In the last year or so, everyone has become obsessed with adding acids into their skincare routine. It can be a little overwhelming knowing what acids are right for your skin so I have whittled down the four best and easiest to use acids for you.
What are acids?
Acids are a skincare ingredient often used for exfoliation. There are two main groups of acids in skincare: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). Both groups loosen the fluid that binds cells to the upper layers of the skin, which results in a smoother, brighter surface. As the acid dissolves the binding between skin cells, thousands of them usually come off at the same time which often causes shedding of dead skin cells. Here’s a rundown of my four favourite acids…
Gylcolic acid is a great starter acid. A type of alpha-hydroxy acid, it’s often recommended by dermatologists to acid newbies because it’s gentle and has proven anti-ageing properties. Compared to other acids, glycolic has the smallest molecules and thus penetrates the skin most easily for dramatic results. The ingredient can also tackle hyperpigmentation and dullness.
For those of you suffering from acne, blackheads and congestion – this one’s for you. A type of beta-hydroxy acid, salicylic is the second most common acid because of its ubiquity in acne products. As its molecules are larger than glycolic, its treatment percentages are lower. Its anti-inflammatory properties will help dissolve dead-skin buildup which causes congestion. Because it’s great at unclogging pores, it is also ideal for people with larger pores who want to minimise their appearance.
If you have dry-skin concerns, try hyaluronic acid. It’s not like the others in that it doesn’t dissolve dead skin – it’s actually a natural carbohydrate and humectant found in the human body that cushions and lubricates skin. We are all born with a high amount of hyaluronic acid however the amount in our bodies decreases as we age, so it is good to add a little boost every day to keep those hydration levels high. Hyaluronic acid serums are a great way to add moisture to the skin as their molecules are small enough to penetrate the skins surface.
Lactic acid is a rare acid that works as a moisturiser and exfoliator at the same time. It is almost like a milder version of glycolic that’s great for smoothing the skin, whether it be on your body or your face. Because of its mildness its perfect for those with sensitive skin. It can be used to exfoliate the skin, lighten dark spots, and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
And that’s it! Make sure to incorporate these into your skincare routine for glowing, healthy and hydrated skin.