Cleanse As NeededTM 10% Glycolic Cleanser

A glycolic acid-based exfoliating cleanser that dissolves dead cells, to leave skin brighter and more radiant


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  • Product details
  • What the science says
  • How to use it
  • Featured ingredients list
  • What you should know:

    This cleanser relies on two chemical exfoliants. A 10% concentration of glycolic acid is paired with mandelic acid to break down the bonds that keep dead skin cells stuck together. These alpha hydroxy acids leave skin smoother, more even in tone, and more radiant while also promoting cell turnover. The addition of hydrating ingredients such as olive oil, rose hip seed oil, and glycerin ensure that the formula isn’t overly drying, though it’s not recommended for sensitive skin types.

    Treats these skin concerns:
    • acne scars
    • dullness
    • hyperpigmentation
    • uneven texture
    Ideal for these skin types:
    • combination
    • dry
    • mature
    • normal
    • oily
    Formulation notes:

    fragrance-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free

    Suitable for these skin tones:
    Fair Type I
    Light Type II
    Medium Type III
    Tan Type IV
    Brown Type V
    Deep Type VI

    Learn more about how we use the Fitzpatrick scale

    • Exfoliating is an important part of any skin-care routine, particularly as we age and the rate at which our cells turn over slows down. Regular exfoliation removes the buildup of dead cells so that skin looks brighter, smoother, and more radiant. It also ensures that the active ingredients in any other products you’re using are better able to penetrate.
    • Exfoliants can be either chemical or mechanical (these use small particles to physically slough off dead skin). Which one you choose is a matter of personal preference, though many chemical exfoliants, including the glycolic acid in this formula, offer additional benefits on top of exfoliation, giving you more bang for your buck.
    • A.M. OR P.M.:

    Use only once per day, at night or in the morning. Apply the cleanser to your fingertips and massage gently onto damp skin, then rinse thoroughly. If you notice any redness or irritation, cut back to every other day, gradually working your way back up to daily use as your skin can tolerate it.

    • RealSelf tips:

    • While regular exfoliation is a good thing, too much exfoliation is not. Use only one exfoliating product in your skin-care routine at a time, particularly if it’s meant to be used daily.

    • Avoid using other potent ingredients, such as retinoids, at the same time as acid-based products in order to minimize the likelihood of irritation. If you use a retinoid nightly, use this exfoliating cleanser in the morning and opt for a gentler cleanser, like Clarity RX Cleanse Daily, in the evening.

    • Alpha hydroxy acids, such as the glycolic and mandelic acids in this formula, can make your skin more susceptible to the sun. Be extra diligent about using sun protection daily.

  • Full ingredients list:

    Purified Water (Aqua), Sodium Olivate (Olive Oil Castile), Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Glycerin, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum Fruit Oil, Calendula Officinalis Seed Oil, Chondrus Crispus (Seaweed) Extract