about Glycolic Cream®


As we know, our skin changes as we age. However it seems that some peoples skin changes less or in a better way than others. Until recent years it seemed as though there was very little that we could do about that. We could pile on the face creams in the vain hope that it would help or we could just face the facts and try not to worry about it.

Today, thanks to research, there are some very real things that we can do to benefit our skin. We can expect to see significant changes in the way that we visibly age. We can actually begin to turn back the clock and undo some of the damage that has happened to our faces and bodies.

Regular use of a product such as Glycolic Cream® is one very simple way to start turning back the clock.

What is Glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is one of a group of acids known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs. AHAs are found in natural products such as milk, sugar cane, and fruit. They all have a similar molecular structure, with Glycolic (from sugar cane) being the smallest in the family and therefore it will penetrate to the deeper layers of skin more easily.

What is Glycolic Cream®?

Glycolic Cream® is a hydrophilic emollient containing Glycolic acid. It is a home care treatment product, developed to address the problems of ageing and sundamaged skin.

How does Glycolic Cream® work?

The exact mechanism of action is not completely understood. However it appears it has specific separate effects on different layers of the skin. On the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, it appears that the glycolic acid will cause an ungluing of the cells which have stuck together in an unhealthy way. This causes these bad cells to become loose and shed. This effect is distinctly different than other acids, which have a dissolving effect on only the most superficial of outer skin cells.

On the deeper layer of the skin, the dermis, there are microscopically demonstrated effects showing an increase in the deposition of collagen and other proteins which lead to better supported and healthier skin. These changes lead to a fullness of the skin which presumably creates the reduction in wrinkles and scars seen in clients using the product.

These microscopically documented changes are seen without any evidence of inflammation. That demonstrates the effect is more than from a non-specific irritant effect.

How do I use Glycolic Cream®?

To get the most from the Glycolic Cream®, use it at night after thoroughly cleansing face and before using or instead of a moisturiser. Use only a small amount. Avoid the accumulation of excess Glycolic Cream® in the corners of the nose, mouth, eyes and eyelid areas. (Do not use in nostril area).

The first night leave the Glycolic Cream® on for 10 minutes then wash off in cool water.

On subsequent nights increase the time by 30 minutes until the Glycolic Cream® is left on the skin for two hours at a time.

If after a week there is no redness or dryness the Glycolic Cream® may be left on overnight (washing it off in the morning).

The objective is to be able to apply the cream and leave it on all night.

Some people may experience one or two spots when they start using the cream. This is quite normal and will settle down quickly. The Glycolic acid may actually help the healing process.

If you don't notice any changes using the cream please contact your supplier. A very few people need a stronger preparation to see any really noticeable change. As with all our products we offer a full money back guarantee. (It is very important that you start on the lower concentration and work up to achieve the best results.)

Can I put anything on top of Glycolic Cream®?

Yes. If you experience any dehydration or dry skin, then applying a Dermatech moisturiser after Glycolic Cream® is a good idea. 

What changes will I notice?

Glycolic Cream® will produce an improvement in the skin texture within the first 2 to 3 weeks. Your skin will feel smoother. In 3 to 6 weeks you will notice a reduction in the size of pores, in 6 to 12 weeks an improvement in pigmented spots (hyperpigmentation) and 8 to 24 weeks you will see a visible reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Why are there different strengths?

To achieve the best results possible for the skin, it is imperative that the concentration and application of the cream is always started at the lowest level and worked up gradually. Concentrations of AHAs below 4% are hydrating but little more.

Concentrations of 5 - 7% help to exfoliate the skin and produce a soft smooth feeling, while repeated application of 8 - 15% concentrations will give real improvement in the texture of the skin. In addition to this, pigmentation may fade and larger pores will become smaller.

When do I need to move up the %'s?

You only need to move up if/when your skin feels like a boost. If you are on the 5% and still feeling a tingle, you don't need to move up, it sounds like it is still working hard for you. Remember. it's not a race to get to the 15%!!!

Are there any risks with the use of Glycolic Cream®?

The creams are specifically formulated to be hypoallergenic and are fragrance free. We believe that the use of this cream will make your skin healthier, less prone to disease and make the skin cells behave in a younger fashion.

However think of it as taking your skin to the gym, it is good for you and you need to keep doing it to reap the long term rewards but you can overdo it. If your skin becomes inflamed red and dry then the most likely reason is that you are over using your cream. Either too often, too much or the concentration is too strong. You should then delay further application and your skin will make a full recovery spontaneously.

We believe there is very little or no risk in using the cream if you follow the instructions. As a further precaution you should see your skin professional after six to eight weeks, to have your skin re-examined and to gauge the clinical improvement and discuss your level of treatment.

Who should use Glycolic Cream®?

Most people over the age of 30 in the southern hemisphere countries, are already showing signs of Sun damage and therefore they all could benefit from the regular use of Glycolic Cream. People who have problem skins; ageing, acneic or dry skins can also benefit from the regular use of Glycolic Cream®.

Who should not use Glycolic Cream®?

These products may not be for everyone. A small number of people may experience an allergic reaction. If you feel you may be getting any adverse reaction, stop the application and consult your skin care professional.

How long should I continue to use Glycolic Cream®?

The concentration and application of the cream is always started at a lower level and worked up gradually. After six months or more of use, most clients have reached a plateau of improvement. If the result is acceptable to you, then you should stay on maintenance therapy which does not need to be as aggressive as the initial regime, but if you are comfortable with your present day regime then you should stay on it indefinitely.

If however, there is any degree of irritation with the treatment then it is wise to decrease the concentration and maintain the improvement without side effects.

How does Glycolic Cream® differ from Glycolic peel?

The cosmetic application of glycolic acid in facial peels comes in many different forms ranging from beauty therapists offering 12-15% peels on a weekly frequency up to dermatologist offering 70% Glycolic peels. Whichever one you choose and for whatever reason, it is agreed that using a lower concentration cream twice daily prior to having a peel and thereafter will improve the initial result and maintain that result longer.

"Many of my patients continue to see improvement from daily use of Glycolic acid for up to 12 months after commencing the treatment" says Dr. Ian Little, a leading doctor in appearance medicine.

Is Glycolic Cream® a substitute for moisturiser?

Glycolic acid is hydrophilic, meaning it attracts water. You will generally get an initial "plumping out" of the epidermis as it holds more water, and is usually the first improvement you notice when starting to use any AHA. A moisturiser however, works by creating a moisture barrier on the surface, preventing moisture loss and hence increasing the hydration of your skin.

Many people find that using Glycolic Cream® alone is sufficient for their skin. However, if you notice dry patches when using Glycolic cream then simply apply your moisturiser on top of Glycolic Cream®.

How does Glycolic Cream® differ from Retin-A?

Both products appear to achieve the same effect albeit by different means. The advantages of using Glycolic Cream® are that the Glycolic Cream® does not increase your sensitivity to the Sun. Glycolic Cream® does not appear to produce the undesirable side effects experienced by many Retin-A users, such as dry, flaky patches on the skin.

Many specialists in the USA recommend using a combination of Retin-A and Glycolic Cream® to produce enhanced results more quickly. It has also been observed that the undesirable flaking with Retin-A seems to disappear when these products are combined.

What if I am already using Retin-A?

Discuss with your skin specialist the possibility of combining these products. You may get a better result.

Can Glycolic Cream® be used as a substitute for other cosmetic procedures?

Glycolic Cream® should help to improve the texture and quality of your skin. It will not remove deeper lines, loose skin or slack muscle tone. However, Glycolic Cream® is ideal to be used in conjunction with other appearance medicine such as collagen replacement therapy and skin peels to give maximum improvement.

How long will a 50 gram pot of Glycolic Cream® last?

Usually, when applying the cream once per day, clients will report getting between three and five months use per pot. When contemplating advancing to the next strength, purchase the new strength before you have completed the lower strength.

You may need to mix or alternate strengths for a short time until your skin has become accustomed to the higher strength. Please consult your skin care professional and have your skin reassessed before increasing the applied concentration.

Is there anything else I can do to increase the results?

Glycolic acid can be used successfully in stronger concentrations in clinical conditions when it is applied by skin care professionals. This is a very effective way to start your rejuvenation process. It will give you a good head start and better skin than you can maintain with regular applications of Glycolic Cream®. Talk to your skin professional for more details.

Can I use Glycolic Cream® while pregnant?

Sorry, it hasn't been proven scientifically to be safe to use during pregnancy, so we don't recommend it. 


When you start using Glycolic Cream®, you may become so enthusiastic as to believe that if a little works well, a lot will work even better. It won't. If you use too much you will only end up causing an irritation to the skin.

How can I buy Glycolic Cream®?

Use the Secure On-Line order form or, if you prefer; Glycolic Cream® is also available from skin specialists in New Zealand. E-mail us at enquiries@dermatech.co.nz, or in New Zealand, phone Dermatech on 0800-453-453.


It is strongly recommended that you wear a sunscreen every day. Our companion product, DERMABLOCK 30+ is whole-heartedly recommended. Sunlight is responsible for most of the changes that happen to our skin as we age, so there is not much point in trying to improve the quality of your skin without protecting it from that which damages it most.

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