The glycolic acid market size was valued at USD 159.6 million in 2015. Growing demand for glycolic acid based skincare and hair care cosmetic products due to increasing awareness about healthy skin and hair are expected to drive the demand for the product over the forecast period. In addition, the properties such as exfoliation, high water solubility and a high degree of acidity make it an ideal choice for creams and ointments for treatment of wrinkles and removal of scars. Furthermore, increasing use of the compound in emulsion polymers and additive for inks and paints is expected to propel the demand over the forecast period.
Glycolic acid is present naturally in fruits such as beets, pineapple, and unripe grapes. Commercial manufacturing is employed by chemical synthesis of formaldehyde in the presence of chloroacetic acid and sodium hydroxide.
U.S. glycolic acid market revenue, by application, 2013 - 2024 (USD Million)
Increasing production of formaldehyde by various manufacturers coupled with technological advancements related to optimizing production technology is expected to drive growth. Increasing expenditure on the R&D for the product has resulted in an increasing application scope in various applications which is expected to drive the demand for the product over the forecast period.
However, increasing awareness about the negative effects of glycolic acid leading to skin allergies is expected to restrain growth. In addition, stringent regulations imposed by regulatory bodies such as the European Union regarding the capping the use of the product in cosmeceutical formulations is likely to restrain growth over the projected period.
The market is segmented by application into personal care, household and industrial. The market was dominated by personal care application that accounted for over 60.0% of the global market share owing to increasing demand for glycolic acid based products for scalp treatment and hair nourishment.
The household cleaning segment is expected to be valued at over USD 110 million by 2024 owing to increasing use of the product in bathroom and kitchen cleaners due to its ability to from complexes with hard water salts, removal of soap scums and compatibility with surfactants, fragrances, dyes, and biocidal agents. In addition, increasing use of glycolic acid for cleaning hard surfaces owing to properties such as high surface penetration and easy biodegradability is expected to drive the demand for the product over the forecast period.
Increasing use of glycolic acid in various industrial applications such as high purity electronics and semiconductor processing, tanning and leather dying is expected to augment the demand over the forecast period. In addition, it is used as a raw material for the production of polyglycolic acid (PGA) which is extensively used in medical sutures owing to high biodegradability. However, the high cost of such medical sutures is expected to hamper the growth of the segment over the forecast period.
Europe accounted for the substantial market share of over 30% in 2015 due to a rapidly developing skincare and hair care industry. In addition, increasing demand for anti-aging and acne removal creams by the European population is expected to drive the demand for glycolic acid over the forecast period. Furthermore, the market growth is expected to be driven by the presence of various cosmetics manufacturers in Italy and France. However, stringent regulations enforced by the European Commission regarding the use of glycolic acid are expected to affect the market growth.
China is expected to exhibit highest growth rate in Asia Pacific over the forecast period driven by increasing use of the compound in industrial, cosmeceutical and household applications. Increasing adoption of glycolic acid based products coupled with the absence of any stringent regulatory norms for the use of the product is expected to affect the industry positively. Furthermore, low manufacturing cost coupled with a rapidly developing Chinese economy is expected to drive the demand in the country.
North America accounted for the maximum share of over 35.0% % in 2015. Increasing demand for glycolic acid based anti-wrinkle and acne removal creams particularly by middle-aged women is expected to propel growth. In addition, increasing adoption of the product in face peels for skin nourishment is expected to drive the growth in the region over the forecast period.
The global glycolic acid market is characterized by continuous product innovations as a strategy to capture industry share. For example, Allergan Pharma, a pharmaceutical manufacturer located in Ireland launched a range of glycolic acid based products under the trade name SkinMedica in a move to increase its market share.
The key market players include Parchem, CrossChem LP, Phibro Animal Health Corporation, DuPont, Griffin International, and Chemsolv Inc. The major buyers of the product include hair care and skincare manufacturers such as Neutrogena, Garnier, St. Ives, and Clean & Clear.
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