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Sustainable Cleaning Agents Replace Traditional Mineral Acid-based Cleaners

Household cleaning is one of the major sectors for growth of the glycolic acid market, since cleaning and maintenance is a necessity. Hence, manufacturers are developing new cleaning agents to cater to end user needs in domestic as well as commercial applications such as housekeeping in hotels and maintenance in restaurants. As such, cleaning agent application segment of the glycolic acid market is estimated to reach the production of ~28,500 tons by the end of 2027. Hence, manufacturers in the glycolic acid market are innovating in new cleaning agents. For instance, the U.S. chemicals company, Chemours, is a supplier of sustainable cleaners and detergents.

Companies are increasing their efficacy in environment-friendly cleaning agents. These advanced cleaners made with biocidal agents and corrosion inhibitors are increasingly replacing mineral acid-based cleaners. Thus, companies are boosting their credibility credentials in the global glycolic acid market landscape by producing biodegradable cleaners that minimize environmental impact. Manufacturers are increasing the availability of improved cleaning agents for agricultural and food processing facilities.

glycolic acid market infographic

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Innovative Biomaterials Create Growth Opportunities for Manufacturers in Tissue Engineering

Manufacturers in the glycolic acid market are tapping into opportunities in biomaterials for tissue engineering. This phenomena is creating incremental opportunities for manufacturers, since biomaterials are being increasingly used to produce scaffolds in the field of regenerative medicine. Thus, manufacturers are increasing efficacy in scaffold production. This has led to the development of innovative polymers involving polyglycolic acid (PGA) for the development of synthetic polymers. As such, the polyglycolic acid (PGA) manufacturing application segment of the glycolic acid market is projected to reach an output of ~9,800 tons by 2027. Thus, manufacturers are increasing the production of biocompatible PGA copolymer materials to cater to the needs of stakeholders in the regenerative medicine space.

Increased growth opportunities in the healthcare industry, such as rise in demand for suture threads, prostheses, and orthopedic screws are broadening the scope of income sources for manufacturers. Innovative healthcare products using PGA are improving patient quality of life, since PGA and its copolymers are well tolerated by a patient.

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Digital Pollution Triggers Demand for Glycolic Acid-based Skin Care Products

Growing awareness about digital pollution has created a demand for glycolic acid. Blue light emitted from LED screens of smartphones, TV, and laptops is found to penetrate the skin’s dermis, thus leading to complications of oxidative stress and premature ageing among individuals. Hence, manufacturers in the glycolic acid market are increasing awareness and availability of glycolic acid-based skin care products. The skin care sub-segment of the personal care & cosmetics application segment is anticipated to reach an output of ~25,100 tons by 2027. Thus, manufacturers are increasingly focusing on the development of novel skin care products.

Disturbing sleep cycles, hyperpigmentation, and decreased skin elasticity due to prolonged use of smartphones and laptops are some of the key factors that are triggering the demand for effective skin care products.

Increase in Use of Formaldehyde-free Glycolic Acid in Natural and Organic Personal Care Products

The glycolic acid market is highly consolidated with dominant players accounting for ~60-65% share of the total market. This poses as a challenge for emerging players willing to enter the glycolic acid market and gain credibility of consumers, as customer loyalty is one of the important aspects, especially in the personal care and cosmetics segment. Moreover, manufacturers are opting for polyhydroxy acid (PHA) instead of glycolic acid and salicylic acid in skin care products.

The adoption of PHA is on the rise, as it possesses a larger molecular structure as compared to glycolic acid, which makes it useful in skin care products that are gentler and safer on the skin. Hence, manufacturers are leveraging opportunities in new formulations of glycolic acid. They are innovating in formaldehyde-free glycolic acid to manufacture natural and organic personal care products. Moreover, owing to a shift in consumer preferences for a greener lifestyle, manufacturers are developing greener alternatives of glycolic acid to eliminate synthetic chemicals from beauty products. Favorable growth of the global natural and organic personal care sector is fueling the growth of the glycolic acid market.

glycolic acid market segmentation

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Analysts’  Viewpoint

The personal care and cosmetics segment of the glycolic acid market is projected for an exponential growth. This has led to increased application of glycolic acid in skin care products as well as the pharmaceutical industry for the treatment of various skin diseases. Additionally, manufacturers of glycolic acid are eyeing expansion opportunities in the textile industry for use in dyeing applications and the development of tanning agents.

However, health concerns of end users involving chemo-enzymatic production of glycolic acid is one of the key challenges for manufacturers catering to personal care and cosmetics domain. Hence, manufacturers should increase adoption of bio-production with the help of renewable carbon sources by establishing microbial cell factories. They should also explore opportunities in flavors and preservatives in the rapidly growing F&B industry.

Glycolic Acid Market: Description

  • Glycolic acid is highly soluble in water. It is widely used in various skin care products, as it improves the appearance and texture of the skin. It helps reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, and hyperpigmentation. It also helps improve several other skin conditions, including actinic keratosis, hyperkeratosis, and seborrheic keratosis.
  • Glycolic acid is employed as a dyeing and tanning agent in the textile industry. It is also used as a flavoring agent and preservative in the food processing industry. Furthermore, it is employed as a skin care agent in the pharmaceutical industry.

Glycolic Acid Market: Key Growth Drivers

  • Glycolic acid products are widely used in various sectors, including beauty & personal care, oil & gas, electronics, leather dying & tanning, plant growth stimulation, food flavoring & preservation, polyglycolic acid manufacturing, and cleaning agents. Nearly all key products of these industries, such as shampoos & conditioners, facial care products, skin creams and body lotions, and household cleaners are based on glycolic acid.
  • Glycolic acid is extensively used as an exfoliating and moisturizing agent in skin care and hair care formulations. Rise in demand for skin care and hair care products is anticipated to be a major factor driving the glycolic acid market. Glycolic acid is also employed in various new applications such as manufacturing of polyglycolic acid (PGA).
  • Glycolic acid is extensively employed in applications that require low levels of metallic impurities. It is used to clean copper substrates in electronics. Glycolic acid offers good complexing of metal ions, low corrosion rates, efficient pH adjustment profile, and environmental, safety, and handling properties. These factors are projected to boost the glycolic acid market during the forecast period.

Major Challenges for Glycolic Acid Market

  • Glycolic acid causes skin irritation when its concentration is higher than 10% in the formulation. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. categorizes any product having higher than 10% of glycolic acid concentration as hazardous. Higher concentration of glycolic acid can lead to skin burns. Rise in awareness about the hazards of using products with high concentration of glycolic acid is hampering the glycolic acid market.
  • Glycolic acid face peels, with more than 10% concentration, play an effective role in face treatment. However, they need to be administered by professionals, as the process burns the skin temporarily. Facial treatment using glycolic acid usually takes 10 to 15 days. The skin is visibly burnt during this period. Therefore, consumers often seek alternate face treatment methods, which do not result in temporary damage to the skin.
  • Increase in awareness about side effects, including skin irritation, redness, and burning, is projected to hamper the glycolic acid market during the forecast period

Lucrative Opportunities in Glycolic Acid Market

  • Polyglycolic acid (PGA) is a biodegradable specialty plastic that is employed in the manufacturing of absorbable surgical sutures. Improvements in medical facilities is likely to boost the demand for absorbable surgical sutures. This, in turn, is expected to augment the demand for polyglycolic acid, thereby propelling the glycolic acid market. PGA is also employed in the manufacturing of absorbable staples, screws, meshes, stents, anastomosis rings, pins, rods, plates, and screws.
  • Absorbable sutures primarily dissolve in the body after the wound heals. This is driving the demand for sutures, thereby augmenting the global polyglycolic acid market.

Asia Pacific to Dominate Glycolic Acid Market

  • In terms of value and volume, Asia Pacific dominated the global glycolic acid market in 2018. The region is projected to remain highly lucrative during the forecast period, due to increase in population, improvement in standard of living, and rise in e-Commerce activities in the region.
  • Rapid industrialization in countries such as China and India has led to growth in equipment maintenance activities. Glycolic acid is used as a hard surface cleaner to wash and clean industrial equipment. Additionally, it has a mild odor and is soluble in a wide range of solvents. It is also less toxic vis-à-vis other chemicals, and is biodegradable. These factors are expected to drive the demand for glycolic acid as a hard surface cleaner.
  • Glycolic acid is extensively employed as a dying and tanning agent in the leather industry. Increase in investments in the textile sector by key manufacturers of the region is fueling the leather industry. This, in turn, is propelling the demand for glycolic acid in Asia Pacific.

Increase in Use of Glycolic Acid in Personal Care Products and Cosmetics

  • In terms of volume, the personal care & cosmetics application segment accounted for a major share of the global glycolic acid market in 2018. Glycolic acid plays an important role in removing fine hair, dead skin, and wrinkles. It also prevents aging of the skin.
  • Glycolic acid is extensively employed as an exfoliating and moisturizing agent in skin care and hair care formulations. In hair care, glycolic acid is used in revitalizing shampoos, conditioners and detanglers, and hair & scalp masks. In skin care, glycolic acid is used in exfoliation products, skin-peeling products, creams, serums, lotions, cleansers and toners, moisturizing skin creams and lotions, skin-lightening combinations, and men’s care products.
  • The leather dyeing & tanning application segment of the glycolic acid market is projected to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period, as glycolic acid is widely used in the leather deliming process. In the deliming process, glycolic acid penetrates rapidly to reduce operation time. Its properties improve grain quality by eliminating excessive pelt swelling that causes wrinkles and reduces tear resistance.

Leading Market Players Actively Engage in Joint Ventures and R&D Activities

  • Key players operating in the global glycolic acid market include -
    • The Chemours Company
    • Phibro Animal Health Corporation
    • CABB Group GmbH
    • China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC)
    • Shandong Xinhua Pharmaceutical Co.Ltd.
    • CrossChem LP
    • Avid Organics
    • Zhonglan Industry Co., Ltd.
    • Water Chemical Co., Ltd
    • Hebei Chengxin Co., Ltd.
    • Hefei TNJ Chemical Industry Co.Ltd.
    • Saanvi Corp.

​These companies actively engage in expansions, mergers & acquisitions, and joint ventures in order to maintain their share of the global glycolic acid market.

  • The Chemours Company was a major producer of glycolic acid, accounting for more than 40% share of the glycolic acid market in 2018. The company manufactures glycolic acid at its plant in Belle, West Virginia, the U.S. It is the largest manufacturing facility for glycolic acid in the world.

Glycolic Acid Market - Scope of the Report

The latest study collated and published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) analyzes the historical and present-day scenario of the global glycolic acid market to accurately gauge its potential future development. The study presents detailed information about the important growth factors, restraints, and key trends that are creating the landscape for the future growth of the glycolic acid market to identify the opportunistic avenues of the business potential for stakeholders. The report also provides insightful information about how the glycolic acid market will progress during the forecast period of 2019-2027.

The report offers intricate dynamics about different aspects of the glycolic acid market that aids companies operating in the market in making strategic development decisions. TMR’s study also elaborates on the significant changes that are highly anticipated to configure the growth of the glycolic acid market during the forecast period. It also includes a key indicator assessment to highlight the growth prospects of the glycolic acid market, and estimate statistics related to the market progress in terms of value (US$ Thousand) and volume (tons).

This study covers a detailed segmentation of the glycolic acid market, along with key information and a competitive outlook. The report mentions the company profiles of key players that are currently dominating the glycolic acid market, wherein various developments, expansions, and winning strategies practiced and executed by leading players have been presented in detail.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Report on Glycolic Acid Market

The report provides detailed information about the glycolic acid market on the basis of comprehensive research on various factors that are playing a key role in accelerating the growth potential of the market. Information mentioned in the report answers path-breaking questions for companies that are currently functioning in the market and are looking for innovative ways to create a unique benchmark in the glycolic acid industry, so as to help them make successful strategies and take target-driven decisions.

  • Which grade of glycolic acid will emerge as a major revenue generator for the market during the forecast period?
  • How are key market players successfully earning revenue out of the advantages of glycolic acid?
  • What will be the Y-o-Y growth of the glycolic acid market between 2019 and 2027?
  • What are the winning imperatives of market frontrunners in the glycolic acid market?

Research Methodology - Glycolic Acid Market

The research methodology adopted by analysts for combining the glycolic acid market report is based on detailed primary as well as secondary research. With the help of in-depth insights of the industry-affiliated information that is obtained and legitimated by market-admissible resources, analysts have offered riveting observations and authentic forecasts of the glycolic acid market.

During the primary research phase, analysts interviewed industry stakeholders, investors, brand managers, vice presidents, and sales and marketing managers. On the basis of data obtained through the interviews of genuine resources, analysts have emphasized the changing scenario of the glycolic acid market.

For secondary research, analysts scrutinized numerous annual report publications, white papers, industry association publications, and company websites to obtain the necessary understanding of the glycolic acid market.

Glycolic Acid Market - Segmentation

TMR’s research study assesses the glycolic acid market on the basis of grade, application, and region. This report presents the extensive market dynamics and progressive trends associated with different segments, and how they are influencing the growth prospects of the glycolic acid market.


  • Glycolic Acid ≤68%
  • Glycolic Acid 70%
  • Glycolic Acid ≥99%


  • Personal Care & Cosmetics
    • Skin Care
    • Hair Care
    • Others (including Nail Care and Dental Care)
  • Plant Growth Stimulation
  • Food Flavoring & Preservation
  • Polyglycolic Acid (PGA) Manufacturing
  • Cleaning Agent
    • Household
    • Industrial
    • Institutional
  • Oil & Gas
  • Electronics
  • Leather Dyeing & Tanning
  • Others (including Biomedical & Drug Delivery and Gas Barrier Packaging)


  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa

Custom Market Research Services

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Glycolic Acid Market

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