How to Get a Head-to-Toe Skin “Glow” Fast

Healthy Skin with glycolic acid skin careYou can have a soft, supple, glowing complexion almost immediately. Glycolic acid is the hero when the mission calls for a head-to-toe glow ASAP.

As a dermatologist, I know how well glycolic acid works. From the science to the results, it’s the dependable hero. And, getting fast results from glycolic acid skin care routines are why I created “turn-key” kits years ago for my patients. These kits worked so well that they were one of my main inspirations for creating; I could bring highly effective skin care routines to people outside of my practice too. Turn-key glow from head to toe!

How do you get the head-to-toe glow ASAP with glycolic acid?

For Your Face

To get glowing facial skin, use one of my glycolic acid face care kits. You’ll be using professional glycolic acid products and simple physical exfoliation to reveal your fresh and renewed complexion fast. Pick your kit based on your skin type: oily, normal, or dry.

Dermatologist-Recommended Glycolic Acid Facial Skin Care Kits

fast acting glycolic acid aha facial kit normal skin

For Your Body Skin

Soft, glowing, and hydrated arm and leg skin can be acheived easily with the right skin care routine. Banish rough elbows and knees and dry, flaky shins. Your self tanner will look even better when you use glycolic acid products too.

Dermatologist’s Glycolic Acid Body Skin Care Routine 

Anti Aging Body Kit

For Your Feet 

Don’t forget your feet. Are they soft and do they look good in sandals? Left to their own devices, the soles of your feet will become rough and thick. They may even crack if the skin becomes too thick. My turn-key glycolic acid skin for rough feet is the fastest way to reclaim healthy and soft feet that look great in sandals.

Dermatologist’s Glycolic Acid Kit for Rough Feet

Rough Foot Skin Remover Kit

Why is glycolic acid so effective for giving you that head-to-toe glow fast?

Scientists have proven that glycolic acid skin care treatments:

  1. Exfoliate the dead skin cells. This means that your skin looks dewy and moist and feels softer.
  2. Increase epidermal (top layer of your skin) thickness dramatically (a whopping 17%). This helps to reverse some of the skin thinning that happens with age.
  3. Increase epidermal hyaluronic acid content (by an astounding 180%) and hyaluronic acid dermal (second deeper layer of your skin) content too (9%). This makes your skin structure dewier and plumper, the appearance of your wrinkles is lessened and your skin is less fragile. It’s also healthier because hyaluronic acid helps your cells and nutrients move around better too.

What other good things does glycolic acid do for your skin?

Using professional-strength glycolic acid skin care products can turn on the genes in your skin that make collagen (up to 3 times greater than before). This is a key step to wrinkle treatment and anti-aging skin care because reversing wrinkles requires that your skin makes collagen in the dermis (the deeper part of your skin), which is below the epidermis (the top living layer).

Glycolic acid also helps reduce irregular skin pigmentation. This means it can help to get rid of your age spots and lighten hyperpigmentation from melasma.

It can even reverse some of the signs of classic sun damage in the epidermis that are seen under the microscope; the microscopic skin structure looks more youthful, which means your skin will look more youthful too.

Do all glycolic acid skin care products work to get your skin glowing fast?

No, the “devil is in the details” with glycolic acid products. To achieve the skin benefits I just mentioned, a glycolic acid product needs to be professional strength; it needs to have a free acid concentration of 10% or higher and the proper acid pH. This information is not always listed on a product. All of the products I use in my kits meet this level of glycolic acid formulation, which is why they work so well!


Bernstein, EF, et. al. (including Van Scott, E), Glycolic Acid Treatment Increases Type 1 Collagen mRNA and Hyaluronic Acid Content of Human Skin, Dermatologic Surgery 2001;27:429-433

Ditre CM et. al. (including Van Scott, E), Effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on photoaged skin; A pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 1996;34:187-195

Photo: Thanks and Gratitude to tommerton2010


If you found this helpful, subscribe to my blog -- it's free. I write two articles per week on skin care and skin health and you can have them delivered to your email inbox. Get your skin care information straight from the dermatologist. Join my intelligent skin care revolution. Just enter your email address:


10 Responses to “How to Get a Head-to-Toe Skin “Glow” Fast”

  1. Tammy June 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Dr Bailey, Would the glycolic acid be safe for someone with rosacea and sensitive skin?

  2. Cynthia Bailey June 21, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    I don’t use it on the face of my sensitive skin rosacea patients. I do have them use it on their body skin if possible. Glycolic acid products made properly are always potentially irritating to sensitive skin so using them is always an “experiment”. That said, I love glycolic acid and have use instructions on my kit pages. For the face of someone with sensitive skin, it’s probably not going to work though. As I’ve aged and developed the sensitive skin type of rosacea I’ve personally had to transition away from the Glytone I used every morning for 20 years. Drats! I still use it as a peel from time to time but ever so cautiously!

  3. Tammy June 21, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Dr Bailey, Thank you for your reply. What would you recommend for aging skin and facial discoloration caused by acne?

  4. Tammy June 21, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Dr. Bailey, Thank you for your reply. What then would you recommend for aging skin and discoloration from acne?

  5. Cynthia Bailey June 23, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    That’s a great and complicated question as the answer is impacted by skin type and skin sensitivity issues. Look over my posts on adult acne and antiaging topics. You can also cruise through the rosacea content as I make some suggestions in there for how I address antiaging skin care for my patients who also have sensitive rosacea prone skin – like me!

  6. Cura Pelle July 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    Hi Dr. Bailey,

    Do I understand correctly that you’ve had to stop using Glytone (glycolic acid) but are still able to use tretinoin cream? Thanks for providing the data about the hydration and thickness as well.

    Best wishes for a great summer,

  7. Tammy July 3, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Thank you Dr. Bailey, I have read your blogs and advice section over and over again. I have really learned a lot. I have purchased several of your recommended products and I love them. I was wondering what are your thoughts on Ziana? Is it better or worse to use a combination product like Ziana or should you just stick to the Retin A cream? Thanks

  8. Cynthia Bailey July 18, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    I like the antiaging and scar/hyperpigmentation benefits of Retin A original formulation and so that’s what I stick with most of the time. For oily skin complexions where I’m purely addressing acne and/or for people who really need a simple skin care routine for their acne then I consider combination products. They are usually really expensive in the US too, which is a consideration for some patients.

  9. Cynthia Bailey July 18, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Hello, nice to see you Cura and sorry for the belated response, I’ve been on vacation and just now catching up w/ comments.

    Yes! At 54.75 years I have to say that this aging process is a continuous adventure, skin tolerance changes included. Even tretinoin has become touch and go at times due to my increased tendency for rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis, neither of which are curable and both of which increase with age. I now get my facial glycolic acid treatment from periodic glycolic acid peels. I’ve also added laser peels, IPL treatments and microdermabrasion treatments to my antiaging skin care regimen, plus of course a very healthy veggie laden diet for the antioxidants. Additional skin antioxidants are obtained from daily use of Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy (Replenix Power of Three) and Vitamin C Antiaging Serum used several times a week. Of course I use mineral sunscreens and practice very strict skin sun protection too (nicknamed Snow White by a patient – sort of funny actually).

    I use the glytone on my non-facial skin regularly and depend on it for soft and smooth skin because I’m an atopic with ichthyosis vulgaris and keratosis pilaris too, the later two normally get better with age but for me they persist.

    Wishing you a great summer too.

  10. Kevin W. August 6, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Ok, so after finally getting my face clear thanks to you Dr. Bailey, I wanted to get some advice with this topic of getting the rest of my skin head to toe acne/SD free and even-toned. I’d say my skin around my body tends to be a little tougher than the sensitive skin on my face. For clearing my acne I’ve used the Zinc and BP 10%; and out the two I find the Zinc wash/shampoo has helped tame the acne. The BP was just too drying.

    All that being said, I was wondering if rotating the Anti Aging Body Skin Care Kit and Zinc Body Acne/Shampoo Wash would be a good routine to finally rid my body of acne and dull uneven skin? Lastly, is there a certain lotion that I should use on the days I use the Zinc wash that wouldn’t be irritating to my SD? I wasn’t sure if the Lotion that comes in the Anti Aging Body Skin Care Kit could be used everyday.

    Thanks Dr. Bailey, again, for another great post and I look forward to your responses! :D