Sensible luxury and glycolic acid skin care that works! GlyDerm® review

Skin care is a very personal thing.  For example, my blog partner Marcia and I have extremely different approaches to taking care of our skin.  Marcia is laid back – she goes into her skin products very slowly and likes gentle, easy ingredients.  Me?  I love to try anything new, and I am all for retinols, AHA’s and glycolic acid.  I’ve paid the price for my more gonzo approach with some reddened and peeling skin at times.  That’s why I’m pretty excited about GlyDerm® , which features glycolic acid but in a gentle yet still effective way (and it’s affordable, too!).

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Glycolic acid reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles, plus it reduces the size of your pores and evens out skin tone.  Glycolic acid dissolves dead skin cells and promotes new skin.  The glycolic acid comes from sugar cane, and it’s the smallest alpha hydroxy molecule.  It is an extremely effective skin care ingredient, but it can also be irritating to skin.  What GlyDerm does differently is it uses esterified glycolic acid, which allows the glycolic acid to have a time-released delivery into the skin, so it’s gentle but still fully potent.  Their skin care products do terrific things:

  • Leaves skin looking and feeling smooth and supple
  • Provides a bright, radiant complexion
  • Improves the appearance of skin damage caused by photoaging
  • Increases hydration from within resulting in plumper,
    firmer-looking skin
  • Formulated to help patients who are prone to mild to moderate acne
  • Improves the appearance of pore size
  • Reduces the appearance of unsightly bumps and ingrown hairs associated with shaving

I tested three different GlyDerm products, and here are my thoughts:

GlyDerm Gentle Face Cleanser

Gentle Face Cleanser ($28)  This is a 0.2% glycolic acid facial cleanser that doesn’t have any soap in it.  It’s a very gentle cleanser, and the small percentage of glycolic acid smooths out skin and helps to brighten it up over time.  If you wear a full face of makeup, you will want to either first use a makeup remover or else wash your face twice with this cleanser, because it isn’t really a heavy-duty makeup remover.  I double cleanse so for me it isn’t an issue.

GlyDerm Gentle Face Cleanser

The cleanser is creamy and it doesn’t foam much.  It has absolutely no scent or fragrance, and those of you with redness will love how it doesn’t exacerbate that, and in fact lessens red tones.  It’s great for anyone with rosacea as well.  It helps to reduce pore size and congestion, and it leaves my skin feeling soft, clean, and lovely.  This is a cleanser that gets better and better results over time, so while you will enjoy clean skin each day, you will really love what it does for your skin after one or two months.  Stick with it.

Glyderm Face Lotion Lite 5

Face Lotion Lite 5 ($37)  This is an exfoliating lotion featuring glycolic acid that also hydrates skin while dissolving dead skin cells.  It reduces fine lines, evens out hyperpigmentation, and minimizes pore size.  I tested the 5% glycolic acid strength, but it also comes in a 10% strength.  This particular product is for normal to oily skin – they have other products for dry skin and for very oily skin.  After washing your face and drying it, you shake this up to make sure the ingredients are properly distributed, then apply a thin layer – I put it on my face, neck, and decolletage.  I started off only using it at night for two weeks, then I went to morning and night for even better results.

Glyderm Face Lotion Lite 5

Glyderm Face Lotion Lite 5

It does tingle at first when applied, very slightly and it doesn’t hurt at all.  My skin never peeled or got flaky – in fact, it only got softer because the Face Lotion Lite both exfoliates and hydrates.  I am loving my results!  My skin tone is getting more and more even, my pores are tightening up, and I am having far less issues with breakouts.  I want to move to the 10% because I think my skin can definitely tolerate it.

GlyDerm Hydrotone Lite

Hydrotone Lite ($39) is a moisturizer that is great for combination skin, aging skin, and anyone with large pores.  It is a thick cream that has an interesting texture – it’s light and emollient, and you don’t need much to moisturize your face and neck.  The jar looks small, it’s 1.5 ounces, but it lasts for a long time because you truly don’t a lot of it.  It’s what skin needs after being exfoliated to speed up the healing process.  In addition, it also has lemon extract, which serves to brighten the skin and even skin tone, as well as reduce pore size.

GlyDerm Hydrotone Lite

GlyDerm Hydrotone Lite

I like how Hydrotone Lite isn’t the least bit greasy.  Most moisturizers that are meant for use after glycolic products leave your face pretty slick, but this doesn’t…it’s got a strange initial texture that sort of transforms from a paste into something light and airy.  Very odd.  It is also great to use before applying makeup and doesn’t interfere with application at all.  Another plus – it calms down that pesky t-zone so my nose is much less oily and shiny during the day.

GlyDerm has quite a few other products that look extremely interesting.  The Hydrating Eye Cream features Vitamin K to tackle dark undereye circles, an ingredient I have found to be very effective in the past.  The Face Solution is an astringent for congested skin, and it features a combination of salicylic acid and glycolic acid to enhance exfoliation and open clogged pores, and it comes in three different strengths – 5%, 10% or 12%.  I think my oily t-zone needs some of that.

Overall, I am really impressed – GlyDerm is definitely sensible luxury with the best ingredients at their maximum effectiveness.  You can find GlyDerm at dermatologist and physician offices, as well as online at and  – Lisa

Face Lotion 5 Ingredients:  Water, Glycolic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Propylene Glycol, Citrus Medica Limonum Fruit Extract (Lemon), Alcohol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Hydrotone Light Ingredients:  Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, PPG-11 Stearyl Ether, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dinonium Chloride Phosphate, Isopropyl Palmitate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Dimethicone, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol.

Gentle Face Cleanser Ingredients:  Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glycolic Acid, Alcohol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol.


  1. I have a travel size of the Glyderm Gentle Face Cleanser that I took with me to NYC last weekend. So gentle! I need to try more from the brand because I’m a fan of GA

  2. My skin loves glycolic acid!

  3. I like a good glycolic acid for sure. It helps prevent mild discoloration post-breakout in my case. I avoid anything with petrolatum, mineral oil, sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate and parabens in any skincare products because those are potential irritants. My skin break out easily

  4. I haven’t heard of this brand, but thank you for the introduction. 🙂 I don’t know much about glycolic acid and this helps educate me on what I need to be more aware of.

  5. This is a new to me brand. I love glycolic acid for my skin.


    I could use this, like that it Increases hydration from within resulting in plumper,
    firmer-looking skin

  7. I love glycolic acid, the skin smoother and moisturizer sound great!

  8. 25 Sweetpeas says

    These both sound/look nice!

  9. Jen Walker says

    These sound great! The lotion lite in particular is grabbing my attention.

  10. These products sound amazing I definitely need to try them

  11. This looks like a great little system and I LOVE that the price point is under $50 each. I love skincare products but I can’t afford to try everything on the market!

  12. This brand is new to me, but sounds fantastic!