Your Guide to the Latest Skincare Sensation: Acids

Your guide to the latest skincare sensation: acids

Searching for skin care products can be hard, especially when the ingredients sound like vocabulary from a chemistry class. Acids include safe chemicals to refine the formation of the skin. Acids are primarily used to fight acne, age spots, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. You’ve probably heard of hyaluronic, lactic, citric acids. These are just three of many types of acids used for skin treatment. Fortunately, I developed a guide for the different types of acids, and recommended my favorite brands!

1. Salicylic Acid: This acid is used to exfoliate the skin, while keeping pores clean. I use this acid daily to keep away any unwanted acne. In higher concentrations, salicylic acid can also be used for sun damage, age spots and scars. This acid removes discoloration and improves your complexion. However, if your complexion is darker, using this acid could result in uneven skin pigmentation.  


  • Paula’s Choice Skincare: Calm
  • The Ordinary: Salicylic Acid 
  • Tata Harper: Resurfacing Serum 
2. Mandelic Acid: For a brightening effect, mandelic acid is perfect for penetrating the skin. This acid isn’t as strong as others, and is perfect for sensitive skin. Mandelic acids come in over-the-counter and peel-off products. The acid is also common for anti-aging, due to its ability to remove dead skin. Use this product after cleansing and before moisturizing. 


  • PCA Skin: Mandelic Acid
  • The Ordinary: Mandelic Acid 
  • Allies of Skin: Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum 
3. Citric Acid: Created from fruits, this acid is known to prevent premature aging. I love this acid because it also reverses sun damage. I use this product to prevent fine lines and wrinkles in the future. This acid is a mild product on your skin, so knowing what type of skin you have is important. 


  • Bubble Break Even: Balancing Toner
  • Farmacy: Honeymoon Glow
  • Good Molecules: Overnight Exfoliating Treatment 
4. Ferulic Acid: If you have sensitive skin, be careful when using this acid. Ferulic acid is known for its anti-aging properties and boosts antioxidants on the skin. This type of acid is found in the seeds of apples and oranges. Before purchasing, check the label to see how much processing the acid has been through. More processing leads to less success. 


  • Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Targeted Spot Bright 
  • Paula’s Choice: Resist C15 Super Booster
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare: Ferulic Plus Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer 
5. Lactic Acid: These acids are used to treat dull complexions and hyperpigmentation. While Lactic acid is mild, be cautious before applying too much. The acid exfoliates by destroying bonds between the dead skin to create a more firm look. Apply this acid only once per day. 


  • The Ordinary: Lactic Acid 
  • DERMADoctor: KP Duty 
  • Sunday Riley: Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment 

As a reminder, all of these acids are made for certain skin types! Don’t get discouraged if one doesn’t workout; there are many more acids for you to try.  

Written by: Chloe West 

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