skincare-acid-guide-the-ordinary-hyaluronic-acid image via: @thecookiecorner on Instagram

Skincare Acids Guide: How to Find The Best Skincare Acid for Your Skin Type

The term ‘Acid‘ in general sounds scary so it natural to feel confused and sceptical when it comes to using acids as part of your skincare routine. But not all acids are as scary as they sound and when the right acid is used for the right skin type to address a specific concern it can do wonders.

Whether you are new to the acid wonderland or an acid pro, we are breaking down the top most common acids.

Why Use Acids

Acids are powerful and potent ingredients that speed up the process of ‘Skin Turnover’Turnover is the term used to describe the constant shedding of dead skin cells and subsequent replacement with new and younger cells. In basic words, acids speed up the process of you getting newer, glowy and healthier skin as opposed to the natural process that can take quite some time. So if you are struggling to get rid of dead skin cells and patience is not a virtue you possess,then acids are your new knight in shining armour.

Disclaimer – Please do a patch test if you are using any acid for the first time.

AHA’s & BHA’s 

Growing up we all have seen Garnier advertisement on the television where they talk about “aa-ha-s” and “baa-ha-s” (don’t even try and deny that you have never pronounced AHAs & BHAs like this). But it wasn’t until a few years back they became more commercial in skincare products.

Most acids are either AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) or BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). Neither acid is better than the other necessarily; they just target different needs. While AHA works on surface-level only, BHA penetrates deep into the skin. Some products also use a cocktail of acids like the Cosrx Clarifying Toner.

Hyaluronic Acid

You might not realize it but you might have already used hyaluronic acid is some form or the other before. Yup, sheet masks, moisturizers and even foundations have hyaluronic acid as a key competent because of its ability to penetrate deep layers of the skin and lock in moisture. Hyaluronic acid can be used by any age and any skin type and is one of the gentlest acids out there. How a dry sponge when immersed in water springs back to life, is exactly what happens to the skin when hyaluronic acid is regularly applied to it.

Also known as: Your Skin BFF

Works best for: Dry & Dehydrated Skin, Normal, Oily, Combination, Sensitive and Complicated Skin

Target: Skin Dehydration, Dry Patches, Dullness, Fine lines and Ageing

How to use: Look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid for a basic start and then advance to hyaluronic acid serums.

When to use: AM & PM both

Loved products: Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and Smashbox Studio Skin Full Coverage 24 Hour Foundation

Be careful: Hyaluronic acid is considered one of the safest acids when used appropriately. Also it one of the few acids that can be layered with any other acid. Rarely may it cause allergic reactions.

ORDINARY-Hydration-Support-Formula-Hyaluronic

Salicylic Acid

If you ever have had acne or dandruff chances are you have heard about salicylic acid (if you’ve never had either, how does it feel to be god’s favourite?). Salicylic acid basically dries up acne and sheds the flakiness from the dried acne spot. Over time it also helps to reduce the blemishes, scarring and marks left by a pimple. It also works well as an exfoliant and helps get rid of build-up in the pores.

Also known as: Your answer to acne problems

Works best for: Normal, Oily, Sensitive and Combination Skin

Targets: Acne, Pimples. Breakouts, Blackheads and Whiteheads, Clogged Pores, Excessive Oiliness

How to use: Start with a spot treatment on breakouts. You can opt for a face wash, toners, moisturizers and serums when your skin gets used to salicylic acid.

When to use: AM & PM both but follow up with a sunscreen when used in the AM as it increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun (salicylic acid is a BHA) that might cause sunburn or an allergic reaction.

Loved products: Innisfree Bija Trouble Gel Cream, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser, The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, Glamglow Spertoner Exfoliating Acid Solution Toner

Be careful: Too much salicylic acid can dry out the skin.

skincare-acid-salicylic-Innisfree-Bija-Trouble-Ounce-Millier

Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid despite being an all-rounder acid is relatively less seen on beauty shelves. Mandelic acid is a gentle exfoliator that supercharges and brightens the skin by targeting uneven texture, pigmentation and dark spot. The key competent of mandelic acid is patience as it takes time to penetrate the skin and shows desired results over time.

Also known as: Darkhorse of acids

Works best for: Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, Sensitive and Complicated Skin

Targets: Acne, Dull Skin, Dead Skin Build Up, Clogged Pores, Un-Even Skin Texture, Pigmentation, Fine lines and Ageing

How to use: The best way to use mandelic acid is in the form of a toner in small doses and then scale up by incorporating other products with mandelic acid.

When to use: AM & PM both but follow up with a sunscreen when used in AM as it increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun (mandelic acid is an AHA) that might cause sunburn or an allergic reaction.

Loved productsBy Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water, Glamglow Supermud Charcoal Instant Treatment Mask and The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Be careful: Too much mandelic acid can cause irritation and increase oil production.

skincare-acid-mandelic-5-skin-prep-water

Glycolic Acid

A personal favourite, glycolic acid is the most common type of AHA extracted from Sugarcane. Similar to mandelic acid, Glycolic acid brightens the skin by targeting uneven texture, pigmentation and dark spots but also works to minimize the appearance of pores. However, because of its smaller molecular structure, it’s way more potent than mandelic acid and penetrates the skin quickly to reveal instantly glowing skin. If patience is not your best friend then its time to add glycolic acid to your beauty regime.

Also known as: Superstar acid

Works best for: Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination and Complicated Skin

Targets: Dull Skin, Clogged Pores, Enlarged Pores, Un-Even Skin Texture, Pigmentation, Fine lines and Ageing

How to use: Honestly you can use any product with glycolic acid be it a cleanser, toner, mask, peels or serum. Just patch test before.

When to use: Ideally PM as it increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Loved products: Pixie by Petra’s Glow Range, Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Essence and Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum

Be careful: Avoid using it with Retinol.

Skincare-Glycolic-Acid- Pixi-Glow-Tonic-Aloe-Ginseng

Ascorbic Acid

Call it Ascorbic acid, L-Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, this acid is winning the acid game. Probably because it’s full of antioxidants that boost collagen (a protein naturally found in the body that gives strength and structure), brightens the skin and has the ability reduce hyperpigmentation and reverse the damage caused by UV rays.

Also known as: Holy grail

Works best for: Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, Sensitive and Complicated Skin

Targets: Dull Skin, Un-Even Skin Tone, Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation

How to use: AM & PM both but definitely AM when UV radiation is at its highest. You can incorporate vitamin C in the form of cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliants, serums, peels and even sunscreens.

Loved products: Clinique Fresh Pressed Pure Vitamin C Powder, Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, Ole Henriksen C-Rush™ Vitamin C Gel Moisturizer and Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Vitamin C Day Serum

Be careful: Avoid using it with Retinol or vitamin A based products or use alternatively. Also, proper storage is key to the long shelf life of a vitamin C product. If you are using a vitamin C serum then make sure it’s transparent or opaque. If it turns yellow or brown it’s going to be pretty much ineffective.

Skincare-Ascorbic-Acid-VitaminC-Drunk-Elephant-Brightening-Tightening

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is the new baby in the acid wonderland. Lactic acid is an AHA with larger molecules which means it takes time to penetrate the skin and works well for people with sensitive skin. This extremely gentle yet effective acid helps brighten the skin and make it smooth by reducing acne, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, and holding moisture. Basically, if you are absolutely new to acids and have sensitive skin you should start with lactic acid.

Also known as: Sensitive skin supporter

Works best for: Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, Sensitive and Complicated Skin

Targets: Acne, Un-Even Skin Texture, Dark Spots, Wrinkles and Dry Skin

How to use: Either AM or PM, once a day, a few times a week. Lactic acid is mostly available in the form of toners, exfoliants, serums and peels.

Loved products: Mamonde Rose Water Toner, Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, Biossance Squalane + 10% Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Be careful: Avoid using it with Retinol or vitamin A based products or use alternatively. Use sparsely few times over a week as an overdose can cause inflammation

Skincare-Lactic-Acid-Mamonde-Facial-Organic-Damask-Rosewater-Toner

Do you use skincare acids? Which one and for what skin concern? Do Share in the comments below

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