While acid may conjure up images of laboratories and make you worry about chemical burns, certain acids can actually be incredibly beneficial for your skin. Facial acids are found in natural sources, such as milk and fruit. They can help with a wide range of skincare concerns, from acne to texture to pigmentation and more. Most facial acids are safe to use at home, while others are better applied by a professional.
The world of facial acids can be a confusing one, especially to the uninitiated. Even to those who regularly use acids in their daily routine, trying out new acids or figuring out which ones are best for you can be tricky.
Here’s a basic overview of popular types of facial acids and what you use them for. If you need help determining what acids are best for your skin type, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist. That way, you can avoid wasting money on products with acids that aren’t well-suited to your skincare needs.
Acids: Not A Newfangled Skincare Trend
With how quickly trends come and go, it would be easy to assume that acids are just that: a trend. However, people all over the world have been using acids to beautify their skin. Cleopatra took milk baths, which have lactic acid.
Dermatologists use facial acids and can recommend the right types of acids for your skin. There’s nothing to reassure you that something is legitimate like the fact that licensed professionals and extensive research back it up.
The Two Main Groups Of Acids In Skincare
There are two main groups of acids: AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids). Popular types of face acids fall under either category.
AHAs are water-soluble acids. This means that they work best for the outer layer of your skin. These types of acids typically help with skin tone and texture.
BHAs penetrate deeper into your skin than AHAs. These bind to oil, which helps with clogged pores.
Common Types Of Facial Acids And What To Use Them For
There are many different types of acids out there. Depending on your skin type and needs, certain acids will work better for you than others. Here, we’ll go over some of the most common types of acids and what skincare concerns they’re best suited for.
If you’ve ever purchased an acne treatment, you’ve likely already used salicylic acid before. This is a BHA that works wonders for breakouts, as well as for minimizing large pores. This is because it has anti-inflammatory properties that exfoliate dead skin cells that can clog your pores.
Another BHA, hyaluronic acid is famed for its moisturizing abilities. Rather than dissolving dead skin cells, hyaluronic acid lubricates the skin. It’s the type of acid that we’re born with and that gradually decreases as we age – hence why it’s found in so many moisturizers and fillers, like Juvederm.
You know how we mentioned lactic acid and Cleopatra? Lactic acid is a type of AHA that helps to moisturize your skin and improve its texture. This is a type of exfoliating acid that can be gentle enough for people with sensitive skin, depending on the percentage. This is excellent for anti-aging.
Also known as vitamin C, ascorbic acid is wonderful for brightening your skin tone and for anti-aging purposes. It can also help with pigmentation and to protect your skin from irritants, like pollution in the air.
PHAs (polyhydroxy acids)
These are a second-generation version of AHAs. PHAs are chemical exfoliants, which help with skin smoothness and texture. Many PHAs are gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin. The difference between PHAs and AHAs is that PHAs have a larger molecule, which means that they don’t penetrate as deeply as an AHA does.
How Do You Know What Facial Acids Are Right For You?
Ask a dermatologist! Many people end up wasting a significant amount of money trying out all these different skincare products with all of these different acids. Many of these acids may not be suited to your specific needs and end up irritating your skin. A dermatologist will be able to advise you on the ideal types of acids and what strength you should choose for your skin.
Not all facial acids are suitable for home use. If you’ve looked at chemical peels online, you can see just that, as many people report having gotten a chemical burn from trying to DIY a chemical peel. If you would like a more intensive treatment, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a professional to keep your skin protected.
Intermountain Aesthetics can provide you with advice on the best types of facial acids for your skin. We also offer skincare services, such as chemical peels and facials, to beautify your skin. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment!