Top 10 Face Acids That Need A Place Your Skin Care Routine

Face Acids

Acids sound scary!! No?

But Face Acids are your skin’s best friends in disguise. They can change the whole skin care game. Many of my friends already know a lot about face acids, which to choose, how to use, but in this post, I want to help those who are unaware of use of acids in skin care.

I also came to know about some strange acids while increasing my knowledge about acids like Mandelic acid, Azelaic acid, Tartaric acid etc. Like seriously, we need to apply this sort of acid and we will not burn!!

Oh yes. Let me start telling you bit by bit so that the post doesn’t get overwhelming.

  • Firstly, face acids work for all skin types, be it oily or sensitive, ageing or acne prone, fine lines, wrinkles or hyper pigmentation. Different concerns, different acids. but one is there for every concern.
  • Secondly, always start with a patch test whenever you get a product containing any acid. Don’t skip this step please – A Must.
  • Start of with mild acid concentrations. Don’t go for higher figures. They won’t be working more initially. Give time to your skin to adjust. you can always start with acid based cleansers. I started with Saslic DS and now using Sebamed Facial Foam, both acid based and both superb.
  • Sunscreens are a must when using acid based skin care.
  • These may be costly but don’t restrict application to face. Apply till neck and collarbone. hose acids, which work on blemishes, pigmentation and scars can be applied on hand or back or chest also or any other body part, depending upon the problem area.
  • Though you may notice some results in short span of time, say a week or so. but, don’t expect overnight results. Be realistic and follow your skin care routine religiously and continuously for months. Results will surely follow. you can take some before-after pics to see the difference.
  • Don’t mix face acids. Not all can gel with each other. They need gap. More on it later.
  • For dark spots caused by sun, go for SPF protections. Nothing beats it.


Let’s start knowing about each acid –

1. Salicylic Acid –

  • Acne Fighter.
  • It is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA).
  • Salicylic acid is mostly know for acne cleansing properties.
  • Exfoliates skin and clears pores, which leads to acne clearing.
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-acne, anti-inflammatory.
  • It is mostly found in products in 0.25-2% range.
  • Salicylic Acid is most commonly found in face cleansers and with that only, you should start acids. Later on, you can use it in creams, serums, gels, peels etc.
  • Some of you, ever notices those bumps on back of arms or thighs? Salicylic Acid helps in treating them too.


2. Glycolic Acid –

  • It is a great anti-ageing agent. It is also one of the most popular acids.
  • Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which comes from   sugarcane.
  • Fades dark spots, pigmentation & fine lines.
  • Increases skin thickness, improves texture.
  • Great for exfoliating. Commonly used in peels for treating acne and dark spots.
  • It is mostly found in products below 10% concentrations.
  • Increases sun sensitivity. Use of sunscreen is a must while using glycolic acid products, even when it is not on skin. Else it will cause more damage than good!!


3. Lactic Acid –

  • AHA
  • Good for sensitive skin.
  • Works basically same as Glycolic Acid but in a milder way.
  • It exfoliates and works as anti-ageing.
  • It is gentler but more hydrating and effective in treating sun damage.


4. L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) –

  • Works wonders on dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
  • It is an antioxidant powerhouse.
  • Anti-ageing, helps skin rebuild collagen to smooth fine lines.
  • It is unstable in presence of oxygen and water and hence care should be taken while storing it, so as not to reduce the effects.


5. Retinoic Acid –

  • Vitamin A basically, it works best as anti ageing ingredient.
  • Found as Retinoids (higher concentrations) and Retinols (Comparatively lower concentrations).
  • It exfoliates and removes dead skin that decreases dullness and clears up acne.
  • It starts collagen production to fill out fine lines and cellular turnover.
  • Makes skin glowy.
  • Helps in lightening of dark spots.
  • Helps in negating sun damage.
  • Makes skin sun sensitive. Better to use in PM routine and use sunscreen in day time.


6. Mandelic Acid –

  • It is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), derived from bitter almonds.
  • It also exfoliates skin, prevents acne, works on pigmentation, sun damage but is less irritating to skin as compared to Glycolic Acid.
  • It is used in peels.


7. Ferulic Acid –

  • It is an Anti-oxidant which is mostly used in conjunction with Vitamin C and E and together they protect us from damaging free radicals generated by UV radiation.


8. Kojic Acid –

  • Helps in decreasing melanin, Kojic acid is produced by bacteria.
  • Helps lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
  • Usually found in 1-4% concentrations in cleansers and serums.


9. Azelaic Acid –

  • Works as anti-acne.
  • Anti-oxidant.
  • Antibacterial, brightening and clears pores.
  • Generally found in 15-20% concentrations in creams.
  • Used for skin lightening too.


10. Hyaluronic Acid –

  • Finally, not an exfoliant or peeling agent. Hyaluronic acid works as humectant.
  • It helps skin attract and retain moisture.
  • Better to apply this on damp skin to increase the effect.
  • It works best as moisturiser.
  • It makes skin smooth, soft & plump.


Some helpful tips for using acids –

  • Not all acids are meant to be used at the same time. Cream a time gap, say use in AM and PM routines. Or choose different days.
  • Don’t mix salicylic acid with any other acid or with retinols/retinoid.
  • No glycolic acid and lactic acid with Vitamin C or retinols/retinoid.
  • No AHAs with retinols/retinoid.
  • If you are more in sun, then avoid retinoids altogether else use in night care routine only. No day time.
  • Definitely use Retinoids and SPF together.
  • You can mix ferulic acid with retinols.
  • Combine Vitamin A, C and E. You will get amazing results.


Long Story Short –

  • Ageing/ Mature/ Fine Lines/ Wrinkles – Glycolic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ferulic Acid, Lactic Acid.
  • Acne – prone – Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Azaleic Acid, Mandelic Acid.
  • Glow-less/ Dehydrated/ Rough – Hyaluronic Acid.
  • Pigmented/ Spots – Glycolic Acid, Kojic Acid, Azaleic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Lactic Acid


I have tried to include as much about face acids as possible in this post. Hope I answered many queries about acids. Drop me a message or email if you have any concerns.I shall be happy to answer.

Choose your acids wisely and make optimum use of the for your skin. I will soon be coming up with a post on Peeling :).


Till then


Charu 🙂

3 Replies to “Top 10 Face Acids That Need A Place Your Skin Care Routine”

  1. thanks for providing this info. it’s really helpful.

  2. Beautifully explained! 👍

    1. Glad that you liked it love <3

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