Tired of looking confused in the skincare aisle when you’re searching for solutions to your skin problems? The ingredient lists are daunting, with long words and chemicals that you may have never heard of before. Acids are a popular source of confusion for beauty enthusiasts, but it doesn’t have to continue being a complex process with this short guide to find the best acid for your skin routine.
Excessive oil in skin is a tough battle, products often have the tendency to be too harsh or cause breakouts. Azelaic acid is soothing on skin and helps prevent breakouts and the buildup of acne-causing bacteria. Salicylic acid is the most widely known treatment used on skin, as it prevents acne and blemishes by breaking down oil that clogs pores. It is the only acid that is oil soluble. It is also the only beta hydroxy acid (BHA).
Dry skin can leave you feeling tight throughout the day, and it’s hard to find an exfoliating product that will not irritate the skin. There are a couple I recommend. Lactic acid is extremely hydrating. I would not use this if you are already irritated but just dry and flake, it will definitely improve that while building collagen and stimulating cell turnover. Ascorbic acid evens out and brightens skin, it also repairs damage and reduces signs of aging. Hyaluronic acid is super hydrating, making it the perfect acid for dry and flaky skin. If you need something more on the gentle side lactic acid is naturally occurring, and it is often praised for its skin balancing and moisturizing properties.
When you don’t fit the category for oily or dry finding a good product that works for your face is a lot of trial and error. AHA exfoliants penetrate deeply and shed dead and dry skin while leaving it feeling more hydrated than before. Linoleic acid helps maintain clean pores to reduce acne and dry areas without upsetting areas prone to oil buildup. Malic acid also exfoliates and adds moisture, but it can also help with hyperpigmentation in skin. You can use glycolic acid on combination skin but you will have to test for your own sensitivity to it because it can be a little harsh.
Normal skin is skin that isn’t prone to excessive oiliness or dryness. The pores are small, and blemishes appear minimally. People with a normal skin type can pretty much use any acid on the market and can blend acids of their choice. Citric acid is particularly beneficial for normal skin, as it is gentle and covers every basic need for the skin. It gets rid of dead skin, balances complexion, and promotes healthy cell growth. As with combination skin, same is true for glycolic.
If you deal with sensitivity, PHAs are the solution for your skin. Polyhydroxy acids stick to the skin and calm irritation. They contain antioxidants to clean and moisturize the skin without causing any damage. PHAs allow people with sensitive skin to exfoliate, cleanse, and moisturize their skin.
Don’t waste money on a product that isn’t going to work for your skin type. Use this guide to choose the best acid for your skin. Ramp up your beauty routine by giving your skin the hydration and exfoliation it needs to look and feel healthy.