Different face acids and how to use them

Who has gone to the beauty counter and left completely confused by the different sound bite words, specifically skin care acids and felt like they had questions marks floating over their head? You're not alone, and we’re here to break down several commonly referred to skin care acids to take the guess work out

Hyaluronic, lactic, glycolic, salicylic: AHA vs BHA – it feels like there is an infinite number of different acids for skin and so can feel hard to know which you should use.

Hyaluronic acid

Known for its incredible ability to hold over 1,000 times its own weight in water. A substance that’s naturally present in the body (particularly the eyes and joints), it’s also humectant, also draws moisture to the skin from the environment.

Hyaluronic acid serums are one of the most popular methods of hydrating the skin, and the plumping effect makes it a great anti-ager. It’s also used in non-permanent lip fillers.

Glycolic acid

An alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), glycolic acid is one of the two most popular chemical exfoliants used in peels and toners.

Glycolic acid is one of the smallest molecules of the alpha-hydroxy acid family, meaning it is water soluble and penetrates deeply into the skin.

Sensitive skin types may find this one a bit irritating or harsh on the skin, so always introduce it into your regime gradually and in a small concentration first.

Lactic acid

Lactic acid is one of the larger molecules of the alpha-hydroxy acid family, equally water-soluable but it stays more on the outer layers of the skin. Staying on the outer layers of the skin, it unglues dead cells to reveal brighter, more even skin as well as provide additional moisture to the outer skin layers.

It’s suitable for all skin types who want brighter, more even and hydrated skin. This lactic acid should be one of the FIRST exfoliating acid people go to if they are more sensitive or cautiousabout exfoliating.

Salicylic acid

It has been around for a long time. It’s well-known for its ability to exfoliate the skin and keep pores clear, which helps reduce acne. You’ll find it in serums and cleansers at concentrations between 0.5 and 2 percent, as well as in spot treatments for breakouts.

Salicylic acid is also used in higher concentrations as a peeling agent for treating acne, acne scars, sun damage, and age spots in dermatology clinics.