In this case study, a contract development and manufacturing company engaged CPL Business Consultants to assess the market for glycolic acid in the United States. The client subsequently launched a premium-grade glycolic acid for the skin and hair care products market.

CPL’s client required strategic advice on developing an anhydrous alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) business, mainly in the cosmetics sector. AHAs include e.g. lactic acid, citric acid, hydroxycaprylic acid, hydroxycapric acid and glycolic acid.

Cosmetics formulators use these ‘cosmetic acids’, for example, to reduce pigmentation, minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce congestive skin disorders and visually improve skin brightness. They do this by dissolving the intercellular ‘cement’ holding the very outer layer of the skin cells together, therefore encouraging a chemical exfoliation of the oldest epidermal cells to reveal the fresher, more vibrant and softer skin cells beneath.

CPL analysed the market potential for anhydrous AHA as a premium (or substitute) ingredient. We also made strategic recommendations concerning potential applications and the size and scope of the market opportunity for anhydrous alpha hydroxy acid.

The main geographic focus of this study was North America, although information relating to other markets was included. The study provided market insight into using anhydrous AHA, primarily in cosmetics and additionally provided projections of glycolic acid market value and growth which were used in the client’s business plan.

Click to see the contents of the study, or otherwise, look below for an outline.

Glycolic Acid US Market

Executive Summary

  • Objective
  • Method and Scope
  • Principal Findings
    • Background
    • Market
    • Anhydrous Crystalline GA Market
    • The Cosmetics Market
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations


  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Biodegradable Polymers

Glycolic Acid Markets

  • The Market for GA
    • Uses and Applications
  • The Market for Anhydrous GA e.g.:
    • Cosmetic & Personal Care
    • Chemical Synthesis

Glycolic Acid Manufacturers, Products and Prices

  • Manufacturers
  • US Traders & Processors
  • Non-US Traders & Processors
  • Formulators
  • Skin Care and Cosmetics End-Users
  • Dermatology Industry End-Users
  • Glycolide Manufacturers
  • Bio-degradable Polymer Manufacturers
  • Other Manufacturers

Global Cosmetics Industry Overview

  • Markets and Trends
  • Main Players

Contact Reports

  • Manufacturers
  • Traders & Processors
  • Formulators
  • End Users in Skin Care and Cosmetics
  • End Users in the Dermatology Industry
  • Manufacturers of Glycolide
  • Manufacturers of Bio-degradable Polymers
  • Others


  • e.g. Trade News and Company Announcements

Tables & Figures

  • Products
  • Prices
  • Glycolic Acid Market Data

In addition to this project on alpha hydroxy acids and the US glycolic acid market, CPL has also worked on, e.g., sebacic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. You can also find other examples by browsing this site or using the search bar on this page. Have a look at our PowerPoint Introduction and Brochure describing deliverables, differentiators and case studies. Eight case studies can also be reviewed.

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