A Comprehensive Guide to Face Acids
by Blake Cooley on Oct 08, 2020
In recent years, many have been using new products to help their skin stay soft and younger like never before. These are “acid” products, a term which sounds dangerous at first glance but is actually based on the chemicals found within the face creams. Many of these acid-based skin cleansers are incredibly powerful, acting fast and consistently to keep skin stay glowing and radiant.
These products are catching fire because of their fantastic ability to fight acne, wrinkles, aging, and correct skin tone. With the newfound efficacy of these cleansers, the market is more crowded than ever. Here’s everything you need to know about acid-based skin cleansers.
Probably the best known widely used acid at this point, salicylic acid has been used for decades to exfoliate skin and keep pores fresh and clear of dirt and oily residue. It greatly helps to reduce acne and aids in preventing the wrinkling and aging of skin. It’s most commonly found in serums and cleansers in concentrations of anywhere between point five and two percent.
It’s also commonly found in spot treatments which are used to treat specific areas of the skin when breakouts occur. For those who need more thorough and intensive products, to remove acne scars, melasma, or to treat sun damage, they’ll use products with a larger concentration of salicylic acid. On top of clearing skin conditions, it’s also a mild anti-inflammatory, which is great for overall health.
Not as popular as salicylic acid, glycolic nevertheless is great if you need an anti-aging cream. The chemical is derived from sugar cane and is also the smallest of the “alpha-hydroxy acids” meaning it’s the most effective skin-care product possible for getting deep into the skin. It’s most known for it’s anti-aging properties, but it also keeps skin moist and goes a long way in preventing acne and dry skin, as well as exfoliating skin to reduce fine lines, helping to fade dark spots, increasing skin thickness, and evening out skin tone.
Glycolic acid shows up frequently in products in a concentration below ten percent. It can be combined with microdermabrasion or microneedling to treat acne and enhance discolored pigmentation. Although it’s incredibly effective, the use of glycolic acid increase sensitivity of the skin to the sun, so it’s best to use it tandem with sunscreen to prevent sun damage.
Another alpha-hydroxy acid, mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds. It’s a great exfoliating agent and is often used in an effort to prevent acne, treat sun damage, and even out pigmentation. Because of the subatomic structure of mandelic, the acid is less irritating than many other acid-based products, including glycolic acid.
This is because it can’t penetrate as deeply into the skin; this is also the reason why it’s recommended more for skin peels – particularly ethnic skin – than glycolic acid. The skin is less prone to “rebound pigmentation” when treated with mandelic acid. Rebound pigmentation happens when skin cream is used in excess. Your skin rejects the substance, and it can actually have the opposite intended effect of the cream.
One of the greatest ingredients for fighting acne every developed, azelaic acid has been a staple of acne creams for nearly three decades. It’s found mostly in prescription creams but is incredibly effective at keeping your pores clear, killing harmful bacteria, and reducing inflammation both on the skin and within the body. In creams which are meant to be applied over the entirety of the face, azelaic acid is found in about fifteen to twenty percent concentrations.
Researchers have found startlingly few side effects, though there is some general stinging, peeling, and redness in those with skin which is more sensitive than average. On top of being used to treat and prevent acne, the acid is used as a skin-lightening agent, which is great for fading post-acne marks. Many combine it with retinoids to form a milder substitute for hydroquinone.
Kojic acid is one of the most interesting on this list. It’s actually produced by bacteria and frequently used in the process of rice fermentation. The final result in this process produces sake which is enjoyed by many all over the globe. It’s all the rage in Asia and has been for many years. Its popularity stems from its whining and anti-aging properties.
Whitening, in the context of many Asian countries, is a term which refers to the decreasing of hyperpigmentation and reducing uneven skin tone, as these problems are more prominent and severe in Eastern countries. Kojic acid is found in serums and cleansers in concentrations of anywhere from one to four percent. Although the acid is incredibly effective in correcting skin tone and moisturizing the skin, it’s also incredibly irritating. If you’re willing to be patient in adapting to the irritation, it’s one of the most effective ingredients on the market.
There are many acids which moisten skin and help reduce acne; some even offer anti-inflammatory properties which is great for your overall health and bodily balance. These acids are all reasonably priced and effective in treating whichever skin condition you wish to treat. You can buy all of these skin treatment products online, at shops like hygieiaskin.com.