For those of us who are “blessed” with both.

Dark spots, hyperpigmentation, pimples, dull skin – anyone who has these issues can understand how difficult it is to deal with them. We are always on the lookout for that one ingredient that can fight all these issues. Sounds impossible? Not exactly. Glycolic acid cleansers can help you get rid of all these issues. The safe-for-skin acid (that’s derived from sugarcane) is an AHA—short for alpha hydroxy acid. Thanks to its small molecular size, it penetrates deep into the skin to exfoliate and brighten for noticeable results. AHA also help in clearing dirt, oil, and other impurities from your face. 

Glycolic acid even offers anti-aging benefits that erase fine lines and plump wrinkles. No wonder why so many dermatologists and estheticians swear by this safe-for-skin acid for at-home use.



While the most potent form of glycolic acid comes in a chemical peel, you can reap the benefits in other ways, too, such as in your daily moisturizer, toner, or (you guessed it) cleanser. The latter will cleanse the skin of dirt, oil, and debris while sloughing away dead skin and pore-clogging impurities that, if left alone, could cause dull skin, acne, and other blemishes. That’s why we always keep our sights on a few favorite glycolic acid cleansers.

But before we get into each product individually, let’s quickly discuss what glycolic acid is and why you would want to use it.


What is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant and part of the AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) family. It has the smallest molecular size of all AHAs so it penetrates the skin more easily.

It’s most notable benefits include revitalizing skin tone, reducing wrinkles, clearing acne, increasing the skin’s moisture levels, improving texture and tactile roughness, and fading hyperpigmentation.

As far as acne is concerned, glycolic acid is reasonably effective against whiteheads and inflamed lesions. In higher concentrations it improves atrophic acne scars by increasing collagen production. Collagen being the main structural protein found in skin that keeps it from aging.

Best Glycolic Acid Cleansers 2023

#1- Misumi AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser

Our dermatologist-favorite go-to glycolic acid product? Misumi’s AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser. “For my teenage patients, nothing clears breakouts and gives them that tight glowing healthy skin like daily use of this AHA 10% skin perfecting cleanser from Misumi Skincare,” she says. “For my adult patients, it erases fine lines and occasional blemishes that occur from the daily stress of life.”

This tube of magic has 10% glycolic acid, which is much higher than most other products like it. Additionally, it’s a bi-functional serum, meaning it exfoliates and hydrates, so it doesn’t dry out the skin like other acidic products can.

Misumi’s groundbreaking formula is made up of Glycolic acid, Chamomile, Rosehip Oil, Grapefruit, Lemon, Seaweed Extract, and Japanese Plum. Rich in vitamins and natural minerals, these natural ingredients help with everything from clearing acne, fighting premature signs of aging, to battling rosacea, sensitive skin problems, and uneven skin tone. This cleanser is one of the best exfoliators available today, helping to unclog pores and restoring youthful and radiant skin.


  • Removes sweat, oil, and impurities and unclogs pores
  • Calms breakouts and reduces redness
  • Restores youthful, radiant skin
  • Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
  • 60 Day Money Back guarantee


World’s Best

It’s only taken me 25 years to find the perfect cleanser but I’m so glad I did!! The AHA skin perfecting cleanser not only helped me battle hormone induced acne but has eased the transition (read as: wrinkles!) of closing in on 40. Thanks so much for the awesome product.


Verified Buyer

My skin loves misumi

My skin has not looked this good in so long! My blackheads are clearing, my pores are shrinking…acne has cleared! I’m 37 and I couldn’t be happier that I took the chance after hating my skin most of my life.


Verified Buyer



#2 – L’Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Bright Reveal Facial Cleanser

Best Budget Buy

For a cheaper alternative, Mariwalla swears by L’Oréal’s glycolic scrub. “I really like L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser, which can be used a few times a week in the morning,” she says.

Highly effective, derm-recommended, and only around five bucks! What’s not to love?


#3 – Lavo Glycolic Acid Face Cleanser for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

Best Splurge

Lavo’s glycolic acid face wash removes makeup and cleans your face without stripping natural oil or dehydrating your skin. The lightweight formula has a fresh, minty scent that leaves your face soft and supple, not dry and tight.

The formula relies on a combination of glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids, plus natural extracts with important benefits. For example, watercress is packed with vitamins that revitalize aging skin. Next, vitamin B and lavender balance oil production and kill acne bacteria. In conclusion, there are no parabens in this cruelty-free cleanser.


#4 – Peter Thomas Roth 3% Glycolic Solutions Cleanser

This cleansing gel from Peter Thomas Roth has just enough glycolic acid to revive dull skin. Moreover, the low concentration is mild enough to use up to three times a week on sensitive skin. Once you work it into a lather, you only need to let it sit for a minute before you rinse.


#5 – Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

This classic glycolic cleanser from skincare giant Mario Badescu works to unclog congested pores, smooth the skin’s surface, and bring back that glow you love. Formulated with chamomile, marshmallow, and sage, it soothes the skin as the glycolic acid works to exfoliate.


So there you have it! A list of the creme de la creme of all Glycolic Acid cleansers available on the market today. If you’re looking for a product to help with fighting acne or restoring youthful, radiant skin while preventing premature signs of aging, try one of the products in our shortlist of best glycolic acid cleansers and let us know your opinion.