How To Pick The Right Acid For Your Skin

If you’re new to skincare the concept of putting acid on your face is probably making you think WTF??????? But trust me adding an acid into your routine can make, quite literally, ALL the difference. 

All facial acids have their own benefits – some with many! There is one for everyone and many acids can be layered within your routine for optimal baby face results. However, knowing which acid is right for you is super super important. I’ve rounded up some of the most prominent acids in skincare to help you pick the right one to add into your routine.

NOTE: introducing AHA’s, BHA and Ascorbic Acid into your routine will make your skin extremely sensitive to the sun and more prone to sunburn. Please wear sunscreen if you are using these products!!!!!! 

Let’s begin… 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

AHA’s are a group of ingredients that include glycolic acid and lactic acid. There are other acids within this grouping but glycolic and lactic are the main two that appear in AHA skincare products! These acids are best used for exfoliating. 

How do they work? Sometimes dead and dull skin can get stuck on the surface, which doesn’t allow the skin to shed naturally and causes a build up of rough skin – this can cause acne, dullness, large pores and an uneven complexion. AHA’s work by dissolving dead skin. 

Who are they best for? AHA’s are great for people with oily or acne prone skin but can also be beneficial to all skin types looking for a more gentle exfoliating option. 

What are the benefits? AHA’s will help with lightening acne scarring, hyper pigmentation and dark spots, reducing fine lines and smoothing the skin’s texture. Glycolic acid is what cleared up my skin when I was going through some of the worst breakouts of my life.

HINT: lactic acid is more gentle than glycolic acid and is still classified as an AHA – for those of you who suffer from extremely sensitive skin but still want the exfoliating benefits of an AHA.  

Here are a few AHA products I reccommend:

picture is from www.firstaidbeauty.com
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picture is from www.moonjuice.com
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Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA or Salicylic Acid)

This one is a little bit easier to remember because most of us use it without even realizing! There is only one BHA and it’s salicylic acid. 

How does it work? It works very similarly to AHA’s because it is also an exfoliant. However BHA penetrates into the pore lining where it can work to relieve clogged pores and blackheads, while also reducing bacterial growth on the skin’s surface and oil glands. BHA also has a calming effect on the skin so it is great for anyone who is super sensitive.

Who is it best for? BHA is best for people who suffer from oily and acne prone skin, but it also can be beneficial to people who have combo skin who get the occasional breakout. 

What are the benefits? Incorporating salicyclic acid into your routine will result in less frequent breakouts and a reduction in oiliness. Salicylic acid will also heal your current breakouts. I usually reach for it when it’s my time of the month and I have a few stubborn zits around my chin. 

Here are a few BHA products I recommend: 

picture is from www.theordinary.com
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picture is from www.katesomerville.com
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Hyaluronic Acid

One of my favourite acids! Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means it helps skin retain moisture. 

How does it work? Hyaluronic acid is restorative and boosts the moisture levels in your skin. It also defends against moisture loss. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 time its own weight in water!!!!! Which makes it the best hydrator for all skin types. 

Who is it best for? Literally everyone. 

What are the benefits? Smoother and more hydrated skin with a plump appearance. This acid is especially great around the eyes to soften wrinkles and fine lines. 

Here are some of my favourite hyaluronic acid products:

picture is from www.youthtothepeople.com
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picture is from www.firstaidbeauty.com
shop here!

Ascorbic Acid

This is just a fancy name for vitamin c! 

How does it work? Ascorbic acid is a super antioxidant that defends skin from environmental stressors including pollution, which weakens the skin’s surface. 

Who is it best for? Again, all skin types can use this acid because it is non-acidic. 

What are the benefits? Daily use of this super ingredient will result in smoother and firmer looking skin. Your skin will look glowy, healthy and like you’ve never seen the sun in your life. 

Here are some of my favourite vitamin c products: 

picture is from www.keihls.ca
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picture is from www.olehenriksen.com
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Amino Acids

This acid is a little bit fancier than the rest. The surface of our skin is composed of mostly proteins and amino acids help build protein. 

How do they work? In skincare amino acids are used as water-binding agents. They also have antioxidant and calming properties. 

Who is it best for? Everyone!

What are the benefits? Moisture moisture moisture! The use of amino acids in your skincare routine will result in smoother and more supple hydrated skin. 

Here are some amino acid products that I recommend: 

picture is from www.fresh.com
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picture is from www.farmacybeauty.com
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Retinoic Acid

The best anti-aging ingredient! Retinoic acid is what retinol is converted to when it is applied to the skin. Basically, it’s a form of vitamin a.

How does it work? This one is a little bit harder to describe but basically retinoic acid works with elements in the skin’s surface that are out of sync and helps them go back to working properly. 

Who is it best for? It is ideal for anyone who is struggling with signs of aging, blemishes, dryness etc. It will kick your skin back into shape when it begins acting up!

What are the benefits? Retinoic acid or retinol will quite literally changed your skin completely. It visibly reduces the signs of aging drastically. Finding a great retinol will result in you forever being asked for some ID when you’re buying wine. 

Here are some of my favourite retinol products: 

picture is from www.sephora.ca
shop here!
picture is from www.sephora.ca
shop here!

I hope this makes you feel a little more confident when you head to Sephora for a little skincare shopping spree! Snag an acid for your routine and enter the new year with soft, supple and youthful skin. 

As always, thank you so much for popping by!

XOXO laur

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