My Favorite Acids in Skincare Products

skin care acids

When you think of acids in skincare, what comes to mind? Maybe burning, allergic reactions, or ALLEGIC REACTIONS? Well, what if I told you acids can provide amazing benefits to your skin?? Now I bet you will want to read this article to know why!!  There are various acids available in skincare products on the market today. Whether you have issues such as aging, acne, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, or oily skin, acids can help treat a wide array of issues.

I don’t know about you, but from my personal experience, skincare acids can do wonders for your skin. My four favorite types of acids are Glycolic, Salicylic, Retinoic, and Hyaluronic acid. I will explain why below.Glycolic and Salicylic Acids can be divided into two categories: AHA’s and BHA’s. The main difference between AHAs versus BHA’s are that AHAs are water-soluble (dissolves in water) and BHA is lipid or oil-soluble, which makes BHA more effective on oily skin. It is the most common acid used in skincare products. I will list the four common types of acids along with product suggestions.

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Glycolic Acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid made from sugarcane. As a result, it makes an excellent acid for those looking to use acids for his/her first time. The molecules in this acid are very small which enables it to absorb better into the skin for better results. It also comes in various strengths, therefore, it is easy to build tolerance to it. Higher grade strengths of glycolic acid are used in peels administered in dermatologist offices or medical spas. Some of the uses for Glycolic Acid are as follows:

•Exfoliates the outermost layer of the skin.
•Minimizes skin discolorations/acne scars.
•Reduces fine lines/wrinkles.
•Treats mild to moderate acne.
•Suitable for all skin types.

Glycolic acid product suggestions:

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution:This toner, formulated with 7% glycolic acid, offers gentle exfoliation for improved skin brightness.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum –I love me some Drunk Elephant skincare products. This popular glycolic night serum features a 12% alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy blend that works to improve the tone and texture of your skin as you sleep.

Mario Badescu: Glycolic Foaming Cleanser—  This classic glycolic cleanser from skincare giant Mario Badescu works to unclog congested pores, smooth the skin’s surface, and bring back that glow you love.


Salicylic acid can be purchased over the counter. It is a beta hydroxy acid, and is most commonly used to treat acne/blackheads. Some of the uses for Salicylic Acid are as follows:

•Works as an exfoliant to unclog the pores.
•Acts as an anti-inflammatory.
•Helps build collagen.
•Treats mild acne breakouts.
•Suitable for oily, combination, and/or acne-prone skin.

Salicylic Acid Product Suggestions

Mario Badescu Anti-Acne Serum— Prevents acne eruptions before they start with this salicylic acid based gel.

The Ordinary Peeling Solution– This combined 32% AHA/BHA solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash— Medicated acne face wash formulated with salicylic acid Acne medication. Targets excess oil and helps clear acne breakouts.

The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Serum-a clarifying, blemish-fighting solution that gently sheds dead cells from the skin’s surface and calm redness and inflammation for those with mild to moderate acne. Enriched with exfoliant Salicylic Acid which helps to unclog pores and control oil production.


If I had to choose one type of product that treats many skin issues such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines/wrinkles, then it would have to be products that contain RETINOIDS. Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative used many skin care products as it supports the overall health of the skin. Here are some common uses for Retinol:

•Rejuvenates skin.
•Minimizes hyper-pigmentation.
•Helps minimize fine
•Reduces mild acne breakouts.
•OTC versions available for every skin-type.

Retinoic acid products:

 Avene retrinal 0.1 intensive cream-Avène Retinal 0.1 Intensive Cream visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles to shave years off of your appearance. Ideal for these Skin Types: Oily Skin, Dry Skin, Combination Skin, Normal Skin, Sensitive Skin, Mature Skin, Acne-Prone Skin.

Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisture, Night– states this cream “Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer with Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid uncovers vibrant, healthier looking skin with less visible wrinkles starting in just two weeks.

Retinol Restart Rejuvenation Serum delivers the maximum concentration of 5% retinol in a serum to influence collagen and speed skin renewal to diminish the appearance of fine lines, acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. deal for all skin types, particularly those with aging or mature skin.

Kiehl’s Biolage Matrix Youth Dose Eye Treatment  — This eye cream helps to brighten dark circles while treating fine lines around the eye area.


Hyaluronic acid is commonly used as a humectant in many moisturizers. According to, “Hyaluronic acid is a substance produced naturally by the skin. It’s a humectant, which means it can absorb and retain water — kind of like a molecular sponge.” Here is some of the benefits hyaluronic can do have for your skin:

•Hydrates/soothes dry skin.
•Improves the appearance of
fine lines/wrinkles.
•Reduces redness/dermatitis.
•All skin types, especially oily or acne-prone skin looking for oil-free options.

Hyaluronic Acid Products

IMAGE Skincare Ageless Total Pure Hyaluronic Filler--This concentrated topical filler contains six different forms of hyaluronic acid and boosts both instant and time released hydration. Fill in fine lines without an injection.

Elta Md Face Therapy Oil-free Moisturizer-This oil-free facial moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid that helps increase moisture absorption and retention. Oil-free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic and safe for sensitive skin


If you want to learn more about the benefits of retinoic acid, you can read about it HERE.

As always, acids take time to build tolerance. I usually recommend giving the product 8-12 weeks to see a full result. Always do a test patch and wait @4-48 hours to test for allergic reactions. Consult with your dermatologist should you experience any side effects.

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