Which Acid is Best For My Skin?
Salicylic Acid has many benefits including being anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, and exfoliating. It loosens dead skin cells to relieve clogged pores and blackheads, reduces bacterial growth on the skin surface and in oil glands.
Salicylic is best for people with oily and acne-prone skin but can also be a great option for people with normal/dry skin who have the occasional breakout. Salicylic acid can be effective in almost any form: spot gel, face wash, peels, creams, pads, etc. There are also foundations and concealers that contain salicylic acid which can reduce shine and treat acne throughout the day.
Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is considered the strongest AHA commonly used in skin care. It works to exfoliate the outermost layer of your skin, and because of the small size of its molecules, it also penetrates the skin deeply to help stimulate collagen production. Glycolic acid helps to minimize the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles. It is effective in treating changes in skin color such as melasma, solar lentigines, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Lactic Acid is another exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid but it's even gentler than glycolic. It's derived from milk so it has a moisturizing element that the other exfoliating acids lack, perfect for those with sensitive skin who are still looking to reduce hyperpigmentation and reducing fine lines.
Ascorbic Acid is actually just vitamin C. Vitamin C/ascorbic acid is a wonderful antioxidant that reduces fine lines and fights free radicals as well as acting as a brightening agent that fades dark spots. Ascorbic acid is great for all skin types.
Citric Acid has protective antioxidant, and corrective antiaging effects helping to reverse visible signs of photodamage. Citric Acid works by exfoliating the upper layer of dead skin cells to help clean pores, even skin tone and soften and smooth the skin.
Mandelic Acid helps reduce acne, fine lines, and wrinkles and improves the appearance of uneven skin. It has the largest molecule of all the AHAs which allows it to penetrate skin slower and gentler than the others, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Azelaic Acid is a naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid produced by Malassezia furfur and found in whole grain cereals, rye, barley and animal products. Azelaic acid kills bacteria on your skin that causes acne and has the ability to lighten the skin and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.