Acids & Actives, Which One is Right for You?
One of my favorite steps in my routine is using acids! Treatments and acids are in the 6h step of the Korean skincare method. They're so great for targeting specific issues like, scars, acne, dull skin, dark spots, etc. I promise you, acids may sound scary, but they're not at all! They're actually super beneficial to your skin and can really help ALL skin types.
Below are some of my favorite ones and very popular ones on the market! Read below to find out which one is right for you. (I've bolded the ones that I really love and recommend!)
Ascorbic Acid: AGING, DULL, DRY SKIN, OR TARGETING DARK SPOTS/SCARS
My favorite acid of them all, ascorbic acid is just a fancy word for vitamin c. This acid will brighten up dark spots and overall give you a much brighter complexion. It's great for aging skin as well because this acid will help with lifting saggy skin and help rebuild collagen. It can also help your skin repair itself from external stressors such as pollution!
This active can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so make sure you wear lots of sunscreen before leaving the house!
Products with AA: CosRX's Triple C Lightning Liquid, Drunk Elephant's C-Firma Day Serum, Sunday Riley's C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer, Sunday Riley's C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, Glossier's Super Glow
Azeleic Acid: OILY OR ACNE-PRONE SKIN
This acid help decrease inflammation and redness. it also helps with acne prone skin because it's anti-bacterial, which helps with killing breakouts. It's great at smoothing and soothing skin and it's perfect for oily skin types.
Products with AA: The Ordinary's Azeleic Acid Suspension 10%
Glycolic Acid: AGING, DULL, DRY SKIN, OR HYPERPIGMENTATION
Glycolic acid is one of my favorite on this list. It's found in fruits and milk! This AHA acid "peels" off your dead skin cells which promotes healthy turnover for new cells and promotes collagen and elastin rebuilding. This acid will give you brighter skin, reduction of wrinkles, reduction of dark spots, and overall softer skin. This acid really helps you with so much! Your face will thank you for it.
Products with GA: Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, Drunk Elephants's T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, Skinfood's Tea Tree Bubble Cleansing Foam, Neogen's Bio-Peeling Lemon, Pixi's Glow Tonic Toner
Hyaluronic Acid: DRY & DEHYDRATED, OR AGING SKIN
Hyaluronic acid is amazing when it comes to having dry skin. This ingredient is a humectant, which means the acid will sit on your face and draw moisture from the air, giving you deep hydration throughout the day. Perfect for anyone who needs hydrating skin.
This acid can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles by hydrating and plumping the skin, restoring moisture and firmness.
Products with HA: Glow Recipe's Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, Missha's Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream, The Ordinary's Buffet Serum, The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Glossier's Priming Moisturizer, Glossier's Super Bounce Serum
Lactic Acid: AGING OR SENSITIVE SKIN
Lactic acid will soften your skin and restore firmness. If glycolic is too strong for you, lactic is the way to go. It's an AHA that smooths away fine lines and promotes cell turnover. It's derived from milk so it is a great moisturizer to give you a smoother & more youthful complexion without being irritating. Perfect for sensitive skin!
Linoleic Acid: DRY OR NORMAL SKIN
Linoleic acid helps with sealing in moisture to prevent dry skin. Linoleic has lighter consistency than other oleic acids, which makes it compatible for oily/acne-prone skin.
Nicotonic Acid: AGING OR DULL SKIN
Nicotonic acid is also known as niacinamide! It visibly reduces fine lines and dull skin, giving you a brighter and more youthful complexion. It's also very effective in evening out uneven skin tone and repair a weakened skin surface.
Retinoic Acid: ACNE-PRONE, DULL, OR AGING SKIN
This acid is a great go-to acid that really does it all. This helps brighten up skin, brightening up dark spots, and help get rid of acne. Also, it reduces fine lines and wrinkles and help promote collagen regrowth.
Salicylic Acid: OILY OR ACNE-PRONE SKIN
This is probably the most common acid there is on this list. Salicylic acid is a BHA and will break up sebum on your skin and loosen up blackheads. This acid is perfect for anyone with acne because it will kill acne-causing bacteria. This acid is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, which helps with reducing swelling of pimples and breakouts. Not only is it for people with acne-prone skin, this can also be useful for people with normal skin that has occasional breakouts.
Tips to remember:
Whenever you're starting to use acids, always patch test first!
Acids take patience! You probably won't see results overnight. It normally takes about 1-3 months for you to start seeing results. Hang in there! I promise it's worth it overtime.
DON'T mix face acids. For example, don't mix salicylic acids with any other acids. This can lead to crazy irritation that you don't want.
For ascorbic acid, don't mix it with glycolic or lactic acid. This will deactivate the benefits of ascorbic acid, therefore having it no longer work.
Don't mix AHA's with retinol.
Acids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun! Don't forget to put on sunscreen.
I hope this list was useful for you! I know it can be a lot, but acids are super beneficial to your skin if used properly. They all provide different benefits for all skin types. :)
(I am not sponsored by any of the brands nor am I affiliated with any of the brands listed above. Thank you for reading & take care! ♡ - Annie) Want 10% off Glossier? Click here!