Skin acids are one of the most effective solutions for various skin concerns. They can tackle acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and enlarged pores. Skin acids can transform your skincare routine and help you achieve a radiant complexion. In this blog, we’ll dive into the different types of skin acids and how they can address your specific skin issues.

Understanding Skin Acids​

Skin acids are powerful ingredients used in skincare. They exfoliate, brighten, and improve the overall texture of the skin. Skin acids break down the bonds between dead skin cells. This allows for easier removal, revealing fresher, healthier skin underneath. There are several types of skin acids, each with unique properties and benefits.

Skin Acids for Acne and Blemishes: Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). It penetrates deeply into the pores, dissolving excess oil and exfoliating dead skin cells. This helps to unclog pores and reduce acne breakouts. Salicylic acid is particularly effective for oily and acne-prone skin. It targets the root cause of acne by preventing the build-up of oil and bacteria within the pores.

How to Use:

  • Look for products like cleansers, toners, and spot treatments containing 1-2% salicylic acid.
  • Start with a lower concentration to see how your skin reacts.
  • Gradually increase the concentration as needed.
  • Use it consistently but avoid overuse to prevent irritation.

Skin Acids for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots: L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

L-ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C, is a powerful antioxidant. It brightens the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C inhibits melanin production. This helps to even out skin tone and promote a radiant complexion. Vitamin C also protects the skin from environmental damage caused by free radicals.

How to Use:

  • Incorporate a Vitamin C serum into your morning routine after cleansing.
  • Apply before moisturising.
  • Use a concentration of 10-20% for optimal results.
  • Always follow up with sunscreen to protect your skin and enhance the effectiveness of Vitamin C.

Skin Acids for Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Hyaluronic Acid

Unlike other acids, Hyaluronic Acid is not an exfoliant. It is a humectant that attracts moisture to the skin. Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This makes it incredibly effective at hydrating and plumping the skin. Hydration reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a smoother, more youthful look.

How to Use:

  • Apply a hyaluronic acid serum to damp skin to lock in moisture.
  • Follow with a moisturiser to seal in the hydration.
  • Use it twice daily for continuous hydration and anti-ageing benefits.

Skin Acids for Dullness and Uneven Texture: Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from milk. It gently exfoliates the skin’s surface, removing dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover. This process brightens the complexion and improves skin texture. Lactic acid is ideal for those dealing with dull skin and uneven texture.

How to Use:

  • Start with a lower concentration (around 5%) and gradually increase as your skin builds tolerance.
  • Use lactic acid treatments at night, as AHAs can increase sun sensitivity.
  • Follow up with a moisturiser and sunscreen during the day.

Skin Acids for Enlarged Pores and Oily Skin: Retinoic Acid (Retinoids)

Retinoic Acid, a derivative of Vitamin A, is a powerful ingredient for improving skin texture. It reduces the appearance of enlarged pores. Retinoic acid increases cell turnover, promotes collagen production, and reduces oil production. These actions help to tighten pores and give the skin a smoother, more refined look. I recommend AlumierMD, Obagi Medical, SkinBetter Science or ESK Skincare products.

How to Use:

  • Start with a lower strength retinoid (such as 0.25%) and gradually increase as tolerated.
  • Apply a pea-sized amount to the entire face at night.
  • Use a moisturiser to combat any potential dryness or irritation.
  • Always wear sunscreen during the day.

Combining Skin Acids

When incorporating skin acids into your routine, be mindful of how they interact with each other. Some acids can be used together for enhanced benefits, while others should be used separately to avoid irritation. For example, using Vitamin C in the morning and retinoids at night is a common and effective strategy. I recommend opting for medical-grade products when it comes to premium ingredients to ensure more efficient formulations and superior results. I recommend AlumierMD, Obagi Medical, SkinBetter Science or ESK Skincare products. Always introduce new acids gradually and patch test to ensure your skin tolerates them well.


Skin acids are a game-changer for addressing common skin concerns. They can help with acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, dullness, and enlarged pores. By understanding which acid is best suited for your specific needs, you can create a targeted skincare routine that transforms your skin and boosts your confidence.

Ready to transform your skin? Book a skin consultation with me today. I’ll help you find the best skincare products tailored to your concerns. Your journey to healthier, glowing skin starts here!

Share This