5 Skincare Acids and their Uses


When we think of the word acid, test tubes and dangerous chemicals pop up in our heads. However, these skincare acids take a turn towards being beneficial for your skin. There are a myriad of problems, such as acne, wrinkles, scarring, and age spots.

Though there may be various products to choose from, it is difficult to know which ones work best for your skin and most efficiently, too. This is where the use of skincare acids comes in.

What are skincare acids?

When we say skincare acids, we are mainly referring to alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHA’s and BHA’s). These acids are skin care ingredients that are used for exfoliation. In controlled formulas, both acids work to loosen the fluids that bind our cells to the upper layer of our skin. This allows the dead cells to fall away and results in an increase in cell turnover. Skincare acids help reduce acne breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles, and give our skin an overall glow.

What is the difference between AHA’s and BHA’s?

AHA’s work mostly on the surface of the skin and are water soluble. They can help treat fine lines, texture, and dullness. AHA’s work by exfoliating the outer layer of skin and evening out the skin tone, stimulating collagen production, and leaving the skin brighter. BHA is able to penetrate deeply into clogged pores. In this way, it is able to treat acne. BHA is also able to bind to the pore-clogging oil and sweeps it away along with the dead cells.

Let’s look at the 5 best acids to include immediately in your skincare routine!

Glycolic Acid

This acid is derived from sugar and is among the most commonly used in skincare. Glycolic acid has the smallest molecule out of all acids which is why it is able to penetrate the skin deeper than all other acids. This acid is able to regenerate collagen, thicken the skin, and even out the skin tone. Although, there is a catch. Glycolic acid penetrates so deeply, that its intense exfoliation could cause irritation in some cases.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in many products that aim to reduce breakouts of acne. This acid is known for penetrating the skin and dissolving the pore-clogging oil as it exfoliates away the dead skin. Another plus point of salicylic acid is that it manages to do all this and keep your skin healthy without causing irritation on inflamed skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is gentler as compared to glycolic acid as it has a smaller molecule size. It is a hydrating agent and draws moisture quickly to extremely dry skin. This alpha hydroxy acid is highly recommended for people with sensitive skin as it is created from sugar or fermented milk.

Fruit Acids

An even gentler alpha hydroxy acid, fruit acids are larger compounds, like citric acid and malic acid. Fruit acids work on the uppermost layer of the skin and are often combined with other alpha hydroxy acids to help boost their efficiency.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in various cosmetic products. Though it is technically an acid with a pH that is lower than neutral, it is actually a humectant that is renowned for its hydrating properties. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule. This compound is able to absorb upto 1000 times its own weight in water and aids in trapping moisture against the surface of the skin to keep it moisturized. This results in a reduction of lines and wrinkles, moisturized skin, and soft looking skin.

All in all, skincare acids are beneficial ingredients that can be added to your skincare routine to give it that youthful luster. These acids are the extra care you can give your skin to keep it nourished, cleansed, and moisturized.