Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel
2 fl. oz. for $48
Last Updated:12.18.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel is an excellent fragrance-free AHA product for all skin types, and the pH of 3.6 ensures efficacy. The amount of antioxidants and other beneficial extras isn’t enough to keep this product at its former Best Product rating.


Supplies lost moisture, anti-oxidants and glycolic acid to aging and sun-damaged skin without greasiness or oil. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. Helps clarify the skin and smooth out a rough texture.


Water, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Ammonium Hydroxide, Arginine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Phospholipids, Methylparaben, Imidazoldinyl Urea, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxyethylcellulose, BHT, Alcohol Denat.

Brand Overview

Peter Thomas Roth At-A-Glance

Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on Web site; most products are fragrance-free; very good AHA products; wide selection of water-soluble cleansers and scrubs; some excellent sunscreens, benzoyl peroxide products, and many antioxidant-rich formulas.

Weaknesses: Can be pricey; some products contain irritants; jar packaging for several products that contain air and light sensitive ingredients.

Unique in the world of spa and salon specialty lines, Peter Thomas Roth is a large but straightforward line with mostly uncomplicated formulations that, for the most part, are quite good and state-of-the-art. Unlike many product lines, most of the acne, AHA, BHA, sunscreen, and moisturizing products contain what they should to be effective and helpful for skin.

A novel aspect of this line is that there are few (if any) nonsense ingredients. Roth products conspicuously lack the exotic, potentially irritating, sensitizing, and often unnecessary plant extracts and the irritating, fragrant plant oils that show up in most pricey skin-care lines, especially spa lines. Many of these are fragrance free, and lack the long lists of complicated ingredients—all great qualities for any skincare brand.

Even more impressive are the well-formulated cleansers, sunscreens, AHA products, and skin lighteners. The moisturizers have improved somewhat, and most are now packaged so that the light- and air-sensitive ingredients remain stable. In fact, Roth's packaging deserves special mention because it is exceptionally utilitarian and gender-friendly.

No pretty pink bottles, sexy curved jars, or bejeweled caps— which reinforces the clinical nature of Peter Thomas Roth. Overall, this line should be admired for its simplicity and, for the most part, for its well-thought-out formulations.

After all that glowing praise, what you should be aware of are the instances of products containing potential irritants (noted in their respective reviews) as well as the products in jar packaging that contain ingredients which are sensitive to air and light.

For more information about Peter Thomas Roth, call (800) PTR-SKIN or visit www.peterthomasroth.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Excellent Results

My cheeks and jawline WERE extremely dry and rough. I have been using this product religiously for the last three months and have noticed dramatic softening in texture and moderate shrinking of pores on my face. I have combination/dry skin with large pores in my oily T-Zone. I use Alba Acnedote Cleanser with Salicylic Acid on my T-Zone and Neutrogena on the rest. I just use cleansers/washcloths and toner then this w/ moisturizer. This line is mid priced and it works! PTR Retinol Serum is next!

Reviewed by
Michelle B.
Good but sticky

I really like the results that I am getting from this product but I think that the gel formulation leaves a sticky residue on my skin and it can be quite drying. I have been combining it with another moisturizer with sunscreen, which seems to eliminate the stickiness. Question for the Beautypedia team: will applying another moisturizer on top limit the effectiveness of the product or upset the pH?

Reviewed by
Jaime B
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello, and thanks for the question! Layering another moisturizer over this one should not affect the product's pH.

—Paula's Choice Research Team

I went into it skeptical, as I had never bought skincare in this price range. I never tried a chemical exfoliation method before either.This is now my holy grail serum! I just completed my 1st bottle and there has been dramatic physical changes to my skin! Smoother,Brighter,fewer-breakouts,healthy glow! I love it! A must try! Instructions say once at bedtime and once in A.M. but I find great results with just the P.M. application. So I just stuck with that. But whatever works best for you!

Reviewed by
joanne m.
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