When we hear the word "acid," the first thing that comes to mind is something that can burn or harm us. But when used in the right concentrations, acids are actually some of the most beneficial ingredients available in skin care. 

These are used to cure acnewrinkles, age spots, blemishes and uneven skin tone but nowadays there are so many acids available in the market that we do not know which acid is good for us. What to use – and for whom – and what products to buy. Let us know about some acids -

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  1. Salicylic Acid
  2. Glycolic Acid
  3. Mandelic Acid
  4. Azelaic Acid
  5. Kojic Acid
  6. Ascorbic Acid
  7. Benefits of Other Acids
  8. Which Acid Should I Use?
  9. Summary

Salicylic acid is used the most. It is famous for exfoliating the skin and keeping the pores clean, which helps reduce acne. Salicylic acid is used to treat acne, acne scars, melasma, sun damage, and age-related changes. It is so effective that it can even be used to remove warts. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

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Glycolic acid is the most popular alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) used in skin care. It is derived from sugarcane, so it is most effective at getting into the skin. Glycolic acid works as a fantastic anti-aging agent.

It is very effective in exfoliating the skin and reducing fine lines, preventing acne, reducing dark spots, increasing skin thickness and improving skin tone and texture.

Like salicylic acid, the use of glycolic acid also works to reduce acne and improve skin complexion. It is sometimes used in conjunction with microdermabrasion or microneedling. However, be sure to also use sunscreen with glycolic acid to avoid the harmful effects of the sun.

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To remove pimples and itching from the skin, definitely use nimbadi churna  by myUpchar.


Mandelic acid is another alpha-hydroxy acid, derived from almonds. Like glycolic acid, it is an exfoliating agent that is useful for preventing acne, treating sun damage, and reducing pigmentation.

Due to the larger molecular structure, it does not penetrate the skin as deeply as glycolic acid, so it causes less damage to the skin. Rebound pigmentation occurs when resistance to a particular substance develops due to excessive use. Due to this, the substance not only becomes ineffective, but often does not have the desired effect.

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Azelaic acid is known to be one of the main remedies to fight acne. It keeps pores clean, kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. It is usually found in 15 to 20 percent concentrations in creams that are designed to be applied to the entire face, morning and night. Azelaic acid generally has very few side effects, but some people with very sensitive skin may experience stinging, peeling, and redness.

Along with treating acne, azelaic acid is also helpful in brightening the skin. Which is useful for reducing post-acne scars, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is also often combined with retinoids as a mild alternative to hydroquinone.


Kojic acid is produced by bacteria used in the fermentation of rice. It is a popular ingredient in Asian skin care products, due to its glow-enhancing and anti-aging properties. It is found in 1 to 4 percent concentrations in cleansers and serums.

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Ascorbic is the most common water-soluble form of vitamin C, and is used in skin care for its anti-aging effects. It is also used as an alternative to hydroquinone in the treatment of melasma.

  • Lactic, citric, malic and tartaric acid AHAs that act as exfoliants also work to lighten uneven pigmentation and smooth skin texture. Lactic acid is the best-researched AHA after glycolic acid, and is notable for being gentler, more hydrating, and more effective in treating sun-damaged skin.


  • Ferulic Acid Antioxidant ingredient most commonly used in combination with Vitamins C and E in serums. This powerful antioxidant trio is known for its ability to protect the skin from harmful free radicals generated by UV radiation.


  • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is used in peels, and this TCA is particularly useful for reducing scars in the cross technique. It is very powerful and should only be used by professionals.


  • Alguronic acid derived from biodiesel has anti-aging effects.


  • Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid When talking about linoleic acid and oleic acid in skin care, it should be known that these acids are available in the market in the form of oil. Generally, oils that contain more linoleic acid have a drier texture that is suitable for oily skin, while oils that contain more oleic acid work better for dry skin.

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Choosing which acid to use is difficult. The easiest way to go about this is to try to figure out what problem you want to treat. Many acids provide many benefits and come in many different formulations such as active acids in cleansers, serums, toners, and others.

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How to Use Acids to Care for Your Skin?

Before using acids, know that do not use them all together because they can interact with each other like -

  • Do not use salicylic acid with any other acid at the same time. This may cause irritation.
  • Avoid mixing niacinamide and salicylic acid together.

  • Do not use glycolic acid or lactic acid with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This will cause the benefits of ascorbic acid to disappear even before it starts working.

  • Avoid using AHAs with retinol.

Separate your acids between day and night use. For example, use salicylic acid in the morning and another acid in the evening. You will get the benefits of both even if you use them in different applications.


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