Here goes a quick chemistry lesson!
The Ph table goes from 0-15 with 7 being neutral aka water. Above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acidic. Our skin is on average 4.2-4.6 with men having a more alkaline basis to the skin. Since the goal of a glycolic product is to cause the skin the exfoliate then it needs to be more acidic then the skin in order to do that.
Opinions vary on what the optimum Ph of a product should be. Having formulated many products as co-founder of DDF, my experience is that 3.5 is the optimum Ph for a facial product. This is acidic enough to do the job, but not too agressive to cause redness and flaking.
NOTE: Ph is usually not printed on the box so you may have to call the company to find out ….that is, if they will tell you!