The beauty landscape is a vast one full of twists and turns, and sometimes it can be a little tricky to navigate all those skincare buzzwords and ingredients. Deciphering all the different types of acids for skin is particularly challenging since there are so many different ones out there, each with its own agenda. To help cut through the skincare acids confusion, we’ve created a super simple guide highlighting some of the most common types of acids along with some helpful pro tips on how to use acids in skincare.
Best for: Breakouts and lingering redness from pimples
A member of the beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) family, salicylic acid is an exfoliating ingredient that’s considered one of the best types of acids for blemishes. Using salicylic acid for skin helps visibly unclogs pores for a clearer complexion, can help minimize the appearance of future breakouts, and even soothes irritation and redness.
Try IT: If you’re battling oily skin, large pores, and breakouts, try our beloved Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Acne Serum. You can use this mighty but gentle serum daily to visibly minimize existing breakouts and curb future pimples. It can also help minimize the appearance of acne marks and irritation. This powerful formula is clinically tested to reduce breakouts in just 3 days* and fade the look of post-breakout marks in 8 weeks.**
Best for: A smooth and even-looking complexion
Glycolic acid is an exfoliating ingredient that’s part of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family. As an exfoliant, its primary objective is to help visibly refine the skin’s surface. It can also help target the appearance of large pores. When you consistently use glycolic acid skincare products, it can help create a complexion that looks and feels smoother. Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and, of the various AHAs, it is the smallest in structure with the lowest molecular weight.
Try IT: Bye Bye Pores Glycolic Acid Serum is a silky serum that's formulated with glycolic acid to help visibly refine the skin's surface. It also contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that helps support a smoother, more supple feel. To incorporate this serum into your regimen, apply four to five drops to freshly cleansed skin and follow with Confidence in a Gel Lotion, an oil-free moisturizer In the mornings, you can follow with CC+ Cream with SPF 50+. Bye Bye Pores Glycolic Acid Serum is formulated for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Hello Results Resurfacing Glycolic Acid Treatment + Caring Night Oil is a superstar when it comes to improving the look of uneven texture, including fine lines and large pores. It boasts a unique formula that combines both glycolic acid and botanical oils (including argan and meadowfoam). The former helps promote skin surface-cell renewal while the latter helps soothe, smooth, and hydrate.
Best for: Visibly brightening and smoothing
Another member of the AHA family, lactic acid is a natural acid for skin that’s often derived from milk. It’s also an exfoliating ingredient and can alleviate the appearance of dullness, lending to a visibly bright and glowing complexion.
Try IT: If you’re interested in trying lactic acid for skin, we recommend starting with Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream. It's uniquely formulated to prevent visible transfer, which means more skincare goodness for your face and less for your pillowcase! The lavender-scented cream contains hyaluronic acid to attract moisture and plump the look of fine lines and wrinkles, ceramides to help retain moisture, and lactic acid to gently refine the skin's surface.
Best for: Hydrating and minimizing the look of fine lines
Unlike BHAs and AHAs that exfoliate the skin’s surface, hyaluronic acid for skin helps with hydration, which makes it one of our favorite acids for sensitive skin types. It’s referred to as a “humectant,” which means that it helps attract moisture to your skin so that it looks and feels more supple and hydrated. This super-hydrator helps plump the look of skin, visibly reducing fine lines and delivering lasting moisture.”
Try IT: Bye Bye Lines Hyaluronic Acid Serum is an anti-aging serum formulated with 1.5% hyaluronic acid to deliver lasting hydration to your skin while simultaneously improving the look of fine lines. It's also infused with a blend of skin-loving peptides and vitamin B5 to help further support supple-feeling skin.
After cleansing your face in the morning and evening, apply a few drops to your skin and then layer your favorite moisturizer and/or CC Cream on top. You can also layer it with Bye Bye Pores Glycolic Acid Serum.
Now that you’re caught up to speed on different types of acids for skin, take a second to review our guide on how to layer different skincare products.
* Visible improvement began at Day 3 and improved throughout an 8-week clinical study. **Based on an 8-week clinical study.