Hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, retinoic acid … Lose your fear of acids and discover why they can be your faithful anti-aging allies.
As ingredients in cosmetics or in the hands of experts, acids help rejuvenate your skin. The secret is in your concentration and in choosing the best in each case. Here is the infallible guide.
WHAT IS AN ACID?
Glycolic, retinoic, hyaluronic, salicylic, azelaic … These acids with such complicated names actually come from such common foods as milk, sugar, rice or almonds. As they pass through the laboratories, they are transformed into creams, serums or masks, whose objective is to rejuvenate the skin.
WHAT BENEFITS DO ACIDS HAVE FOR THE SKIN?
Thanks to their exfoliating, repairing and moisturizing action, the most advanced cosmetics cannot do without them and they are highly recommended by dermatologists and beauty experts.
TYPES OF ACIDS AND WHAT BENEFITS EACH HAVE ON THE SKIN
There are two major groups of acids, the Alpha and the Beta. Alphahydroxy acids or AHAs are primarily intended to treat spots and wrinkles. Among the most used in cosmetics are glycolic, lactic, citric, mandelic or pyruvic. Betahydroxy acids or BHAs close the pores and unify the relief of the skin. That is why they are suitable for treating oily skin. The best known is salicylic acid. But which one is the best for each specific problem?
Ferulic acid to defy the light of screens:
If you are one of those who spend hours in front of the computer or tablet, you should know that some acids, such as ferulic, are used to counteract the damage of blue light, which causes premature aging of the skin. It is a powerful antioxidant that you can find in ampoules or serums. In some formulas it is supplemented with vitamin C.
Retinoic acid and retinol to erase wrinkles:
Both belong to the retinoid family, but the former is the purest and most active form of vitamin A and requires a prescription. Retinol, on the other hand, is a less potent precursor to retinoic acid, and it is much less irritating. It is one of the top anti-aging because it provides firmness and homogenizes the texture of the skin.
Salicylic acid to blur pores:
This acid removes the surface layers of the skin and has antimicrobial properties. It is indicated for oily skin because it regulates sebum production, calms the skin and refines the appearance of pores. And since it promotes skin renewal, it also has an anti-aging effect.
Azelaic, kojic and tranexamic acids to combat stains:
They help to erase spots caused by excessive sun or hormonal causes. “When they are very resistant, it is best to combine treatments that include a couple of these acids in consultation, because they have a higher concentration, and complete with products with vitamin C at home”, says Dr. Pilar de Frutos.
Hyaluronic acid to hydrate:
If you have dry or dehydrated skin do not hesitate: hyaluronic is your asset. In addition to adding hydration, it has a plumping effect on wrinkles. A highly concentrated hyaluronic acid serum before your night cream and you will wake up with a plump and rejuvenated face.
HOW ACIDS ARE USED: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU LAUNCH:
When do I start using them?
When you detect the appearance of the first expression lines and spots on your face or want to combat open pores and / or acne marks. Also as a reinforcement of your usual anti-aging treatment. On the other hand, it is better to start when you are not out in the sun. When you go to take it, stop applying them a week before or according to the indications given by your specialist. (anti-aging acids)
What effects will I notice when using cosmetics with acids?
In a few days and progressively you will notice how wrinkles and spots disappear and how pores close, offering a more uniform skin. If most acids have something in common, it is their effective exfoliating power, so when using them, the skin looks smoother and more luminous. In addition, in the case of hyaluronic acid, super hydrating, you will gain juiciness.
Can all skin types use them?
Consult with your dermatologist before because each skin has a different tolerance to these products and each acid a specific application. But take good advice especially if you have sensitive or reactive skin. In this case,
you can use them, but in a concentration according to your skin.
Can you mix cosmetics with different acids?
Yes, with caution. The sum of retinol and glycolic, for example, is an excellent anti-aging formula for mature, thick and sun-aged skin. However, it can cause irritation to the most sensitive skin.
Some serums that contain retinol and glycolic also usually include niacinamide (vitamin B3) to control possible irritations. But when you want to do an intensive treatment, with high concentrations, “it is best for the dermatologist to prescribe its application on alternate days,” says Dr. Rosa del Rio, from the Pedro Jaén Dermatological Group.
Another option is to consult a pharmacy specialized in dermocosmetics which acids you can use without interfering with your beauty routine. “If you mix acids without rhyme or reason, you can cause tightness or dryness in the skin,” says the pharmacist Marta Masi, who agrees that “you have to be very careful when mixing other acids with retinol or vitamin C, especially in reactive skin ”.
Control the exposure times to acids:
When using a mask with acids, always make sure what the exposure time is. These products have been formulated and tested so that they act in a certain time. On the other hand, there are those who believe that a make-up remover with acids does not work because it is removed too soon. It is not true, “if the recommended time is allowed to act, the result will be the one guaranteed by the product”, clarifies Marta Masi. What is true is that they are more for a routine at night, because of the waiting times.