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Are Face Acids Good for Skin? Here’s Your Handy-Guide on Skincare Acids

Face acids have been the latest trend in skincare! And while a lot of people have been embracing it openly, there are others who don’t seem to be quite convinced about its benefits. However, face acids might be one of the most effective components in skincare when applied in the appropriate amounts. They're the wonder products that can help with acne, wrinkles, age spots, scars, and uneven skin tone. But, with so many acids available, it can be difficult to remember which to use and for what. Let’s dive into this article to get a better understanding.

Woman Using Face Serums

What Are Face Acids?

Face acids are chemicals that are frequently used for exfoliating. These skincare acids can be classified into two groups, Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). These acids release the fluid that attaches cells to the top layers of skin in regulated amounts, allowing dead cells to slip away. This increase in cell turnover helps to reduce breakouts, smooth fine wrinkles, and brighten the skin overall. This shedding may be apparent to the human eye, depending on the acid's severity.

There are numerous acids with varying skin advantages under these two groups — AHAs and BHAs. Let’s discuss!

What Are The Different Types Of Acids Used For Skincare?

Types of AHAs

  • Glycolic Acid:

    One of the best acids for skin and most frequently used in cosmetics is glycolic acid, which is generated from sugar. Because it possesses the smallest molecule of all the acids, it penetrates deeply, making it one of the most powerful acids accessible.
    Benefits of glycolic acid for skin include thickening of the skin, regeneration of collagen, and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. It has a larger potential of causing irritation since it penetrates so deeply and resulting in a more severe exfoliation. Now that you know the benefits of glycolic acid for skin, would you be happy to give it a try?

  • Lactic Acid:

    Lactic acid is the smallest of all the acids in terms of molecular size. It's a moisturising ingredient that's milder than glycolic and pulls moisture to the skin. This AHA, which is made from sugar or fermented milk, is mild enough for persons with sensitive skin.

  • Fruit Acids:

    Fruit acids like citric (found in apples), malic (found in citrus fruits) and tartaric (found in grapes), are much milder. These more prominent chemicals function on the skin's top layer and are frequently coupled with glycolic or lactic acids to increase their efficacy. Here’s a list of the
    best fruits for hair and skin care.

  • Mandelic Acid:

    It’s a compound found in bitter almonds. The main benefits of mandelic acid for skin are acne treatment, treat hyperpigmentation, and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s gentle on the skin, promotes collagen production and accelerates cell turnover.
Woman Choosing Face Acid

Types of BHAs

  • Salicylic Acid:

    Have you wondered what are the benefits of salicylic acid for skin? Let’s answer that here! One of the most common substances for preventing acne is salicylic acid. One of the main benefits of salicylic acid for skin is that it penetrates and dissolves the oil that clogs pores while simultaneously exfoliating dead skin cells, it's a great approach to clear your skin. Even better, because it contains anti-inflammatory characteristics, it works without aggravating already irritated skin. Knowing the benefits of salicylic acid for skin, would you love to give it a try? Think about it! 

  • Hyaluronic Acid:

    This sugar molecule can absorb 1,000 times its own weight in water and aids in the trapping of moisture against the skin's surface. This type of water retention causes the tissue to plump up and keeps moisture from fleeing the skin, which can help erase wrinkles.

  • Azelaic Acid

    Neither an AHA nor a BHA, azelaic acid is made by a yeast that grows naturally on our skin and provides a wide range of skincare advantages. Benefits of azelaic acid for skin include removal of acne, smoothening of bumps and lumps on the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and it also helps with pigmentation.

Which Face Acids Are Suitable For You?

If you have acne or oily skin, the best option is to use BHAs.  An important benefit of Salicylic acid for skin is that it lessens the number of acne lesions and their severity. If you have dry or sensitive skin, lactic acid, one of the gentlest and most moisturising acids, is the greatest AHA for these issues.

If you have pigmentation, both AHAs and BHAs will assist, but BHAs are the greatest option—especially if your skin is darker. They won't cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a danger for many ethnicities, unlike AHAs. Because BHAs also provide some photoprotection, you'll be less likely to produce new pigment.

If you have wrinkles, Glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids have all been found to alter the dermal thickness and the depth/number of fine lines and wrinkles. However, we recommend using natural and Ayurvedic skincare and haircare products from Coco Soul, that are formulated with nature-based ingredients like Neem, Gotukola, and Coconut to enrich your skin without the need of topical acids that may cause irritation or other side effects. All our skincare products are toxin-free and gentle, made for every skin type. Learn more about which skincare ingredients you should avoid here.

How To Use Face Acids And Things To Keep In Mind

To begin, try the formula on your inner arm and wait 24 to 48 hours to see whether a reaction occurs. If you're not allergic to the acid, you can try putting it on your face. While little stinging isn't a cause for alarm, any unpleasant burning feelings are. Once you've found an acid-based cream, serum, or mask you like, try it out once or twice a week to see how your skin reacts. You can then increase your use. Don't forget about the places beneath your neck. Extend your AHA face cream a few inches south to treat a blotchy chest. Apply a salicylic acid body wash to get rid of back acne, or use an acid solution on the backs of your hands, which typically show indications of age.

Pro Tips

  1. Salicylic acid should never be combined with another acid. When these ingredients are combined, severe skin irritation might ensue.
  2. When using niacinamide-containing products, stay away from salicylic acid.
  3. Glycolic or lactic acid should not be used with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The benefits of ascorbic acid will be lost even before they begin to function.
  4. When taking retinol, avoid utilising AHAs.
  5. Irrespective of how, where or which acid you apply, don’t forget to coat that area with generous amounts of SPF because your skin is still extra-sensitive the next day.
  6. It’s suggested not to combine AHAs and BHAs as the combination may harm your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which face acids should you not use together?

    It can be risky to mix face acids. Acids when mixed can react differently and cause irritation. One combination to avoid is salicylic acid with products that contain niacinamide.

  2. Which acid is good for glowing skin?

    Glycolic acid is the most popular alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) used in skincare products to give you a lasting glow. 


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