For most people, the word “acid” is a reminder of chemistry labs, where your teacher has advised you to wear protective gloves and goggles and handle them with care. How, then, do we feel confident enough to use the increasingly popular acid-based serums in our skin care routines? For women around the world, acids have become the go-to ingredient in skin care. Whether repairing sun damage and tanning, even skin tone, remove whiteheads and blackheads, remove acne and reduce wrinkles, acids contained in sera have been widely accepted. Many women prefer acid-based serums for exfoliating the skin over natural scrubs.
“I am very careful with the products I use on my face and switched from scrubs to acid-based exfoliation when I read that scrubs actually cause micro-tears on the skin and can cause damage. skin and wrinkles. Since switching to using acid-based serums, I have noticed a huge difference. My black and whiteheads have diminished. My pores don’t clog either and I have fewer rashes, ”says Sarika Mehta, a 37-year-old human resources professional based in Mumbai.
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Freelance beauty writer Sunaina Pathak says she started using acids in her skin care after seeing a number of beauty bloggers and YouTubers that she enthusiastically follows about them. She’s a little skeptical about the daily use of acids, but she finds them helpful in removing tans and exfoliating.
There are a number of acids used in skin care products. Salicylic acid helps clear acne and rashes. Glycolic acid helps to even out skin tone and fight skin aging and wrinkles, but it must be used regularly for the desired effect to be seen. While Mandelic Acid is known to even out skin tone, reverse sun damage, and reduce skin pigmentation, Kojic Acid helps reduce pigmentation, especially in Asian and Indian skin. Hyaluronic acid, which is naturally produced by human skin, keeps it well hydrated and lubricated. Lactic acid, a gentle exfoliant and hydrating acid, is great for people with sensitive skin, and citric acid reduces dullness.
These acids are divided into two categories: alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA). AHAs are the most common acids used in skin care products and are the entry-level ingredient if you’ve never used acid-based serums before. They act as exfoliators and stimulate collagen production. BHAs penetrate deep into the skin and help cleanse clogged pores, thus preventing acne. However, they should be used with caution.
How do acids really work? Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consulting Dermatologist and Dermatologist, The Esthetic Clinics, Mumbai, says: “Acids are the magical ingredients in your skin care arsenal that you can use to rejuvenate the skin. The tendency to use acids for the face is not new; there is evidence of an ancient royalty using different types of acids to restore the skin’s natural pH balance. Used in the right concentration and in the right mixtures, facial acids do not burn. They are specially formulated to adapt to different skin types. Acids for the face and body also help reduce UV damage, decrease collagen breakdown, and restore the skin’s natural protective barrier. This means that even when the acid-based product is not on your skin, it still works its magic, says Dr. Kapoor.
Additionally, acids for skin care are often derived from natural ingredients but are more refined and concentrated to treat specific skin conditions. “Be aware of the active ingredients you are using on the skin. When using AHAs, avoid vitamin C and retinol, and don’t mix facial acids. Most acids are not meant to be applied daily, ”says Dr Kapoor.
So, are all acid-based serums and skin care products soaked in chemicals? Not necessarily. The “bad” chemicals are actually parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oils, additives and silicones, and you should check the product label for these, says Manish Chowdhary, Founder of Wow Skin Science. “We use selected acids, which are safe and natural. like hyaluronic acid, which is naturally present in your body and which is supplemented by these serums, ”explains Chowdhary.
Before starting to use a serum or other acid-based product, it is advisable to do a patch test. You should also consult a dermatologist before using any of these products if you intend to use them to address a specific skin problem, such as aggressive acne or hyperpigmentation.
The dermatologist will test your skin and recommend the products you need based on the type of skin you have or the type of skin problem you are facing. Also, don’t go overboard with all the products at once and don’t expect results overnight. Expected results take time and excessive demand will only delay the result.
Simple tips to get the most out of acids for your skin
Don’t start using all kinds of serums at once
Do not buy products with an acid concentration greater than 10%
Mixing of acids can cause irritation and peeling of dry skin
Try to use acids at night
Always apply a good sunscreen after an acid treatment
Start with your chin and neck and work your way up as you apply acid
Do not apply to cuts and wounds
Acid based products lighten skin, don’t expect “skin whitening”