As you will note, Glycolic acid is the alpha hydroxy acid used in our products for various reasons. Some are described in the following Wikipedia article. My main reason is because Glycolic acid penetrates best and removes the dead stratum corneal cells (it is the smallest, thus penetrates the best, allowing the target to be more easily reached by the Active Ingredients whether they be chlorhexidine +/- ketoconazole or benzoyl peroxide).
The GlycoZoo products are dermatotrophic (enlivening the dermis) and lipolytic (removing sticky, smelly odoriferous particles) thus is a multifunctional cleanser in the ear, coat and skin. It is combined with boric acid, a well known dessicant and antimicrobial (with particular activity against yeast).
GlycoBenz combines the true follicular function of glycolic acid with the anecdotal properties of benzoyl peroxide to create a true anti-pyoderma product that actually flushes out the follicle while making it easier for the benzoyl perxiode to ‘do it’s thing’.
GlyChlor4 combines antimicrobial effectof 4% chlorhexidine with the benefit of glycolic acid making it easier to get to the point of attack where the infection lives. Same with the GlyChlorK which combines the effects of ketoconazole with chlorhexidine.
GlyCoat shampoo and leave-on Spray/Coat Conditioner uses the benefits of the glycolic acid, not the least of which is to penetrate to the pruritic cite where it allows the oatmeal to do it’s work.
(Below copied in full from Wikipedia)
α-Hydroxy acids, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), are a class of chemical compounds that consist of a carboxylic acid substituted with a hydroxyl group on the adjacent carbon. They may be either naturally occurring or synthetic. AHAs are well known for their use in the cosmetics industry. They are often found in products claiming to reduce wrinkles or the signs of aging, and improve the overall look and feel of the skin. They are also used as chemical peels available in a dermatologist’s office, beauty and health spas and home kits. Many well-known α-hydroxy acids are useful building blocks in organic synthesis: the most common and simple are glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, mandelic acid.
Understanding skin structure and cutaneous aging is helpful to a discussion of the topical action of AHAs. Human skin has two principal components, the avascular epidermis and the underlying vascular dermis. Cutaneous aging, while having epidermal concomitants, seems to involve primarily the dermis and is caused by intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors.
AHAs are a group of organic carboxylic compounds. AHAs most commonly used in cosmetic applications are typically derived from food products including glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grape wine). For any topical compound to be effective, including AHA, it must penetrate into the skin where it can act on living cells. Bioavailability (influenced primarily by small molecular size) is an important factor in a compound’s ability to penetrate the top layer of the skin. Glycolic acid, having the smallest molecular size, is the AHA with greatest bioavailability and penetrates the skin most easily; this largely accounts for the popularity of this product in cosmetic applications.
AHAs have a profound effect on keratinization; which is clinically detectable by the formation of a new stratum corneum. It appears that AHAs modulate this formation through diminished cellular cohesion between corneocytes at the lowest levels of the stratum corneum.
AHAs with greater bioavailability appear to have deeper dermal effects. Glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid, on topical application to photodamaged skin, have been shown to produce increased amounts of mucopolysaccharidesand collagen and increased skin thickness without detectable inflammation, as monitored by skin biopsies.