How to Use Glycolic Acid to Lighten Dark Elbows & Knees

How to Use Glycolic Acid to Lighten Dark Elbows & Knees
How to Use Glycolic Acid to Lighten Dark Elbows & Knees

Glycolic acid for dark elbows & knees is a hack that you didn’t know you needed! 

You just have to figure out how to make it work for your skin. And honestly, it’s so easy! 

Many people use it on different parts of the body to help with hyperpigmentation as well.

Also, check these articles out to see:

How to Use Glycolic Acid to Lighten Dark Inner Thighs

And Glycolic Acid for Underarms – How to Use, Benefits & Risks.

How Glycolic Acid Works For Dark Elbows & Knees

Glycolic acid gently removes the top layer of skin cells which is made up of dead and dying, old skin cells. 

So, it helps to resurface the skin, clean the pores, and speed up the cell turnover rate. 

This helps to improve hyperpigmentation in the skin by getting rid of the old, pigmented cells at a faster rate than the skin can produce more. So, eventually, the skin will become more evenly toned and lighter. 

However, keep in mind that this effect will be gradual and subtle. Glycolic acid is not a bleaching agent and it will not stop melanin production. It will just resurface the skin. 

Related Articles:

Best Scrubs & Exfoliators for Dark Knees & Elbows

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How soon will you see results?

Results will vary for every person but generally, you should see a difference in your skin within 1-4 weeks of consistent, suitable use. 

This will, of course, depend on how you use glycolic acid (frequency and concentration), the way your skin reacts to the treatment, your daily habits, and ultimately the cause of your hyperpigmentation and how severe it is.

Related Articles;

5 Best Creams to Lighten Dark Knees & Elbows

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9 Best Medical Ways to Lighten Dark Knees & Elbows

How To Use Glycolic Acid For Dark Elbows & Knees

Glycolic acid needs to be used in a concentration and routine that will be suitable for your skin. This will be different for different people. 

Your elbows & knees have slightly tougher skin than places like your face. However, you should still start small to see how your skin will tolerate the treatment.

In my opinion, the best way to use glycolic acid on your elbows & knees is as a toner. 

Related Article – 7 Best DIY Remedies For Dark Knees & Elbows

Choosing The Right Concentration 

Most experts agree that the safest concentrations of glycolic acid for your skin range between 5% and 10%

You should not use anything stronger than 10% unless you are doing a chemical peel (which should be done professionally). 

Frequency Of Use

After you patch test your skin (as you always should) I recommend initially applying it once daily 1-2 times per week.

Continue this routine consistently for 2-4 weeks. If you see no difference but also have no side effects, then increase the frequency until you can safely use it every day. 

Some people may not need to apply it every day. Some people only need to apply it once a week, or a few times a week. You will have to play around with your routine until you find one that works best for your skin.

Related Article – How to Use Lemon to Lighten Dark Knees & Elbows 

Alternative Glycolic Acid Formulas

Other than toners, glycolic acid can also be used in soaps, serums and lotions. However, these are usually less effective than the toners but they can be more suitable if you have very sensitive skin. 

Glycolic acid chemical peels are also an option for more stubborn hyperpigmentation, even on the elbows & knees. But these need to be advised and done by a professional after a proper consultation. 

To read more about glycolic acid peels and other types of chemical peels for hyperpigmentation, check out our article on Chemical Peel For Hyperpigmentation: Ultimate Guide.

Best Glycolic Acid Products For Dark Elbows & Knees

1. Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic

The Pixi Glow Tonic is one of the few toners with the lowest yet effective concentration of glycolic acid. 

Its 5% concentration ensures gentle exfoliation of the skin. The formula also contains ginseng which improves circulation and energizes the skin, and aloe Vera soothes and hydrates. This combination is great for sensitive skin too.

You can Click here to see the Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic.

2. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner

The Ordinary Glycolic acid toner contains 7% glycolic acid along with Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, and Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract. It is quite strong if you have sensitive skin but it is also super effective.

This toner has been all the rage on social media and in the skincare space. It seems like a miracle product. But, the magic is knowing how to use it. 

This is one of those products that you have to start slowly with and work your way up to daily use. 

You can Click here to see The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner.

3. Facetheory Glycomide Body Cream

This is a rich body cream formulated with 9% glycolic acid to expedite the shedding of dead skin cells for a smooth, refined texture.

It also contains ceramide 3, a lipid that binds skin cells together, acting as a protective layer to retain moisture. It is cruelty-free, non-toxic, and vegan. 

You can Click here to see the price for the Facetheory Glycomide Body Cream. 

4. Alpha Skin Care Revitalizing Body Lotion

The Alpha body cream contains a whooping 12% glycolic acid – stronger than the usual 10% that is recommended. It contains a host of other skincare ingredients too but it is not for sensitive skin.

If you have severe hyperpigmentation, this might be the thing for you but you should definitely patch test first. 

I recommend this lotion with caution. Please do not use this if you are not sure about your skin’s tolerance. 

You can Click here to see the Alpha Skin Care Revitalizing Body Lotion.

Side Effects Of Using Glycolic Acid For Dark Elbows & Knees

If used incorrectly, glycolic acid can cause:

  • Burning
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling
  • Blisters or welts
  • Skin peeling
  • Itching
  • Skin irritation or tenderness
  • Chemical burns

Even though your elbows & knees are usually more resilient areas of skin, they can also be sensitive and easily irritated because they are areas of high friction and flexion. 

To avoid these side effects, I recommend:

  • Always patch-test your skin
  • Start with a low concentration
  • Use it 1-2 times per week at first and then gradually increase the frequency 
  • If the toners do not work for your skin, consider other formulas like lotions or soaps, etc. 
  • Keep your skin well moisturized to avoid dryness and irritation. Click here to read all about Moisturizing After Glycolic Acid: What You Should Know

Sources

How Glycolic Acid Is Used in Skincare 

Glycolic acid for the skin: Benefits and how to use it 

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