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8 Types of Acids in Skin Care: Which is Best for Your Skin?

Acids. The word itself sounds scary when you think of it as something you apply to your skin. It engenders fear, although it doesn’t need to. So let’s demystify acids as they relate to skincare. Here are the most common ones and their benefits:

Alpha Hydroxy Acids: This acid group known asahas include glycolic, lactic, malic, tartaric,mandelic, and citric acids.Ahas generally work to exfoliate your skin removing the build up of dead skin cells to smooth, even, and firm your skin. They are also known to help fight the effects of sun damage to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Beta Hydroxy Acid: Commonly referred to as BHA, there is only one type known as salicylic acid. This acid has the ability to penetrate into your pores and exfoliate your skin to clear blemishes, fight acne, and minimize pores. It also works to hydrate and calm your skin helping smooth fine lines and wrinkles, improve its overall texture, and give you a natural glow. 

Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid, or sodium hyaluronate in its salt form, is naturally occurring in our bodies. This acid, which naturally decreases over time, delivers hydration to your skin as it’s capable of holding 1,000 times its weight in water. That being said, hyaluronic acid boosts your skin's moisture level creating a smoother, plump, and more youthful appearance.

Ascorbic Acid: AKA vitamin C, a naturally occurring element in many citrus fruits and green vegetables. This natural antioxidant helps fight the free radicals and pollution you’re exposed to in your environment to improve skin tone and fade fine lines and wrinkles. This acid will leave your skin looking brighter, firmer, and more luminous.

Retinoic Acid: You’ve probably also heard it referred to as retinol, which is the ingredient our body converts to this acid as a form of vitamin A. Vitamin A has long been known as the skins best anti-aging ingredient as it regenerates collagen to smooth uneven skin tone, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and improve firmness and elasticity.

Amino Acids: These naturally occurring acids are the building blocks of protein which is the primary makeup of our skin's surface. Amino acids such as proline, arginine, and serine all act as water-binding agents to hydrate, smooth, and even calm our skin.

Fatty Acids: You hear a lot about fatty acids in foods such as salmon and avocado. They’re also naturally occurring in our bodies as oleic (think olive,argan, and almond oils), linolenic (think flaxseed and walnut oils), and other acids. These acids are considered essential nutrients for our skin improving hydration and strengthening its barrier against environmental damage.

As long as acids are derived from a natural source then including them in your skincare regimen will bring your skin the nutrients it craves to thrive.