The fact that applying acid directly to the face might initially sound insane! While there are other relatively delicate ingredients trending nowadays such as coconut, marula and organ oils, however, we should be familiarized with the wide array of acids that can transform and elevate our beauty needs..
From oily skin to dry, acne-prone to sensitive or dark-spotted, and whether you pick up your acids OTC, or you simply choose to give in to expert advice, you should first get to know what each of the 15 most popular acids does and whether it suits your complexion needs or not..
1 || Hyaluronic Acid
While you might think peels and exfoliants when it comes to acids, hyaluronic acid is actually a potent moisturizing aid.. It is in fact the most popular acid nowadays and it’s famous for helping your skin attract and retain moisture, it is included in many anti aging products as it helps to strengthen the barrier of the skin so that its softer, smoother and appears more plump. Hyaluronic acidis considered a booster for skin vitality and vibrance. An additional note; not only can you enjoy the bliss of it in creams and serums, now it is found in gummy supplements and can be taken orally!Proven to plump, smooth, and hydrate skin with regular usage.
2 || Glycolic Acid
Derived from sugarcane, glycolic acid contains the smallest molecules of the AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) that help to exfoliate the skin, lightening dark spots, reducing fine lines and smoothing the skin’s texture. The easy penetration of this acid makes it the go-to acid when it comes to wrinkles and acne, oiliness or dullness.. Forget abrasive scrubs, this gentle acid dissolves dead skin and works miracles!
3 || Salicylic Acid
Found in many acne controlling products, salicyclic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is derived from willow bark. Known to loosen dead skin cells and cleaning out clogged pores, salicylic acid is an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, and an exfoliater. However, it also can be a little harsh on dry skin so it’s best for those with an oily complexion or as an on-the-spot product to control breakouts. Commonly found in spot gel, face wash, peels, creams, pads, etc. There are also foundations and concealers that contain salicylic acid which can reduce shine and treat acne throughout the day.
4 || Lactic Acid
A more gentle exfoliator when compared to glycol acid, lactic acid is another exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid. As the name implies, it’s derived from milk so it has a moisturizing element that the other exfoliating acids lack, perfect for those with sensitive skin who are still looking to reduce hyperpigmentation and reducing fine lines.
5 || Retinoic Acid
Best when medically prescribed by your dermatologist to target your skin needs, retinoids are considered superheros of the skin care world. These vitamin A derivatives can do everything from minimizing fine lines and wrinkles to reversing sun damage to increasing skin elasticity.
6 || Mandelic Acid
Perfect for sensitive skin, why? Because the large molecules of mandelic acid allow it to penetrate skin more slowly and gently than other alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid. This ingredient accelerates cell turnover and will help with signs of aging and evening the skin tone. Mandelic acid’s anti-bacterial properties make it a good choice for treating acne as well.
7 || Ascorbic Acid
The super antioxidant when it comes to popular acids, ascorbic acid, aka vitamin C, is a go-to ingredient for anyone looking to improve the health of their skin. It neutralizes the free radicals that promote aging while reducing fine lines and brightening skin tone. It’s an acid that suits all skin types, so each and everyone of us can benefit from its potent properties, always go for ascorbic acids that are packaged in brown bottles as it tends to degenerate with sun exposure..
8 || Tartaric Acid
Derived from grapes, tartaric acid is good for exfoliating skin and stimulating collagen production. Skin will have less lines and wrinkles and look firmer as a result.. Tartaric acid is the reason behind the wine’s tart taste. If you’re trying to smooth out the texture of your skin, then tartaric acid is for you!
9 || Azelaic Acid
If you suffer from inflammation and redness or rosacea, then azelaic acid is for you, it’s an acne fighting and anti-bacterial type of acid found in many prescriptions.. It decreases swelling and of course unclogs pores!
10 || Oleic Acid
Known to be the most abundant fatty acid found in human tissue. Oleic acid is great for moisturizing and soothing skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis by creating an extremely moisturizing seal.Almond oil and olive oil are the most common sources. The lowdown though is it may promote the formation of acne so it’s not a good choice for acne-prone individuals.
11 || Linoleic Acid
Linoleic acid is an omega-6 acid that has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Linoleic acid is sort of oleic acid lite. It’s also a fatty acid in oils but it creates a much lighter consistency, so it’s better for people with oily or acne prone skin. These oils include passion fruit (maracuja), grapeseed, and seabuckthorn oil.
12 || Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is derived from mushrooms. It is a powerful skin lightening agent as it decreases melanin production,and therefore is very effective for treating hyperpigmentation, considered a good exfoliator and can be used to remove dead skin cells. But be careful if you have sensitive skin as kojic acid can be irritating to some skin types.
13 || Lipoic Acid
Lipoic acid helps to repair and regenerate skin cells, making your skin look younger and firmer. It can reduce puffiness around the eyes and the face area, even skin tone, and decrease pore size. It is both fat and water soluble and known to be the ‘Glow’ acid!
14 || Malic Acid
Commonly found in many fruits, such as apples, this alpha hydroxy acid helps shrink pore size, diminish the appearance of fine lines, exfoliate the skin to improve tone and texture, and also will help with hyperpigmentation.
15 || Ferulic Acid
Found naturally in the seeds of fruits such as apples and oranges, as well as in certain nuts and grains, such as rice, wheat, peanuts and soybeans, ferulic acid is an anti-aging ingredient that can help prevent and reverse sun damage and wrinkles. It’s not great for those with sensitive skin or for those with allergies to foods containing ferulic acid.