The mention of acids in skincare products can be scary for some, especially for those who have just ventured into the world of skincare. But ask any skin expert or dermatologist, and they will tell you that acids can be a complete game-changer. Whether it’s premature ageing, acne, spots or uneven skin tone, every skin problem can be addressed with the help of acids.
While skincare acids can be AHA or BHA exfoliate the skin’s surface, they aren’t exactly the same. AHAs are water-based and exfoliate the top layer of the skin, whereas BHAs penetrate deeper into the pores and unclog them. If you are planning to add acids to your skincare routine, here are five things you should know.
- 01. Start with a gentle acid
- 02. Acids can moisturise skin
- 03. Acids can prevent breakouts
- 04. Don’t try an acid peel at home
- 05. Purging is normal
01. Start with a gentle acid
If you don’t know where to begin and are scared of using acids, glycolic acid is safe to start with. This gentle acid offers anti-ageing benefits and is one of the most recommended ones by dermatologists to acid virgins. It has the smallest molecules and penetrates deeper into the skin for better results. You can begin with a product that contains 6 to 10% glycolic acid and then go for something stronger.
02. Acids can moisturise skin
Acids don’t just exfoliate your skin; some even provide moisturising benefits. Hyaluronic acid is often recommended to those with dry skin. It's a humectant that retains moisture into the skin and keeps it nourished for a long time. Humans are born with a large amount of hyaluronic acid, but the amount in our bodies starts decreasing as we age. This acid can be used as an injectable and can also be found in products like moisturisers.
03. Acids can prevent breakouts
Salicylic acid is one of the most common types of skincare acids. It is usually added to products formulated for acne-prone skin. A type of BHA, salicylic acid, contains anti-inflammatory properties that dissolve dead skin cells buildup and accelerates healing. It also controls excess sebum production, thereby preventing pore clogging and reducing the occurrence of pimples.
04. Don’t try an acid peel at home
Acids are nothing to be scared of when used in small percentages in skincare products. But when it comes to direct application, using it in the form of acid peels on your own can damage your skin. Don’t go by reviews; using an acid peel at home can cause burns and scarring. It is best to get it done by a dermatologist who will study your skin’s needs and apply a peel that best addresses your skin concerns.
05. Purging is normal
Skin acids speed up cell turnover, which often leads to purging. It appears as tiny red bumps on the skin that may or may not be painful to touch. However, if your skin is purging, it is considered a good sign. It shows that the active ingredients (in this case, acids) are working on your skin. Once you cross the purging stage, your skin will start to look better.