Cheat Sheet: Every Type of Skin Care Acid, Explained

acids for skin care, explained


Ferulic acid. Hyaluronic acid Lactic acid. Salicylic acid. Sometimes it can look like we remain in chemistry class instead of searching the skin care aisle searching for an excellent serum It’s simple to presume that all acids are practically the exact same, however they’re not. And understanding the distinctions in between the acids utilized in skin care is important for targeting skin issues.

It holds true that acids prevail components in beauty items since they assist enhance skin.Dr Verm én M Verallo-Rowell, creator of VMV Hypoallergenics, discusses that skin care acids cause necrosis of cells, aka cell turnover. This triggers older cells to shed and brand-new ones to rapidly grow below, therefore enhancing the texture of skin. But various acids target particular skin care issues depending upon the molecular size of the acid and its strength. Some target fine lines and wrinkles, while others reward acne or hyperpigmentation

It might at first appear frustrating attempting to find out the distinction in between AHAs and BHAs, however it’s not needed to enter into the clinical information of each acid. As long as you can keep in mind the very best acids for your skin type and skin issues, that’s actually all that matters. (Unlike in school, there’s no test at the end.) Here are the essential information about the various skin care acids.


Ascorbic acid is an artificial variation of vitamin C that has antioxidant advantages, according to board-certified skin specialist Dr Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip It’s an excellent alternative for those searching for brighter skin and to promote collagen production. Verallo-Rowell mentions that ascorbic acid is unsteady once the container is open, indicating it will lose its effectiveness with time.

Try: Drunk Elephant C-FirmaVitamin C Day Serum, $80 at Sephora


Those with inflammation typically fear extreme skin care components like acids. There’s no requirement to be terrified of azelaic acid. Imahiyerobo-Ip states that the acid can benefit those with inflammation, rosacea and acne. It’s likewise appropriate for dealing with hyperpigmentation and melasma.

Try: The Ordinary AzelaicAcid Suspension 10%, $7.90 at TheOrdinary


Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is originated from citrus fruits, for this reason the name. It’s an antioxidant-rich acid that benefits avoiding early aging. Imahiyerobo-Ip includes that it’s likewise appropriate for acne-prone or sun-damaged skin since it exfoliates to lighten up brown areas. Concerned about it being extreme? Verallo-Rowell states that it’s moderate and less acidic than the other AHAs

Try: REN GlycolLactic Radiance Renewal Mask, $58 at Sephora


Ferulic acid is an anti-oxidant that assists battle complimentary radicals and the indications of aging. It’s generally utilized in mix with other actives like ascorbic acid, vitamin C or vitamin E. Those with delicate skin must utilize it with care. Ferulic acid is discovered in the seeds of oranges and apples and in the cell walls of plants like apples and oranges. When acquiring an item with the component, attempt to see just how much processing it has actually been through as excessive can make the acid less reliable.

Try:Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Serum Triple Correction Eye Serum, $69 at Nordstrom


Glycolic acid is a flexible AHA that can assist enhance the look of areas, scars and wrinkles while making skin more glowing. Plus, it will diminish pores. Imahiyerobo-Ip states that it is among the very best acids for aging skin.

Try: NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash, $40 at NeoStrata


Most individuals have actually most likely become aware of hyaluronic acid utilized in moisturizers That’s since it’s an excellent water-retaining hydrater, according to Verallo-Rowell It’s suitable for aging skin as it enhances the look of great lines and softens and plumps skin. Imahiyerobo-Ip recommends searching for items which contain hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to assist the item permeate skin.

Try: Skin Ceuticals Hyaluronic Acid (H.A.) Intensifier Serum, $100 at Skin Ceuticals


Lactic acid is a crucial component to keep in mind for delicate skin types. The acid exfoliates and softens great lines and wrinkles, however in a less annoying method than other acids states Imahiyerobo-Ip

Try: Kate Somerville ExfoliKateIntensive Exfoliating Treatment, $24 at Nordstrom


Mandelic acid is perfect for lightening up and lightening skin. According to Verallo-Rowell, the acid originates from grapes and has a relatively high level of acidity, however it’s less annoying than glycolic acid. It’s a typical peel component so search for it in at-home and expert peels.

Try: The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA, $6.80 at TheOrdinary


Those with dry skin will desire oleic acid on their radar. It’s a hydrating important fat that is discovered in animal and veggie sources, such as olive oil. The acid has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory residential or commercial properties that can assist psoriasis, eczema and even seborrheic dermatitis (extreme scalp dandruff), according to Imahiyerobo-Ip

Try: StriVectin Advanced Acid Repair NIA114 + Oleic Rapid Recovery Milk, $79 at Macy’s


Even those brand-new to acids will most likely have actually become aware of salicylic acid. It’s the hero acid for those with acne-prone skin since it permeates pores to minimize sebum. What’s more, it can eliminate staining and enhance complexion with time and can likewise work for dealing with rosacea. Verallo-Rowell mentions that it’s the only beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and it’s not for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or adverse aspirin. Those with darker skin tones must likewise look out since it can in some cases trigger irregular lightening or darkening of skin.

Try: Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Pore-RefiningTreatment 4% BHA, $2960 at Paula’s Choice