Acids are a vital part in skincare routine because they help to repair or protect the skin from ageing, hyperpigmentation, acne and boosting skin's radiance. So if you have a particular skin issue that needs addressing, it's worth exploring it. To find the type, we need to address skin issues. Second is the skin types. It is essential to select perfect acids that suit your skin issues and skin types. Best time to use acids is in the night time skincare routine.
The base formula for layering are:
How to use acids and their best combination
It contains AHA(alpha hydroxy acid). It dissolves the bonds between the dead skin cells allowing them to remove the dead skin cells easily. It can burn the skin because of small molecules present in it, so it is not safe. If you are using it, make sure that you use a maximum of 5% glycolic acids. The best combination is glycolic acid is with retinol.
It is derived from milk, contains AHA(alpha hydroxy acid). It can be sensitive to UV rays. So don't forget to top up with sunscreen. One can use lactic acid of ranges from 5-7%.
It contains BHA(beta hydroxy acid). It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help for acne-prone skin. It is the best acids to remove dead skin cells. Salicylic acids, when combined with other antioxidants, helps to increase the collagen and cleans the pores. It is suitable for all skin types. Best way to use salicylic acid is through face wash or as an exfoliator.
Made from vitamin A, retinol is added to creams to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used for all skin types. If you are using it, make sure to use the only maximum of 0.2% retinol and 0.01% of retinaldehyde. Retinaldehyde is the best as it is 20 times effective than retinol. The best combination is retinol with glycolic acid.
Niacinamide is an anti-inflammatory that works to regulate acne and controls sebum production, combatting enlarged pores and uneven skin tone. It is suitable for all skin types. If you are new to the world of acids; niacinamide is the one to go.
L-Ascorbic Acid / Vitamin C
It helps in reducing the fine lines and pigmentation and mopping up the free radicals. It is an essential step in the skincare routine. One can use Vitamin C ranges from 10-20%.
Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin and reduces the wrinkles. 2% of Hyaluronic Acid is enough for hydrating all skin types. Don't forget to apply the moisturizer on the top to lock the hydration. It can be combined with Vitamin A(Retinol), Niacinamide, Vitamin C and Kojic Acid. The best way to use hyaluronic acid is as a leave-on cream.
It is a combination of vitamin C and Vitamin E. It is an anti-oxidant which helps in anti-ageing.
Citric acid helps in hyperpigmentation and dark spots. It can make side effects such as redness, swelling and inflammation. It is photosensitive, so it is not safe to use. If the citric acid used as the last ingredient, then it will help to balance the PH level. If it is around the 10th ingredient in the list, then it will peel the skin. So it is not suitable for the skin.
Mandelic acid is an anti-ageing ingredient which helps in reducing hyperpigmentation and resolving the dull complexions.
Azelaic acid is as an effective anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties that work to treat acne, dark spots and rosacea. It controls melanin. It's significant side effects is skin-burning.
How to layer acids?
Layer 1. Salicylic acid (Facewash / Exfoliator)
Layer 2. Glycolic acid / Lactic Acid (Toner)
Layer 3. Niacinamide
Layer 4. Vitamin C / Citric acid
Layer 5. Retinoid
Layer 6. Azelaic Acid / Hyaluronic acid
Layer 7. Moisturizer
Layer 8. Facial oil
Don't Combine/ Acids don't like each other
AHA and BHA with Vitamin C
Vitamin A with Hyaluronic Acid
Retinol with Benzyl peroxide ingredient
AHA with BHA
Niacinamide with AHA ingredient