Acid Guide for skincare: AHAs, BHAs, Hyaluronic Acid

Have you heard of AHA, BHA or Hyaluronic Acid when you were looking for the right cosmetics for you? Everyone says they are good for you, but how would you know if they are actually good for you or not if you don’t have knowledge of them. Let me break down acid types for you and help you be smart at choosing the best cosmetic for you.

<What is Acid?>

Acids are used as an ingredient of exfoliators. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are two main acids when it comes to skincare. They dissolve the binding between skin cells and make the skin smoother and brighter. That is why they are used for producing exfoliators. The effect depends on the strength of the acid.

<Type of AHAs>

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is found in some sugar-crops and used in various skin care products. Out of all the acids, its molecule is the smallest; it helps penetrate the deepest generating collagen and thickening the skin. However, it could also result in irritation if it is too intense.
Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is obtained from fermented milk or sugar. Its molecule is the second smallest out of all the acids and gives moisture to the skin. It is well known as gentle acid for sensitive skin.
Fruit Acid
Fruit acid is usually from citric like lemons and grapefruits and malic like apples. It is even gentler than lactic acid and works on the surface layer of the skin. Sometimes, it gets combined with glycolic or lactic acids, to boost the effectiveness.

<Type of BHAs>

Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid can be obtained from plants. It is popular for acne and breakout treatment. It dissolves the oil on pores and exfoliates dead skin cells. As it has anti-inflammatory properties, there is less chance to irritate the skin.

<Special Acid>

Hyaluronic Acid
Other than AHAs and BHAs, hyaluronic acid doesn’t exfoliate. It is mostly used for moisturizing purposes as its molecule helps plump the tissue and keep moisture inside the skin. Combining hyaluronic acid with AHAs and BHAs can replenish the skin as it makes the acids more gentle.

<How to use>

Regardless of your skin type, it is always nice to test the cosmetic if it irritates your skin or not. Test it on your inner arm and check after 24 to 48 hours. If you don’t have a reaction, try it one or two times a week and increase usage slowly.


 Work on the skin’s surface
Effective for exfoliating, brightening, and skin texture
 Used for moisturizers like creams, serums, and facial masks
Work deeper penetrating pores
Effective for clogged pores and acne
Used for facial cleansers
Hyaluronic Acid
Hydrate the skin retaining the moisture
Effective for moisturizing and reducing wrinkles
Used for moisturizers like toner, serums, creams.