Expert Advice

All About the Helpful Acids in Skin Care

Posted on August 5, 2019

A quality skincare routine of products, practices, and ingredients helps maintain clear skin and a radiant complexion.

One common ingredient included in certain skincare products is actually acids.

While that sounds quite serious and can often conjure up thoughts of bubbling liquids in a lab, facial skincare acids are quite safe and highly effective in helping take care of your skin.

Here’s a guide to some of the face acids used in skincare products and how these facial acids work.

Why include acids in skincare?

The mild acids used in at-home skincare products are usually what gives them the ability to address blemishes, fight acne, reduce wrinkles and even up skin tone.

There are two main types found in skincare products: alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). Both classes of acids help exfoliate and improve the skin, but they have a different chemical structure that allows them to act differently.

AHAs are more water-soluble and work by breaking down the outer layers of older skin cells whereas BHAs are oil-soluble, allowing them to penetrate the skin more to help with congestion concerns such as blocked pores.

What types of acids improve skin health?

  1. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a common type of Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). It has an antimicrobial action and reduces follicle blockage which helps to clear out blocked or infected pores. It also has a keratolytic activity which helps to dissolve the top layer of skin cells, allowing oil, dead skin cells and bacteria to escape from under the skin. 

  1. Lactic acid

Lactic acid is a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which is derived from sour milk and grains. Lactic Acid works by loosening, softening and breaking up the thick outer layer of skin. Through this, it can smooth the skin’s texture problems including acne, fine wrinkles, pigmentation, and skin expressions. Lactic Acid also has the benefit of kick-starting your skin into its natural regeneration, stimulating collagen and the skin growth cycle. 

  1. Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is another type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which naturally occurs in sugar cane. It’s one of the most popular face acids because it has so many effective uses. Due to its small molecular structure, Glycolic Acid can penetrate the surface of your skin easily, acting as a mild exfoliant to remove dry skin cells and enhance cell turnover.

  1. Hyaluronic Acid

Also known as Hyaluronan, Hyaluronic Acid’s main function is to hold water in the intercellular matrix of dermal tissues. Through these water-retaining properties, Hyaluronic acid helps to rejuvenate the skin, improving skin elasticity thereby minimising the appearance of wrinkles.

What skincare products contain these acids?

There is a range of skincare products that contain facial acids, ranging from gentle cleansers that use acids to remove traces of dirt and makeup to chemical peels that use acids to exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing the radiant skin beneath.

Try our Skin Doctors Chemical Peel product

Our Skin Doctors gamma hydroxy™ forte is an ultra-concentrated chemical peel product, a time-released chemical peel that includes the powerful combination of Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Salicylic Acid with added Vitamin A. These three facial skincare acids deliver the healthy skin results you will see after use.

Gamma hydroxy™ forte is recommended for skin that requires deep exfoliation and resurfacing to help improve uneven, dull skins, scarring, open pores, deep lines, and wrinkles and pigmentation

Find out more about Skin Doctors gamma hydroxy™ forte.