Acids for the face – We like to treat the skin of our face delicately: which is why there are many care routines designed to take care of the complexion.

For this reason, thinking about applying acids to your face could cause you concern. However, it would be best not to let the name scare you off. Acids, such as the well-known alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), offer excellent benefits for the skin.

They are known for their exfoliating properties; AHAs can break down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells organized. By dissolving those bonds, the dead cells fall off: allowing new skin to remain on the surface. AHA scrubs can unclog pores, treat pimples, reduce hyperpigmentation, and smooth fine lines.

These water-soluble acids are exceptionally versatile from various sources, such as sugar cane or citrus. Liable on which one you pick, you can benefit from its particular characteristics, such as boosting collagen or moisturizing your skin.

What are the different types of AHAs? From where do they come? Which one is right for your membrane type? Here you will find the answers: we have compiled everything essential to know about the most common AHAs exfoliants.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is the alpha hydroxy acid with the smallest molecules, allowing it to penetrate tissues and penetrate the skin, reaching deeper. The more it penetrates, the more results it produces. Not only does it remove dead cells, but it also acts on damage caused by the sun, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and expression lines.

This cane sugar-derived acid is a humectant, drawing in moisture and keeping skin hydrated. Without a doubt, it is the most potent acid of all AHAs. But you have to be careful with its high effectiveness: this acid is powerful and can irritate the skin if you are not used to it. Start little by little with a product that contains less than 5% of this acid and then gradually increase, resorting to preparations that have 8 to 10%.

Lactic acid

Lactic acid is an excellent option to start using AHAs. It comes from sour milk and has larger molecules than glycolic acid. Lactic acid has multiple functions and does all of what glycolic acid does, but more gently since the molecules take longer to penetrate the skin.

To take advantage of the moisturizing properties of lactic acid, look for a product with a 2% concentration or higher. You will need the attention of between 5 and 10% for proper exfoliation. If you want your epidermis to thicken and boost collagen production, opt for a higher concentration (around 12%).

mantellic acid

Among the list of significant components of the skin is mantellic acid. It has larger molecules, so it is an excellent AHA exfoliant to “maintain” the good condition of the skin. It works more slowly, being ideal for susceptible skin. However, it is also effective in combating hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and fine lines. Mantellic acid is obtained from bitter almonds; it has excellent antimicrobial properties and protects the skin from acne.

malic acid

Malic acid is another of the large molecule AHAs. In this case, it comes from apples. It has exfoliating characteristics but is not powerful enough to act as a single ingredient. At concentrations greater than 2%, malic acid is an excellent co-worker with glycolic and lactic acid. Combined with malic acid, these work more effectively.

Tartaric acid

The size of the tartaric acid molecules is double that of glycolic acid. Therefore, it penetrates the skin too slowly to be effective. This AHA stands out for being a good PH regulator. Tartaric acid is found in grapes, bananas, and tamarinds. It contains antioxidant properties and is an excellent supplement to more vital acids for better results.

Citric acid

As the name suggests, this AHA comes from citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Although this AHA works as an exfoliant in concentrations of 10% or more, its low pH of 2.2 contributes to increased skin sensitivity. Among the most prized characteristics of citric acid are its antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

It is usually present in acne products and sunscreens in low concentrations. As tartaric acid is an excellent pH regulator, it is often used to maintain the acid-alkaline ratio of products in a range that guarantees effectiveness and is not irritating.