There are various acids available in skincare acid products on the market today. Whether you have issues such as aging, acne, hyper pigmentation, dry skin, or oily skin, acids can help treat a wide array of issues. I don’t know about you, but I love to use acids and believe from personal experience they can do wonders for your skin. My four favorite 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.

GLYCOLIC ACID 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.

SALICYLIC ACID: 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.

RETINOIC ACID: 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 hyperpigmentation.
  • Helps minimize fine


  • Reduces mild acne breakouts.
  • OTC versions available for every skin-type.

HYALURONIC ACID: 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.

 Common Acids Used in Skincare Products

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. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to like and share!


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