All Women's Talk

These Acids Are Actually Good for Your Skin

By Eliza

When you think acid, you probably don’t think great skin, right? Well, it turns out that there are some acids out there that are actually beneficial for your entire body. You can likely see them in skincare products if you read the ingredients. True, some girls will experience irritation when using these acids, but many women report only great results when they add them to their skincare routine. Your best bet is to talk to your dermatologist about which ones might be right for you. Here are the most common acids out there.

1 Citric Acid

This type of acid is quite common and one you will probably see in at least one of your skincare products. It works to balance the pH levels of certain products. It is derived from citrus fruits, but isn’t the same as applying the actual fruit to your skin. Skincare products that contain citric acid do so in appropriate ratios for your specific skin needs so seek them out if your derm says they might be a good choice for you.

2 Glycolic Acid

This is a type of alpha hydroxy and is a great choice if you want to take care of dry, flaky skin. It’s also a prime option if you want to fade age spots or other discolorations on your skin. Because it contains very small molecules, the acid soaks deeply in your skin, working on issues from the inside out. Glycolic acid is available in a huge number of skincare products so you should have no trouble finding one that works for you.

3 Retinoic Acid

Retinoic acid is one that is generally best to get in a prescription product. It’s pretty intense and is wonderful for anti-aging your skin. You can find it in some over the counter skincare products, but they aren’t as potent as the ones your derm can get you. This type of acid helps battle fine lines, wrinkles and age spots so you always look young and lovely.

4 Salicylic Acid

You’ve heard of this one, haven’t you? Salicylic acid is an ingredient that gets into your pores and helps keep them clean, preventing acne and blackheads. You’ll find it in many skincare products that are used on acne-prone skin, from blemish busters to facial cleansers. If you suffer from pimples, this is one acid you've got to add to your skincare routine right away.

5 Hyaluronic Acid

You might not have ever heard of this acid, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. Rather than sloughing off dead skin cells, this type of acid actually hydrates skin, which helps plump it up and minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles. If you have oily skin, you will love what hyaluronic acid can do for you.

6 Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is one that is ideal if you have sensitive skin. Use it to help fight the signs of aging without worrying about irritation or redness. It works similarly to glycolic acid, but is much gentler on the skin without sacrificing the benefits. Lactic acid is showing up in more and more skincare products so finding one that works for you should be a breeze.

7 Acetic Acid

If you ask me, this one sounds kind of scary, but it actually has its benefits. Otherwise known as vinegar, you can use this type of acid to tone and tighten skin while also killing off the bacteria that can lead to zits. Dilute it with water or it could be too harsh on your skin.


This acid is a naturally occurring acid derived from bitter almond and wild cherry. Mandelic acid has the largest molecule of all the AHAs. It penetrates the skin slower and gentler than others, which is why it's perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.

9 Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is vitamin C, a wonderful antioxidant that reduces fine lines. It fights free-radicals and acts as a brightening agent that fades dark spots. It's great for all skin types.

10 Tartaric Acid

Found naturally in plants and fruits, tartaric acid gives wine its tart taste. It's great for smoothing the texture of any kind of skin type.

Which of these acids do you see in your skincare products?

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