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Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Glycolic Acid Together?

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Glycolic Acid Together

Is your skincare routine confusing you?

With tons of beauty products available in the market, navigating your way into the world of skin care can be tough.

So, can you use hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid together? 

If so, which one should you put on first?

Don’t worry! We’ll erase that confusion below!

Table of Contents

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Glycolic Acid Together?

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Glycolic Acid Together-

Without a doubt, YES. 

You can use Hyaluronic acid and Glycolic acid together in your skincare routine!

  • Since Glycolic acid can leave your skin feeling dry, you’ll need to use a moisturizer, one that contains Hyaluronic acid.
  • Hyaluronic acid is great because it doesn’t strip the skin of anything. In fact, it nourishes, hydrates, and retains moisture.

Hyaluronic acid can improve dry skin caused by excessive exfoliation.

The only thing you have to take note of when using both ingredients together is the effectiveness. 

The only thing you have to take note of when using both ingredients together is the effectiveness. 

The use of Hyaluronic acid and Glycolic acid compliment each other when it comes to anti-aging. How?

  • Hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin which results in better elasticity allowing your skin to ‘bounce-back.’
  • Glycolic acid, on the other hand, increases the collagen production of your skin, effectively reducing fine lines.
  • The other main benefit of using hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid together is reducing the irritation experienced with glycolic acid.

This study showed how a hyaluronic cream helped the skin recover after using a 70% glycolic acid peel.

It yielded better results than using a cream without hyaluronic acid!

The Solution is Simple:

Use LOWER concentrations of Glycolic acid, especially if your skin is sensitive.

Or, you can try this skincare routine that uses both alternately: 

  • Hyaluronic lotion or moisturizer in the morning
  • Glycolic acid toner at night.

Hyaluronic Acid vs. Glycolic Acid: Introduction to Face Acids

Skin care routine leaves a lot of us scratching our heads, especially if you’re a newbie.

Whenever we encounter the words, AHAs, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid on skincare product labels, our natural instinct is to shove them back on the shelf and settle for our go-to brands.

While there’s nothing wrong with that, you’re MISSING OUT on A LOT of good finds.

One skincare ingredient that you’d absolutely regret not fussing over sooner are face acids.

These skincare ingredients come in many types:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
  • Poly Hydroxy Acid (PHA)
  • Hyaluronic acid

Although they sound scary, they do the job of treating acne, improving the skin, and doing all sorts of miracles.

What is Glycolic Acid?

What is Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that comes from sugar cane. You might have heard it mentioned alongside Lactic acid.

It belongs in the same family as lactic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, and mandelic acid.

However, what SETS IT APART from the rest is its size. 

Compared to the other Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Glycolic acid has the smallest structure with the lightest molecular weight.

What Does This Mean?

It’s EASIER for Glycolic acid to PENETRATE the skin and pores at a deeper level, making it more effective.

Glycolic acid are chemical exfoliants that work to prevent and treat acne.

This acid effectively removes dead skin cells from the topmost layer of our skin that can lead to breakouts. How?

  • Glycolic acid can penetrate into hair follicles and reduce any built-up sebum and proteins.
  • This process prevents blackheads and breakouts from happening and encourages healthy skin turnover with improved collagen production.

It’s a good choice for those with oily skin or acne-prone skin type. This is since acne is caused by the clogging up of pores on very oily skin.

Skin Benefits

Glycolic acid is a popular ingredient among beauty gurus and skin care enthusiasts because it’s PACKED with a ton of skin benefits.

1. Acne Treatment

When applied to the skin, Glycolic acid exfoliates. 

Once our dead skin cells are removed, clogged pores are cleaned out. 

With regular use, this can eliminate acne from forming and boosting skin cell turnover.

Most products with Glycolic acid are used to treat blemishes because of this.

2. Improve and Even Out Skin Tone

Bring back your skin’s natural radiance with Glycolic acid. 

As mentioned earlier, Glycolic acid is an exfoliant that improves skin cell turnover and collagen production.

Which is why it’s a common ingredient in chemical peels to solve these skin problems.

3. Minimize Fine Lines

Because Glycolic acid is a humectant, it keeps moisture to itself.

When water and moisture are retained on the upper layer of the skin, it can do WONDERS such as being able to minimize the fine lines around your eyes and stimulating collagen production.


Glycolic acid are essential ingredients in many skin care products:

  • Face Washes
  • Night Creams
  • Toners
  • Peels
  • Face Mask
  • Serums
  • Spot Treatments

You can easily incorporate Glycolic acid in your skincare routine, just be wary of using too much of it. 

After all, Glycolic acid is still an exfoliator and should ideally be done only once or twice a week.

Are There Any Side Effects?

When it comes to using Glycolic acid, BEWARE of a burning sensation, swelling, and itching caused by irritation. 

Those with dry skin or sensitive skin often find it too strong.

What is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)?

What is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Glycolic acid aside, it’s time we talk about Hyaluronic acid, a.k.a. Hyaluronan.

Unlike Glycolic acid that’s made from sugarcane, Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by our body.

Wait, what? You read it right. 

Hyaluronic acid is abundant on our skin, accounting for 50% of the total Hyaluronic acid content in the body.

It has the unique ability to retain moisture, a defining trait of a humectant. It can hold and bind up to 1000 TIMES the water weight. 

HAs are super moisturizing.

  • Hyaluronic acid is a wonderful skin hydrator as it helps retain moisture in the upper layer of our skin. This maintains a good skin barrier that makes our skin supple without making it oily.
  • As we age, our skin loses its ability to hold on to moisture and produce collagen as efficiently. The moisture-binding properties of Hyaluronic acid counters this making it great for anti-aging skincare.

But you have to pick the RIGHT hyaluronic acid product for it to be effective.

Molecules may be too large to penetrate the skin, rendering the acid useless. If used incorrectly, it can dehydrate your skin too!

Without any present moisture on your skin, it will pull the moisture from deep in your skin instead.

Which is why it’s suggested to apply serum on damp skin and topping it off with a cream to bind it all together.

Skin Benefits

People are just barely discovering the wonderful benefits of Hyaluronic acid.

1. Anti-Aging and Anti-Wrinkles

Say goodbye to wrinkles with Hyaluronic acid!

While you might not wake up looking 20 years younger, the face acid does make your skin look healthier and more supple.

Hyaluronic acid RESURRECTS the skin’s lost elasticity through its natural moisturizing factors and boosts collagen production.

2. Healing Properties

The coolest thing about when you apply hyaluronic acid is it comes with anti-bacterial properties that help wounds heal faster and keep inflammation down.

For this reason, a moisturizer containing Hyaluronic acid is advisable for those struggling with eczema.


HA can be found in the following skincare items:

  • Face Cream
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer
  • Lotion
  • Fillers/Injection

Are There Any Side Effects?

None! No skin irritation, swelling, or redness.

Hyaluronic acid is perfectly safe to use and can be combined with almost any skincare product.

Ingredients to Avoid

Ingredients to Avoid

Now that we know a combination of Hyaluronic acid and Glycolic acid is a good one, here are the skin care ingredients that you should AVOID when using any exfoliants:

  • Vitamin C
  • Retinol
  • Benzoyl peroxide

Although these contain collagen boosting peptides and retain water, using them together with Hyaluronic acid and Glycolic acid can cause serious irritation on the skin.

Unless you want to end up looking like you’ve had a bad allergic reaction, then STAY AWAY FROM THESE.

In Summary

In Summary

Don’t be afraid to layer the two ingredients. Hyaluronic acid and Glycolic acid together can give you a youthful and blemish-free skin.

Yes, you absolutely can use hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid together in the same skincare routine! 

In fact, this combination may boost collagen production and reduce the irritation potential of glycolic acid.

We also suggest you try using Hyaluronic Acid with Vitamin C for brightening effects.

And of course, always wear sunscreen when you do!


August 24, 2021 – Updated article content

August 10, 2021 – Updated article formatting and content

August 6, 2021 – Updated article links

July 14, 2021 – Reviewed and updated articles links

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.