- †Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.
Other ConcernsUse restrictions (high) and Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high)
SYNONYMSACETIC ACID, HYDROXY, ACETIC ACID, HYDROXY-, GLYCOLIC ACID, GLYCOLIC ALPHA-HYDROXY ACID, GLYCOLLIC ACID, HYDROXY- ACETIC ACID, HYDROXYACETIC ACID, and HYDROXYETHANOIC ACID
Gylcolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid; used in chemical peels and anti-aging skin products; can irritate skin.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
LOWAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|serums & essences||73 products|
|facial moisturizer/treatment||72 products|
|facial cleanser||65 products|
|body wash/cleanser||15 products|
|foot cleansing||13 products|
|around-eye cream||8 products|
|foot moisturizer||6 products|
|bar soap||6 products|
|hair treatment/serum||5 products|
|daily use with SPF||4 products|
|after shave||4 products|
|hair styling aide||3 products|
|liquid hand soap||3 products|
|body oil||3 products|
|sunless tanning||3 products|
|oil controller||3 products|
|makeup remover||3 products|
|body firming lotion||2 products|
|setting powder/spray||2 products|
|skin fading/lightener||2 products|
|hand sanitizer||2 products|
|hand cream||1 products|
|foot odor control||1 products|
|beard cleanser||1 products|
|makeup primer||1 products|
|recreational sunscreen||1 products|
|nail treatment||1 products|
|brow liner||1 products|
|cuticle treatment||1 products|
|hair color and bleaching||1 products|
|baby oil||1 products|
|shaving cream (men's)||1 products|
Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
|Classified as skin irritant||Open scientific literature|
|Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Allowable pH limits||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics||Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients|
|Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualifications||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Single case study detailing occupational hazards||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in product||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|3765 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
|Not likely to be carcinogenic in humans||Open scientific literature|
|Not suspected to be an environmental toxin||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Classified as a low human health priority||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Not suspected to be persistent||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Allowable pH limits||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
- Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.
Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES
The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.
The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.