All about acids in skincare

This blog post follows my previous article that deals with the natural exfoliation of the stratum corneum (click here). This process is critical to understand because acids will help and increase the shedding of the dead skin cells. 

Exfoliation is a crucial step in any skincare routine. Exfoliation helps with, hydration, acne, smoothness, wrinkles, sun damage and so on. All skin types benefit from exfoliation. 

Acids along moisturizers are the most transforming ingredients to obtain short term results. However, the science behind them and what to use for your skin type is not obvious to find. I see far too much potent peelings that are far too strong to use.  

In this post, I will only deal with acids in over the counter formula and not the one used by dermatologists. 

In skincare, two types of acids are available Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Beta hydroxy acid (BHA). 


AHA is a big family of acids soluble in water containing the glycolic acid,  lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, mandelic acid, azelaic acid, citric acid.  The difference between them is their size. Glycolic is the smallest and citric acid the biggest. The smaller the acid is, the stronger the peel will be. The last important factor is the concentration. Using a glycolic peel at 15% will be much stronger than 5%. Many papers are showing the incredible effect of AHA on our skin. One that is especially magnificent it’s their ability to boost collagen production and correct sun damaged. 


Salicylic acids and betaine salicylate are lipid soluble agents contrary to alpha hydroxy acid such as glycolic acids. These properties make them soluble in the sebum produces by the sebaceous glands. BHAs can exfoliate and unclog pores. There are comedolytic. It means that BHA helps your pore to extract the sebum mixed with dead cells, the trigger of acne. In addition to these magnificent properties, BHAs display anti-inflammatory, , and antifungal properties.

In my video, I talk more about the winders of acids, explain their mechanism of action and have products recommendations. 

Thank you for reading me. 

A bientôt, 


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