's Choice BHA liquid is very very drying so it's not good for someone with dry skin. It's best for someone who has copious oil production. The PC 2% gel would be the best product for most skin types.

Whether you choose a cleanser or a leave-on product is up to you. Many people have success with a cleanser glycolic product. I like the idea of a leave-on because I know the product will stay on my skin and have sufficient time to work its ungluing magic. ;)

Hope that helped!

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Thanks mate. Is there any difference between how the glycolic cleanser and the topical stuf works? Are they equally as effective? I'm bit sceptical about the cleanser as people always say that a cleanser can't really be effective against acne as it doesn't stay on for long enough.

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