The global glycolic acid market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.30% over the analyzed period to reach a market size of US$477.485 million in 2026. The market stood at US$332.687 million in 2019. Glycolic Acid is obtained from plants like sugar beets, sugarcane, and pineapple and works as an effective skin treatment solution. This plant-driven substance is widely used by the cosmetic industry because it works as an anti-aging solution, anti-acne solution and is suitable for sensitive skin as well. The growing self-awareness among people regarding their skin health is the major driving factor behind the growing skincare industry and this is expected to boost up the demand for glycolic acid in the coming years.
Glycolic acid is also used as a therapeutic agent in rejuvenation treatment. Glycolic acid works as a peeling agent and is therefore used to treat many defects of the epidermis and papillary dermis. It is used by dermatologists to treat various skin conditions as well.
In the textile industry, glycolic acid is widely used in dyes and works perfectly in solvents for degreasing and cleaning fabrics.
Glycolic for Skincare
The largest share of the market for glycolic acid is attributed to the skincare industry. It works as an excellent exfoliant that helps to shed dead skin cells and therefore brings out the underneath bright layer of the skin. The deep penetration of glycolic acid in the skin stimulates fibroblasts in the dermis to produce increased amounts of collagen. The production of collagen makes the skin firmer, brighter and helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines as well. For sensitive skin, it is usually prescribed to start with less amount glycolic acid to prevent irritation later. Due to the number of benefits, glycolic acid is used in creams, tonners, facewashes, cleansers, exfoliators, etc.
Environment-Friendly Cleaning Using Glycolic Acid
The rising self-awareness among the people regarding hygiene and cleanliness is driving up the market for household cleaners. Glycolic acid is widely used in these cleaners and a boost in their demand is expected to drive up the market for glycolic acid as well. Glycolic acid is a biodegradable substance and the high focus of companies on environment-friendly production has introduced a replacement for acid-based cleaners in the form of glycolic and biodegradable cleaners which can become a major driver for the market.
Formaldehyde as a Residual to Create a Challenge for Market Growth
The production of glycolic acid leaves behind Formaldehyde as a residual which is a very harmful substance. It is a flammable chemical and has a strong smell which when exposed to the immune system of individuals can result in some serious issues. Although it is a residual product, its accidental mixture with glycolic acid can irritate the eyes, and this colorless product is also linked with the development of cancer in the human body. IARC, The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen, which is an agent that can trigger cancer in human bodies. Studies have found that high-level exposure to Formaldehyde can cause myeloid leukemia, and cancers like cancers of paranasal sinuses, nasopharynx, and nasal cavity. This makes the separation of glycolic acid from Formaldehyde a very important task that requires advanced technology and safety precautions as well. This is expected to serve as a restraint in the growth of the market in the coming years.
Regional and Geographical Insights
On a Geographical note, being a developed region where people can easily afford to spend high on luxuries and comfort, North America and Europe are expected to hold a major share of the glycolic acid market. High use of skincare products, cosmetics, etc. is the prime reason for the growth of the market in these regions.
Besides that, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to show significant growth due to the developing infrastructure and rapid industrialization in the region which is expected to boost up the disposable income of the people in the region. The growing textile industry especially in China and India is expected to serve as a significant factor behind the growth of the glycolic acid market in the region. The growing online retail market in the region is also expected to assist in the growth of the market.
Also, one of the major boosters to the market is high internet penetration. The increasing use of online retail stores is promoting online shopping and this is expected to provide a major boost to the glycolic acid market as well.
The coronavirus pandemic severely impacted the glycolic acid market. With the disease spreading across the globe, nations imposed lockdowns and curfews. With the shutting down of industries, a huge part of economies lost their jobs. With such negative conditions, the spending towards comfort and luxury reduced as the major priority of people was survival and living on necessities. In such conditions, people preferred to spend less on cosmetic products and skin treatments which thus impacted the glycolic acid market as well.