SKINCARE 102: ACIDS
Luminous skin has become the biggest trend of this spring and summer. The way to achieve this, is through the acids we will add to our routine …
Dry Skin: Hyaluronic Acid
You may have heard that dry skin and hyaluronic acid go together like bread and butter, and that’s because hyaluronic acid attracts water and thus, helps with hydration. Hyaluronic acid, a sugar that’s found in our body naturally, maintains lubrication, and boosts collagen production.
Combo Skin: Mandelic Acid
Mandelic acid is an AHA naturally occurring in bitter almonds. Yep, you read that right. It’s known for its antiseptic and brightening properties, and is best for those with dull complexions and acne-prone skin, and is deemed one of the safest options for darker skin tones. Mandelic acid has the ability to slough away the dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. In addition, it has moisturizing effects that keep the skin hydrated and soft, allowing blemishes to heal better. While there may be some redness or slight irritation following the use of mandelic acid, it’s typically better tolerated than glycolic acid.
Oily Skin: Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a BHA best known for combatting and fending off acne thanks to its antibacterial, anti-comedogenic properties. Because salicylic acid penetrates oil glands, it helps to reduce the inflammation and oiliness that’s often associated with acne. You can find salicylic acid in everything from cleansers to moisturizers to acne spot treatments. Incorporate it into your routine to clear acne-causing bacteria if you’re dealing with breakouts or if your clogged pores are in need of a deep clean.
Sensitive Skin: Lactic Acid
Lactic acid, an AHA, is derived from milk and best known for its pigment-perfecting properties. It also has collagen-building effects. Like all acids, lactic acid exfoliates by removing the upper layer of the stratum corneum to reveal brighter skin and enable better penetration of all topical products. Lactic acid is typically considered a gentle acid and rarely generates any side effects, but the usual precautions of post-acid use are of course recommended. Keep this acid in your back pocket if you have sensitive skin.
High Tolerance/ Oily Skin: Glicolic Acid
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that’s derived from sugar cane. It’s a popular choice in anti-aging skin care products because it helps promote cell turnover (aka the shedding of dead skin to reveal new skin) and collagen production. It also offers mild exfoliation on the surface of the skin. Glycolic acid is the smallest acid in size, meaning the molecule can penetrate deep into the skin. This makes it very effective at breaking down skin cells and removing dead particles. Glycolic acid also boosts collagen and elastin production, making it a great ingredient for anti-aging products.
As with any AHA, glycolic acid can increase your chances of sunburn, so be sure wear sunscreen after using a glycolic acid skin care product.
If you have severely sensitive skin, go for lactic acid — it’s a milder AHA that’s better tolerated among this skin type.
All Skin Types: Ferulic Acid
Ferulic acid is an AHA found in the cell walls of plants. It has antioxidant benefits to help neutralize free radicals in the skin that are created by sun and environmental damage. Most skin types can tolerate ferulic acid, but it’s best for photodamaged or aging skin, especially when used in combination with other antioxidants such as topical vitamin C. Store your ferulic acid skin care products in a cool area to prevent oxidization.