Beauty Products 101: Skin Acids
To the uninitiated, the idea of applying acid to your face in order to maintain one’s beauty is a pretty startling one. That reaction is easy to understand; acid is primarily The Bad Guy when it’s discussed, a substance so potent it can burn and harm human skin with only a few seconds of contact.
Sure, there are Bad Acids. As you’d expect, they’re not great for you, and should be avoided at all costs. However, there are also Good Acids, the superheroes of the acid world who want to do nothing but good– and they are an essential ingredient in your quest for beautiful skin.
One of the major plus points of these acids is that they are relatively inexpensive but incredibly effective. Brands like The Ordinary are now producing low-cost/high-impact beauty products that will give you the skin you’ve always dreamed of, but without the need to empty your checking account.
So, if you want to take advantage of all the beauty benefits of acids, you need to know which Good Acid is going to be right for you. So, without further ado…
- One of the most common acids, often used in cleansers.
- Reduces fine lines, helps with hyperpigmentation, and exfoliates the skin to help improve texture.
- One of the harsher Good Acids; if you have sensitive skin, glycolic acid is likely to irritate it.
- However, if you can tolerate it, glycolic acid is extremely effective.
- From the same family as glycolic acid…
- … but far less abrasive. If you have sensitive skin and want all the benefits of glycolic acid but without the pain, then lactic is the next best choice.
- Is a humectant, making it a good choice if you suffer from dry skin issues.
- From the same family as glycolic and lactic acid
- The least ‘damaging’ in this family, but also the least effective
- Takes longer for use to become obvious on the skin
- Best used by those with skin conditions such as rosacea
- Some studies have suggested mandelic acid can increase collagen production, making it a good choice if you’re concerned about the early signs of aging.
- A great choice for acne-prone skin.
- More abrasive than the first three acids, but also extremely effective at helping banish acne and decrease pore size.
- Can be irritating, so if you decide to use it, build up slowly and give your skin time to recover between treatments.
- While salicylic acid has some benefits for aging-related issues, if this is your only concern, then it may be best to choose one of the first three.
Finally, a few pointers to remember about Good Acids:
- All of the aforementioned acids can increase the risk of sun damage to your skin, so ensure you’ve invested in a good SPF and use it everyday without fail.
- Choose one acid at a time; you’ll want to be able to know which acid is responsible if you experience irritation.
- Acids are generally safe and effective, provided you follow the usage instructions to the letter.
So, do you think you might be willing to give Good Acids a go in the future?