Putting Acid On Your Face
Many skin care products on the market these days boast of having some kind of miracle-working acid, but do you have any idea what these acids actually are and how they affect your skin? You’re going to find out in this post.
The Classic: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Most common are the naturally occurring fruit acids such as citric acid and glycolic acid. Alpha hydroxy acids were initially used for chemical peels due to their relatively low strength compared to other acids, and have now made their way into skin care products.
Popular Alpha Hydroxy Acid Products
The Vitamins: Ascorbic Acid and Retinoic Acid
Ascorbic acid is the chemical name for Vitamin C, while Retinoic acid is metabolized from vitamin A (retinol). Ascorbic acid is essential for the synthesis of collagen – the main building block of your skin – and retinoic acid mediates the functions of vitamin A (essential for the correct functioning of epithelial cells).
The Complicated Names: Salicylic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, and Kojic Acid
These three acids may sound less familiar than the others named here, but have actually been used in cosmetics for some time. Salicylic acid is actually a beta hydroxy acid, and is a key ingredient in many skin care products for the treatment of seborrhoeic dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis. Due to its antiseptic properties, salicyclic acid skin care products can clean up clogged pores and tighten pores.
Hyaluronic acid is actually a major component of skin and is involved in tissue repair. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is used in cosmetics to boost hydration and stimulate collagen synthesis. One popular skin care product containing hyaluronic acid is the Hada Labo skin care range.
Kojic acid is produced through the fermentation of malting rice for use in the manufacturing of sake (Japanese rice wine), and has a skin lightening effect. This is why Japanese whitening skin care products like SK-II Facial Treatment Essence are so popular.
The Kitchen Beauty Ingredient: Acetic Acid
I’m pretty sure you can guess what acetic acid is – yep, vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, to be exact. Known for its homeopathic wonders, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is excellent for restoring your skin’s natural pH levels and regulating sebum secretion. Because of its antibacterial and antiviral properties, apple cider vinegar can also clear up acne inflammations. Read more about 6 ways to use apple cider vinegar for better skin.