“Acids? Is this woman insane?” This is either your first thought or you already know something about the topic. Either way, welcome to the generous world of acids! They are carefully-chosen ingredients in some of the most effective beauty products available. They are truly one of the best ways to nourish, hydrate and heal your skin in many different ways. And I am here to help you pick the best one for you!
Salicylic acid for acne-prone skin
If you’ve ever purchased a facial wash, or a mask, you’ve likely already been introduced to this particular beta hydroxy acid (meaning it’s primarily attracted to oil). Commonly found in willow bark, it’s used as a potent acne-fighter, and one of the most frequently used ingredients in powerful exfoliating mixtures.
One of its main perks is its ability to penetrate deep into your skin, unlike some other acids, and cleanse your pores thoroughly, lessening the redness and irritation associated with acne, blackheads and similar skin impurities. In case you have oily or normal skin, with pimples, zits and similar pesky beasts, this is the acid that can help you purify your skin!
Glycolic acid for a youthful glow
Apparently, it’s never too early to start caring for your natural radiance, the one we associate with youth, or that post-exercise glow we so cherish and adore. And the perfect ally in maintaining and boosting that quality of your skin is glycolic acid, of the alpha hydroxy type (meaning it’s primarily attracted to water) found in sugar cane. It’s also the kind most often prescribed to acid newbies, but the percentage also matters, as it can be harsh on sensitive skin if not diluted properly.
With a great potency to stimulate the production of collagen, glycolic acid is the perfect solution to fighting fine lines, wrinkles and other age-related skin issues. It’s incredible for combination and oily skin, but even sensitive skin types can use it in smaller percentages, and upon your dermatologist’s approval.
Hyaluronic acid for daily refreshment
The absolute queen of skin hydration, and a mighty adversary to dryness and coarse skin, naturally-derived hyaluronic acid not only already exists in your skin, but truly is an asset to any beauty routine, whether in your moisturizer, or your serum. Mature, sun-damaged or otherwise dry skin will appreciate this acid in particular, although it can be beneficial for all skin types.
Ladies who are looking to boost their anti-ageing routine will definetly benefit of this substance our skin naturally produce. Even as a preventative ingredient, it can help your skin greet your forties and fifties with better tone, freshness and resilience.
Polyhydroxy acids for soothing
Although these acids function similarly to those that belong to the group of alpha hydroxy acids (such as the previously mentioned glycolic), polyhydroxy acids have larger molecules, making them ideal for sensitive skin. They will serve the same cleansing, exfoliating purposes, but without causing irritations, on the contrary!
For instance, lactobionic acid belongs to this batch, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s perfect for soothing your skin. Others, such as galactose, can help your skin heal more effectively. They can be used to fight signs of ageing in a gentler way, and even help those who suffer from eczema or psoriasis. They might be able to use these acids to help repair their skin and lessen the irritation.
Citric acid for a bright complexion
As you can easily deduce from its name, citric acid is derived from citrusy fruits, and it’s most commonly used as a gentle exfoliator for those with normal or combination skin. It serves by helping your skin shed those superficial dead skin cells and buildup of other substances, thus bringing out your natural rosy glow.
If you’re not struggling with skin sensitivity, you’ll likely benefit from using a daily cleanser with this acid. It will also help those who have an uneven skin tone, giving you a balanced complexion and battling discoloration or other pigmentation issues.
Sophia Smith is beauty and style blogger, an eco-lifestyle lover, graphic designer and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about natural skincare, minimalist wardrobe, yoga and mindful living. Sophia writes mostly about beauty-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Eco Warrior Princess, Just Haves, How to Simplify and Carousel.