Can glycolic cream darken skin?

Dear Dr. Irwin, I am Asian with medium brown skin. For the past one week I have been using 6% glycolic acid cream once a day at night, for the purpose of light exfoliation and for antiaging properties. I read that 6%glycolic acid cream can darken the skin. Is this true? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks so much in advance, Jessica

Any product, if it irritates the skin in any way, can darken skin by causing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Sometimes the irritation is very subtle so, yes if the glycolic irritates, it can darken the skin a little.  Asian skin is slightly more susceptible to this problem.


Dr. I


Read Dr. Irwin’s article on Understanding Pigment Problems.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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