Regular exfoliation can help your skin retain its youthful appearance, according to skin care experts. Treatments containing glycolic acid can assist your skin's natural exfoliation process. Glycolic acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid family. Glycolic acid can be derived from sugar cane. However, it can also be synthesised in a laboratory. When you apply products containing glycolic acid to your skin, they remove the top layer of the epidermis. This outer layer is made of dead skin cells that are no longer required by the body. The action of glycolic acid weakens the bonds that keep the old cells in place. By eliminating these unwanted cells, you make way for fresh new cells to rise to the surface. Glycolic acid is an active ingredient in many clear skin preparations. This potent ingredient helps prevent dead skin cells from combining with sebum and blocking the pores.