Best Glycolic Cleansers for Your Skin Type in 2021

Our selection of Glycolic Acid cleansers will smooth your skin and give it that perfect glow.

Asap Daily Facial Cleanser - product bottle is laying down on top of a white towel on a white marble surface - 650 x 414Asap Daily Facial Cleanser - product bottle is laying down on top of a white towel on a white marble surface - 650 x 414

Glycolic Acid is a powerful, radiance-boosting chemical exfoliant and a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). While beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid, penetrate pores more deeply, Glycolic Acid scours the surface of the skin, ridding it of excess oil, impurities, and dead skin cells.

When these two popular acids are paired in clarifying cleansers, they can transform the skin’s texture and tone.

To learn more about Glycolic Acid, check out our ultimate guide What Is Glycolic Acid and How Do I Use It?

Glycolic Acid is an amazing anti-ageing ingredient that stimulates the skin’s healing process, promoting collagen and elastin production. As a brilliant brightening surface exfoliant, Glycolic Acid also targets sun damage, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and dullness.

This ingredient is also perfect if you’re trying to rebalance moisture in your skin and boost your natural glow.

Being quite a potent ingredient, especially in formulations above 8%, Glycolic Acid can be harsh on sensitive skin types. Those with sensitivity may want to try cleansers with milder formulations or opt instead for lactic acid, an AHA that moisturises while it gently exfoliates. To discover more, check out our guide The 10 Best Cleansers for Sensitive Skin.

If you're unsure of your skin type, check out the video below as Amy explains how to work out your skin type...

Explore our selection of top rated Glycolic cleansers to find an option that suits your skin regimen, purifies your pores, and boosts your skin’s bounce.

We feature both potent cleansers, which are perfect for occasional use, and milder formulations for daily use, which won’t over-exfoliate and strip the skin.

Ideal for oily or combination skin that experiences congestion, this cleanser exfoliates on multiple levels to deeply clarify your skin and rid your pores of excess build-up. Beyond banishing blemishes, this cleanser can create a smooth, bright, and perfected base, which will have you buying back-ups.

SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel uses a blend of Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and LHA to revive and smooth the complexion. This combination of exfoliating agents deeply cleanses the skin, removing all traces of impurities and makeup without stripping skin of its natural oils. Our favourite thing about this cleanser is the cooling, tingling sensation it creates, which leaves your skin feeling thoroughly refreshed.


Suitable for all skin types, this Australian-made cleanser rids the skin of bacteria and impurities without excessively irritating the skin. Not only is this cleanser great at clearing makeup, impurities, and excess oil; it also contains antioxidant protection, which shields the skin from environmental aggressors.

asap daily facial cleanser hits the perfect balance of effectively exfoliating the skin as well as being mild enough for regular use. This light cleanser contains a careful combination of Glycolic Acid, which gently resurfaces, and White Tea, which soothes the skin. The lightweight, milky texture of this formula smooths effortlessly across the surface of the skin, leaving it feeling hydrated and fresh.


The addition of Tea Tree Oil soothes breakouts and inflammation, making Glycolic Cleanser 12% ideal for acne-prone skin types. Although this formulation cleanses deeply, it won’t leave your skin overly tight or dry. Instead, expect soft skin that simply glows as Glycolic Acid brings hydrated cells to the surface of the skin, leaving your complexion plump and bright.

Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser 12% transforms the complexion and increases luminosity in dull and dehydrated skin. The high concentration of Glycolic Acid in this gel formula works to promote healthy cell turnover, further reducing breakouts and smoothing out the skin’s surface. By scouring away dead skin cells, this cleanser radically reduces the appearance of sun damage, fine lines, and dullness.


This powerful triple-action cleanser leaves your skin soft and refreshed: the inclusion of Jojoba Oil serves to hydrate and replenish the skin. This cleanser can also be used effectively on the body to exfoliate the skin, tackle bumps and blemishes, and even diminish keratosis pilaris.

Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 200ml uses a blend of chemical and physical exfoliants to clear the skin on multiple levels. Salicylic Acid, a powerful BHA, delves deeply within the pores to dissolve debris. At the same time, a pair of AHAs—Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid—polishes the skin’s surface.


Although you may experience a tingling sensation during use, this cleanser exfoliates gently and is perfect for a range of skin types. The creamy texture of this cleanser also easily melts away makeup for a radiant and perfected base. Leave your skin healthy, smooth, and radiant with this balancing cleanser, which effectively boosts brightness and clarifies the skin.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Resurfacing Cleansing Cream promotes soft and smooth skin by utilising a combination of AHAs in this gentle cream formula. Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Citric Acid improve texture and the appearance of pores. Coconut Oil and Shea Butter boost moisture and replenish the skin.


Ginseng and Horse Chestnut Extract contain anti-ageing properties that refine the skin, working to boost circulation and brightness. Aloe Vera then soothes and restores moisture, leaving skin clear and moisturised. This amazing, lightweight cleanser won’t strip or dry out your skin: It delivers the hydration and environmental protection your complexion needs to stay young and healthy.

Pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel hydrates and purifies the skin for seriously glowing results. Along with Glycolic Acid, this formula includes a range of fruit extracts and antioxidants. Apple, Grape, Kiwi, Orange, Lemon, Pineapple and Grapefruit extracts work to naturally repair and resurface the skin.

Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser - young woman with manicured nails smiles as she applies cleanser to her cheek - 650 x 411Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser - young woman with manicured nails smiles as she applies cleanser to her cheek - 650 x 411

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

So, let's recap Best Glycolic Acid Face Washes In 2021

  1. SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel

  2. asap daily facial cleanser

  3. Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser 12%

  4. Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 200ml

  5. Alpha-H Liquid Gold Resurfacing Cleansing Cream

  6. Pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel

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