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What Does Acid do to Your Skin | Natural Acids & How They Work

Many people use different types of acid to treat their skin in a number of ways. They can do everything from hydrate the skin and remove blemishes to exfoliate and treat acne. The key is to find the right acid based on what results you want to achieve.

Here we’ll explore what natural acids are out there that can moisturize the skin and more, along with how they work.

What Does Acid Do to the Skin?

What acid does to your skin will depend on the specific type of acid skin care treatment you use. For example, some acids in facial care and skin care in general help hydrate the skin using various nutrients that target specific areas. Others can help eliminate dead skin cells by dissolving the bonds between them. Still, others can accelerate the process of producing new skin cells on the body, a process known as cell turnover.

The type of acid you choose will dictate the kinds of results you can expect when applying it to your skin, whether your main goal is to hydrate your skin or to promote generally healthier skin.

Common Types of Skin Care Acids

You can choose from multiple acid skin care products that use certain types of natural acids. Some examples of these acid face and body treatments include the following:

Hyaluronic Acid

One of the most popular acids for skin care is hyaluronic acid, which helps hydrate the skin. While other acids remove dead skin cells, hyaluronic acid works differently in that it works with existing skin cells.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring acid found in the human body, but its levels tend to decrease as we get older. To combat this, you can use products containing hyaluronic acid to replace it.

Lactic Acid

For an acid skin care product that both moisturizes and exfoliates, consider using lactic acid. This acts as a kind of mild alternative to glycolic acid, but keep in mind that you may need to apply larger amounts of it because of its mild nature. However, the fact that it’s mild makes it ideal for people with more sensitive skin who may not benefit from more caustic products.

Glycolic Acid

While Hyaluronic acid naturally hydrates the skin without removing dead skin cells, glycolic acid’s active ingredient gets rid of these cells to restore your skin. In the process, this acid reduces dryness while also removing pockmarks, age spots, and discoloration. People frequently use this acid to help resolve pigmentation issues with the skin, and it’s available in many moisturizing skin creams.

Oleic Acid

If your skin is very dry, you can also try oleic acid to hydrate it. This acid is ideal for forming a layer of moisture on the skin and you’ll find it in products such as olive and almond oil. Additionally, oleic acid promotes natural oil production on the skin to further combat hydration. It’s particularly helpful in the winter months when the skin is more vulnerable to dry spells and reduced oil production.

How to Introduce Acid Skin Care Products to Your Regimen

If you want to use these and other skin care acids for your face or other parts of the body, there are some steps you can take to get the most from them and ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction.

A few steps you can take include the following:

Slowly Introduce Acids to Your Routine

Try to avoid applying too much acid at once, as this can be harsh on the skin. Instead, get your skin accustomed to it by beginning with one application per week and building up to more frequent applications.

Use Sunscreen to Complement Acids

While you may want to get some sunlight, it could interact with the acids you use on your skin and make it more prone to sunburns. This is because acids tend to expose sensitive layers of skin. To prevent this reaction, use sunscreen when possible before exposing your skin to sunlight.

Try Applying a Wash if You’re Wary of Acids

You may be uncomfortable with using acids, particularly when using them for the first time, in which case you may want to introduce them in the form of a wash. A face or body wash that includes acids can help you avoid potentially bad reactions and keep the skin more consistently hydrated.

With a better idea of what acid does to your skin and how each product works, you can make the right choice when selecting an acid for your skin care routine.

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