Navigating the world of skin acids can be extremely confusing, especially when you’re bombarded with numerous ingredient names (many of which sound very similar!). We’ve put together a guide on some of the more well known acids, so you can have a better idea of whether they will work for you.
A common ingredient used topically to treat acne and rosacea, it works to kill bacteria, reduce inflammation as well as treat hyperpigmentation.
A popular alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), it dissolves the bonds that bind dead skin cells together, speeding up cell turnover and exfoliating the skin’s surface. It’s a fairly strong ingredient that can cause sun sensitivity, so make sure to only use at night and limit use to twice or three times a week to begin with.
Hyaluronic Acid (also known as HA) is naturally found in the skin and is responsible for keeping cells hydrated. Soaking up moisture like a magnet, it keeps skin plumped and glowing, diminishing fine lines and dullness. It works well for all skin types and is good for keeping skin hydrated throughout the day.
Lactic acid is part of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, exfoliating the skin at cellular level and stimulating the production of new collagen. Lactic acid tends to be gentler than other AHAs, making it good for sensitive skin.
(NB. Despite the name, lactic acid is actually a vegan ingredient – it derives from sugar starch, not milk.)
Also known as Vitamin A, retinol works to resurface the scalp-skin and speed up cell turnover, as well as facilitating the absorption of other ingredients. It’s also used to treat acne due to its exfoliating properties, as well as repairing the skin from pollution and sun damage. People with sensitive skin should use with caution, as it can sometimes cause irritation.
A beta hydroxy acid (BHA), it exfoliates the skin at cellular level, working to dissolve any gunk and dead skin cells that get trapped in pores and cause breakouts and inhibit hair growth.
Ever heard of the ‘double serum’ trend? It’s the latest K-beauty craze that works for your scalp. Read more here.