The key to skin that looks and feels younger? Acids. Whilst they may sound terrifying, acids can actually reap a wide range of benefits for your skin. Some acids are hydrating, while others work to exfoliate or target fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. It’s all about finding the type of acid that is best suited to your skin and its needs. Read on to discover five skin-loving acids that will give you a healthier and younger-looking complexion.
In a nutshell, salicylic acid works to remove stubborn blackheads while preventing blemishes from appearing in the first place. Perhaps one of the most popular and commonly used acids (which is found in most acne cleansers and spot treatments), salicylic acid penetrates deep into your skin to break down dirt and oil as well as weaken the bonds between dead skin cells. This then paves the way for other skin care products to work more effectively.
If you’re concerned that salicylic acid might be too harsh for your sensitive skin, fear not! It contains anti-inflammatory properties that actually calm irritated skin.
If your skin is looking rather dull of late, glycolic acid may be just what your skin is craving. This acid’s molecules are the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) family, which means they’re incredibly effective at reaching deep into your pores to slough away dead skin cells and boost elasticity and collagen production.
Try: Alpha-H Liquid Gold
Unfortunately, wrinkles and fine lines are a reality we’re all going to face eventually. If you’re looking to fight their on-set head on, retinoic acid will help BIG time. However, rather than seeking out products formulated with retinoic acid specifically, reach for one with retinol instead. Both retinol and retinoic acid are members of the same vitamin A family, however, retinoic acid is a biologically active ingredient, meaning it’s very harsh on the skin. Retinol on the other hand gets naturally converted into retinoic acid in the amount the skin needs, so it’s safer and more effective.
With that being said, retinols can cause redness and flaking if you apply too much too quickly, so start slowly with just one or two applications a week and choose a product with a low retinol concentration (between 0.1 and 0.5 per cent) to begin with.
Every day your skin is exposed to a huge array of pollutants and free radicals that can accelerate the ageing process. Incorporating an antioxidant like ferulic acid into your skin care routine will block those free radicals and slow the signs of ageing.
It’s important to note that ferulic acid can be deactivated by sunlight, so make sure you look for a serum in a dark bottle and store it in a cupboard.
It doesn’t matter what skin type you have, there’s a very good chance your skin is dehydrated thanks to the constant environmental aggressors you face daily. To ensure you’re getting all the moisture your skin needs, we suggest reaching for a product enriched with hyaluronic acid. This natural acid is a moisture magnet, drawing it deep into your skin. It’s so effective it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!
Need more help getting your skin into tip-top condition? Then discover the number one skin mistake you never knew you were making.
Are acids already a part of your skin care routine? Let us know your favourite acids and acid-enriched products in the comments below.
Main image credit: @karliekloss
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.