Health and Wellness

Top 10 Acids to include in your Skin-care routine.

The word “acid” conjures up images of bubbling test tubes and thoughts of scary chemical burns. But when used at the right concentrations, acids are actually some of the most beneficial ingredients available in skin care.

I wrote about toxic ingredients to avoid in your skin and hair products some time ago and I thought it would be helpful to continue with the series and let you in on some helpful ingredients. Link to the article:

Let me breakdown some of the most popular acids on the market.

Hyaluronic Acid

While most acids have a drying effect on the skin, hyaluronic acid actually hydrates. This acid deeply moisturizes skin while plumping and filling in fine lines and wrinkles. It is the latest buzzword in beauty technology. It is lightweight, won’t clog your pores, and is non-irritating. It is suitable for all skin types.

Salicylic Acid

This acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) whose super powers are cleansing and unclogging pores by breaking up dead skin cells and loosening up blackheads. While salicylic acid is recommended for treating oily or acne-prone skin, it’s also a great spot treatment to zap blemishes for people with normal/combination skin.

Beware though that this acid is not suitable for use in pregnancy and for those people who are allergic to aspirin due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Glycolic Acid

Derived from sugar, glycolic acid’s small molecules help to exfoliate the skin, lightening dark spots, combatting dullness of the skin, blemishes, reducing fine lines, and smoothing the skin’s texture.

This acid is from the group of AHAs [alpha hydroxy acids] and is a fantastic anti-aging agent that seems to do it all.

Lactic Acid

As the name implies, lactic acid is derived from milk, so it’s gentler on the skin than some of the other acids on this list. It is perfect for sensitive skin types who want to even out their skin tones.

Lactic acid offers all the benefits of its glycolic sister but in a gentler, less-irritating formula. It effectively softens and improves skin’s texture, while smoothing away fine lines, but with a much milder exfoliation to stimulate cell turnover.

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid, aka vitamin C, is a go-to ingredient for anyone looking to improve the health of their skin. It’s an antioxidant that can neutralize the free radicals that promote aging while reducing fine lines and brightening skin tone.

I firmly believe that this is an ingredient that you need to splurge on because any and every skin type can benefit from Vitamin C. It’s a good option for those looking for brighter skin and to stimulate collagen production.

Look for products packaged in a brown bottle because ascorbic acid degenerates when exposed to sunlight.

Kojic Acid

If you’re looking to brighten dark spots, kojic acid is an awesome natural ingredient that will help get the job done. Its good for hyperpigmented skin.

It is also a good exfoliator and can be used to remove dead skin cells. But be careful if you have sensitive skin as kojic acid can be irritating to some skin types.

Mandelic acid

Mandelic acid is another alpha-hydroxy acid, one that’s derived from bitter almonds. Like glycolic acid, it’s an exfoliating agent that’s useful for preventing acne, treating sun damage, and evening out pigmentation.

This ingredient accelerates cell turnover and will help with signs of aging and evening the skin tone. It’s anti-bacterial properties make it a good choice for treating acne, particularly for those with sensitive skin.

Retinoic Acid

Commonly found as Retinol, it is the superhero of the skincare world. These vitamin A derivatives can do everything from minimizing fine lines and wrinkles to reversing sun damage to increasing skin elasticity.

This is also an ingredient that I believe every human should splurge on. Its suitable for most skin types.

Oleic Acid

Those with dry skin will want oleic acid on their radar. It’s a moisturizing essential fatty acid that is found in animal and vegetable sources, such as olive oil. The acid has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help psoriasis, eczema and even seborrheic dermatitis (excessive scalp dandruff).

It is not a good choice for acne-prone skin.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid has been one of the mainstay treatments for fighting moderate acne for the last three decades, and is found in many prescription-only creams. It keeps pores clear, kills bacteria, and reduces inflammation.

Azelaic acid works by decreasing swelling, making it a good choice for conditions such as rosacea. It’s an anti-bacterial that is also good at unclogging pores so it can be used to treat acne as well.

These acids above are the miracle tools used to fight acne, wrinkles, age spots, scarring, and uneven skin tone. But with so many acids on the market, it can seem overwhelming to remember which to use — and for what — and which products to buy. Before all that, you have to know where to start. The question you need to ask yourself is, what do I hope to achieve or improve with my skin?

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