Glycolic acid and vitamin C both have properties that contribute to skin care and may occur in skin care products. The Mayo Clinic website indicates that a vitamin rich eye cream that contains vitamin C may help treat dark circles under your eyes. The Mayo Clinic advises against glycolic acid treatment for dark circles, but glycolic acid may make skin on other parts of your body look younger and healthier.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that functions as an alcohol and an acidic substance. Glycoyclic acid is the smallest kind of alpha-hydroxy acid and its low molecular weight and size increases its ability to penetrate your skin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that supports growth and repair of tissues throughout your body. Vitamin C supports collagen production. Collagen is a protein your body uses to make skin cells and other tissues in your body. Your body also requires vitamin C to heal flesh wounds, repair and maintain your bones and teeth, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 1. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may suppress damage to your cells and body tissues caused by toxic byproducts of your metabolism, according to Medline Plus 3.

Glycolic Acid and Skin Care

Combining glycolic acid with other substances may provide a treatment for skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and melasma. Internal Medicine News reports that a combination of kojic acid and glycolic acid was more effective at treating hyperpigmentation than a combination of glycolic acid and hydroquinone, but the kojic acid formulation may be more irritating. Both combinations were effective for treating melasma, according to Internal Medicine News.

Vitamin C and Skin Care

Science Daily reports that vitamin C may have protective properties that support better skin regeneration 2. Vitamin C may help protect your skin cells from D.N.A. damage. The article suggests that vitamin C may help prevent damage to your skin caused by sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties may provide these protective benefits and reduce your chance of developing skin cancer.

Negative Effects of Glycolic Acid

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received 114 reports of adverse dermatological effects of glycolic acid between 1992 and 2004. More serious adverse effects may occur with products that involve more skin exfoliation such as skin “peelers.” Reports included adverse effects such as burning sensations, swelling, skin rash or pigment changes. Skin care products that contain glycolic acid can contribute to skin peeling, blisters, irritation or tenderness.