A Baton Rouge Dermatologist's Guide to Acids for Skin Care

If the thought of acids on your skin leaves mental images of harsh chemical burns, you have a lot to discover.  Many acids, such as those in the hydroxy family, can work wonders for the skin.  They can smooth, tone, and tighten, leaving behind a brighter, more youthful appearance.  From over-the-counter formulations to specialty products and treatments from your dermatologist, there are many ways to use acids to your benefit in your skin care routine.  Here, we will review four of the most popular types of acids used in skin care, their primary uses, and the benefits of each.

Salicylic Acid for Skin Care

If you are familiar with any acid for skin care, it is likely this one.  You’ve probably been using it since your teens, as it appears in nearly every acne product from bargain to the most high-end.  For those with oily skin that is prone to breakouts, it can be a lifesaver.  Possessing properties that make it anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and exfoliating makes it ideal for helping skin get and stay clear.

Glycolic Acid for Skin Care

With uses similar to those of salicylic acid, glycolic acid is another powerhouse in the fight against acne.  However, it is often a better choice for those with more normal to combination skin who are also prone to breakouts.  Whereas salicylic acid is a great selection for oily skin, those with different skin types may find the smaller, gentler molecules of glycolic acid to be preferable. 

Lactic Acid for Skin Care

For those with sensitive skin who are in need of the benefits of exfoliation without the abrasiveness, lactic acid offers the solution.  Like the two aforementioned alpha hydroxy acids, lactic acid exfoliates but in a manner that is gentler still than glycolic acid.  It even offers a moisturizing element that you won’t get from the others, making it ideal for aging skin as well.

Hyaluronic Acid for Skin Care

Unlike the previous acids, hyaluronic is all about moisture.  It occurs naturally in the skin, and is capable of holding up to 1000 times its weight in water.  It’s a big part of the plump, youthful glow of your younger years, but it also diminishes over time.  Replenishing hyaluronic acid with age through injectables or topical treatments can help keep skin attract and retain greater amounts of moisture, thereby diminishing signs of aging.

Acids come in many forms and with a wide range of capabilities.  These are just a few of those more commonly used in skin care, but the list is quite long.  Discuss the use of acids in your own skin care routine with your dermatologist, and discover which may be able to offer the greatest benefit to you.