Why 111SKIN Doesn’t Use Glycolic Acid

Who doesn't love an acid? That oh-so-smooth feeling of fresh skin after using your favourite AHA is heavenly - addictive, even. Capable of banishing blemishes, reducing fine lines, evening tone and smoothing texture, acids have been the superhero stable of a solid skincare routine for thousands of years (Ancient Egyptians use to bathe in milk for it’s lactic acid properties). 

Not all acids are created equal, however - the variations of AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are vast. Each is derived from a different natural source, each possesses differently sized molecules and each has varying levels of bioavailability (it’s ability to absorb into the skin).

AHA’s work by reducing cell adhesion in the upper layers of the skin, loosing old skin and causing exfoliation. This is turn induces epidermal renewal as well as increasing the moisture level of the skin, which pushes water up into the top layers during the exfoliation process.



At 111SKIN, we favour a multi-fruit acid complex. A blend of several acids (Citric, Tartaric & Lactic), they are able to exfoliate at different levels within the skin (as each acid possesses differently sized molecules that penetrate to different depths). Combined with the natural brightening, nourishing and hydrating properties of fruit extracts, multi-fruit complex’ are a more holistic and thorough way to ensure a renewed, beautiful complexion.


Unlike many other brands, 111SKIN does not favour a Glycolic Acid exfoliation. The most popular acid, Glycolic possesses the smallest molecular structure of any AHA. This means it is able to delve deep into the skin, loosing cellular cohesion at a level that is not beneficial in the long term. When used in at-home products and not in-clinic, the acid can destroy the epidermal barrier, cause water loss, inflammation and irritation. Glycolic acid simply penetrates too deeply into the skin, allowing it to ‘hide’ in the depths of the dermis and thus avoid being neutralised by water or the following skincare steps that ‘calm’ the effects of acid.

“Myself and 111 Harley St. are strong advocates of Glycolic Acid, but only under the expert guidance of our aestheticians,” says Dr Yannis. “Over the years I have witnessed an increase in the use of at home Glycolic formulations - without the right guidance, this ingredient can have detrimental effects on the skin.”