When you think about Acids, anti-aging and beauty does not come to mind, but it’s time to change that thinking because some Acids can be some of the most beneficial ingredients you can have in your skincare! Acids can be beneficial and sometimes a miracle ingredient for age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and acne fighting/preventing. Let’s start with the most well known Acid..
Salicylic Acid, you see this acid in lots of skincare items but do you know what this ingredient does? Salicylic Acid sheds the dead skin cells, helps reduce acne with its ability to exfoliate the skin and keep pores clear and clean. This ingredient can also be found in a higher concentrates as a peeling agent which is beneficial for sun damage and acne scarring. Next up…
Glycolic Acid, this is an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid and probably the most popular because it’s the most effective at getting deep into the skin because it’s the smallest AHA. It’s extremely effective at reducing fine lines, exfoliation of the skin, fading dark spots for even skin tone, even out texture and can also increase the volume/ thickness of the skin. Because of its exfoliation of the outermost layer of the skin, it can improve the reflection of light on to the skin. Is also found at higher concentrations for a peeling agent! This Acid can increase your skins sensitivity to the sun, tanning lamps and even lasers, even when you have not used it in a couple days for sunscreen is a must if this is going to be incorporated into your skin care!
You may not have heard much of this Acid but none the less is still a great option, especially for more sensitive skin. Mandelic Acid is an AHA but a larger molecule so this acid does not penetrate as deeply so in turn is a less irritating option and is a better option to prevent post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation in darker skin tones. This Acid is beneficial for sun damage treatment, evening out pigmentation and preventing acne. It can also help regulate the production of sebum while unclogging pores, reduce inflammation which results in fewer unwanted acne breakouts!
The “newer” more talked about, as of recent due to social media, acid is Azelaic Acid. This acid has been around for a while but is just now making headlines as a Holy Grail for acne prone skin. This acid kills bacteria, prevents acne, keeps pores clean and clear and can help reduce inflammation. This acid is a naturally occurring acid which helps the skin renew itself which can help decrease formation of acne and blackheads. This acne fighting acid can also be used as a skin-lightening agent which can fade acne pigmentation or any post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, similar but more of a mild treatment of Hydroquinone.
Lactic Acid, is a great acid but is a step down and not as popular as Glycolic Acid. Lactic acid is an exfoliating acid that works to lighten uneven pigmentation and smooth out uneven skin texture. This acid is more of a gentler option while being hydrating. Since this is a more hydrating acid this can be used for improving the signs of aging, it can stimulate collagen renewal and can help firm up the skin which in turn you will see more of the fine lines smoothing out. This Acid may not be for everyone especially those with an allergy to Lactic.
Ascorbic Acid, also known as the sister to Vitamin C. This is a great option for Anti-Aging and fighting against free radicals and at a higher concentration can be a great alternative to hydroquinone.
These are just a few of the Acids that are more known/used, all are great and effective but does not give everyone the same results/side effects. Picking the right acid for you can be tricky and some times trial and error but below I will list out what Acid is best for your concern.
- Acne prone Skin- Azeleic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid
- Mature Skin- Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Ascorbic Acid
- Pigmentation- Azeleic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Ascorbic Acid
When using your acids be sure to read directions carefully due to some acids that should not be mixed together or used together. Salicylic should be used alone and not with any other Acids. Glycolic and Lactic acid should not be used with Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) because the Ascorbic Acid will not work and not benefit your skin. Avoid using your Retinol with any AHAs.
Best Anti-Aging tip is ALWAYS wearing your SUNSCREEN!