Significant improvement in mild acne following a twice daily application for 6 weeks of an acidic cleansing product (pH 4)

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2014 Jun;13(2):103-8. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12086.


Background: Cleansing products for acne should remove excessive sebum, reduce acne-related bacteria and improve inflammation.

Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate a topical cleansing product containing glycolic acid with pH 4 in mild acne vulgaris.

Methods: Sixty patients were recruited for this open uncontrolled clinical trial. The tested product was exclusively applied twice a day for 6 weeks. The efficacy was judged by a dermatologist according to the Leeds score after 3 and 6 weeks. In addition, efficacy and tolerability were judged subjectively by physician and patients.

Results: Mild acne improved significantly after 6 weeks (baseline: 0.699 vs. day 42: 0.602; P < 0.001). Efficacy and tolerability were judged better by physician as compared with patients' assessment.

Conclusion: In this clinical trial, a topical cleansing product containing glycolic acid with pH 4 improved mild acne significantly following twice-daily application for 6 weeks as monotherapy.

Keywords: AHA; P. acnes; acne vulgaris; antibacterial; clinical trial; glycolic acid.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Detergents / administration & dosage*
  • Detergents / adverse effects
  • Detergents / chemistry
  • Female
  • Glycolates / administration & dosage*
  • Glycolates / adverse effects
  • Glycolates / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Detergents
  • Glycolates
  • glycolic acid