Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that can lead to uneven skin tone and texture, making people feel self-conscious about their appearance. The condition occurs when the skin produces excess melanin, resulting in dark patches or spots. One popular solution for hyperpigmentation is glycolic acid.

This alpha-hydroxy acid has been used for years to improve the appearance of the skin, particularly in fading hyperpigmentation. In this blog post, we will explore how long it takes for glycolic acid to fade hyperpigmentation, the benefits of using it for hyperpigmentation, how to use glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation, and the best glycolic acid products for better results.

What causes hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that results in the darkening of certain areas of the skin. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, hormonal changes, inflammation, injury, and genetics.

There are different types of hyperpigmentation skin conditions, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, and age spots. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs after an injury or inflammation on the skin, such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

What Does Glycolic Acid Do?

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that is derived from sugar cane. And not just for the face aloe, you can also get good results for your underarms and bikini area.

It has been used for years in skincare products to improve the appearance of the skin. Glycolic acid has several benefits for hyperpigmentation, including:

  1. Exfoliation: Glycolic acid is a natural exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover. This process can help to fade hyperpigmentation such as acne scars and improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.
  1. Lightening: Glycolic acid has been shown to inhibit the production of melanin, which is responsible for the darkening of the skin in hyperpigmentation. By reducing the production of melanin, glycolic acid can help to lighten dark spots and even out skin tone.
  1. Collagen production: Glycolic acid can also stimulate the production of collagen, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Collagen helps to improve the elasticity and firmness of the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  1. Increased absorption: Glycolic acid can increase the absorption of other skincare products, allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin and improve their effectiveness.

In the next section, we will discuss how to use glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation, including how often to use it and how long to leave it on the skin.

an infographic of glycolic acid skincare facts

How to Treat Hyperpigmentation With Glycolic Acid

Now that we understand the benefits of glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation, let’s discuss how to use it effectively:

  1. Recommended frequency: Dermatologists recommend to start using glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation once or twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency to every other day or every day as your skin tolerates it.
  1. Duration: Leave glycolic acid on the skin for about 1-3 minutes, depending on the product instructions. Over-exposure can cause skin irritation and redness, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
  1. Safe use: While glycolic acid is generally safe to use every day, it is important to monitor your skin’s reaction and adjust the frequency accordingly. If you experience redness, irritation, or excessive dryness, reduce the frequency of use.

How To Apply Glycolic Acid

  1. Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry.
  2. Apply a small amount of glycolic acid cream to the affected areas.
  3. Leave on for the recommended time (as per product instructions).
  4. Rinse off thoroughly with water.
  5. Apply a moisturizer to soothe and hydrate your skin.
  6. Always use sunscreen to avoid sun damage.

With consistent use, you should start to see results in the reduction of hyperpigmentation and an improvement in your overall skin tone and texture. However, it is important to note that results may vary, and it may take several weeks to see significant improvement. Be patient and consistent with your skincare routine to achieve the best results.

Best Glycolic Acid Type for Hyperpigmentation

When it comes to choosing the best glycolic acid products for hyperpigmentation, there are several options to consider. Here are some of the most common types of glycolic acid products available:

Glycolic Acid Cleansers: Cleansers containing glycolic acid can help gently exfoliate the skin and improve hyperpigmentation. These are great options for those who want to incorporate glycolic acid into their daily skincare routine. Try Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Face Wash, Exfoliating Facial Cleanser:

Glycolic Acid Toners: Toners containing glycolic acid can help even out skin tone and fade dark spots. They are typically applied after cleansing and before moisturizing. Try PYUNKANG YUL Facial Essence Toner:

Glycolic Acid Serums: Serums containing glycolic acid are a more concentrated form of glycolic acid and can provide more dramatic results. They are typically applied after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing. Try Artnaturals Glycolic Serum:

Glycolic Acid Masks: Masks containing glycolic acid can provide more intensive treatment for hyperpigmentation. They are typically applied once or twice a week for 10-15 minutes and then rinsed off. Try Hanna Müller 8% Glycolic Acid Face Mask:

Glycolic Acid Peels: this is a chemical exfoliant solution also known as chemical peels. The purpose of a glycolic acid peel is to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and encouraging new cell growth.

Remember to always patch test a new product before using it on your entire face and to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

How long does it take to fade hyperpigmentation?

The length of time it takes for glycolic acid to fade hyperpigmentation can vary depending on the individual’s skin type, the severity of the hyperpigmentation, and the concentration of glycolic acid used. However, with consistent use, many people see results within 4-6 weeks.

How often to use glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation?

The frequency of glycolic acid use for hyperpigmentation depends on the concentration of the product and skin sensitivity. It is generally recommended to start with a lower concentration and use it once or twice a week, gradually increasing frequency as tolerated.

How long do you leave It on?

The length of time to leave it on the skin depends on the concentration of the product and individual skin sensitivity. It is recommended to start with a shorter time, such as 1-2 minutes, and gradually increase the time as tolerated. It is also important to follow the instructions on the product and avoid leaving it on for too long, as this can cause irritation.


Glycolic acid is a powerful ingredient that can effectively fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots. With its ability to exfoliate and increase skin cell turnover, it can improve skin texture and tone. However, it is important to use glycolic acid products correctly and consistently to see the desired results.

It is also essential to choose the right glycolic acid product that suits your skin type and needs. Following the frequency and application method into your skincare routine will lead to a brighter, smoother, and more even complexion.

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