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Acids in Skin Care Products and How They Work

Acids are prevalent in most Skin care products and are becoming more and more popular. Some acids that were previously used in medical esthetic treatments are now in products you can get right on the shelf at Sephora and even the drugstore. While they are not medical grade, they contain up to the highest percentage allowed over the counter.

Today’s post is focused on six of the acids that are most common in skin care products and the most beneficial. I’ve also made and included a nifty infographic for quick reference.


(disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you use them, I earn a small commission. I only post about products and brands that I believe in. All opinions are 100% my own.)

You don’t have to use my links, but I thank you and appreciate it if you do.


Hyaluronic Acid – Provides extreme hydration. It’s moisture binding and instantly replenishes water that the skin has lost, helping to maintain moisture balance.

My Pick: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel $19.99 |


Glycolic Acid – For even skin tone, exfoliation, and a reduction in fine lines and hyperpigmentation. Removes the outer layer of dead skin cells and boost new skin growth. That is why it’s found in many anti-aging products and used in treating acne.

My Pick: Mario Badescu Glycolic Gel $25.00 USD


Salicylic Acid – Most Commonly used to treat acne. It exfoliates the skin’s surface and inside the pores, completely clearing them out and quickly turning cells over. It’s also used in anti-aging products and to help with Keratosis Pilaris (KP)

My Pick: Murad Acne Clearing Solution $42.00 USD


Lactic Acid – Helps improve signs of aging, and reduce breakouts, as well as brighten and even skin tone. It exfoliates and speeds up cell turnover, has hydrating properties and softens skin.

My Pick: Silk Naturals 8% AHA Acid Toner $8.95 USD


Citric Acid – Typically used in anti-aging products, Citric Acid speeds up cell renewal by promoting skin peeling and regrowth and balances PH by adjusting acidity. Helps with pigmentation issues, dark spots, sun damage, and clogged pores. It’s found naturally in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons.

My Pick: Michael Todd Organic Lemon AHA + DMAE Toner $19.00 USD


L-Ascorbic Acid – Pure Vitamin C. Helps to protect against free radicals, brighten and even skin tone and is an anti-inflammatory. Commonly used in anti-aging products due to all of these benefits. It also gives UV protection which is important for every age, skin tone, and skin type.

My Pick: Michael Todd CX 35 Retinol Serum – Vitamin C Retinol Complex $37.00 USD

I went into more detail on a couple of these in my Beauty Glossary post which covers tons of different products, ingredients, and terms in depth.

Do you use any skin care products with one or more of these acids? Leave a comment and let me know!

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The post Acids in Skin Care Products and How They Work appeared first on Powder Me Perfect.

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Acids in Skin Care Products and How They Work


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