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All acids are not bad: Some can make you look radiant too

Acids can make you look good too. Commonly used in beauty products, these can smooth out wrinkles, reduce age spots and more.

The phrase 'acid on skin' can bring frightening images to mind. It usually makes you think of burnt skin, wrinkles and disfigurement. Or, it may bring to mind a science lab. But used properly, acid can be your skin's best friend. It can hydrate, smooth and give a radiant hue to your skin.

It can prevent acne, smooth out wrinkles, reduce age spots and scarring and give your skin an even tone. Let us take a look at the acids that are the most beneficial for your skin health.

Salicylic acid

It exfoliates skin and cleans pores. This can help you fight acne and acne scars. It is also great for treating sun damage and age spots. This ingredient is usually one of the ingredients in serums and cleansers at concentrations for skin care. It is frequently used by dermatologists to remove warts and corns too. And, the best thing is that, it is also an anti-inflammatory.

Glycolic acid

This is the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is used in skin care. Derived from sugar cane, it is easy for the skin to absorb. This is also a very good exfoliating agent and it can smooth out wrinkles and fight acne. It can also be used to treat dark spots, pigmentation and an uneven skin tone and texture. The only disadvantage is that overuse can increase sun sensitivity.

Mandelic acid

This is also an alpha-hydroxy acid. It is extracted from bitter almonds. It is used in exfoliating masks and peels and is very useful in fighting against acne, sun damage and pigmentation. Moreover, it is better than glycolic acid because it can't penetrate too deep into the skin. Therefore, the chance of allergic reactions is also less. Hence, it is more popular with skin care companies who prefer this acid for their peels.

Azelaic acid

This is useful in the treatment of acne. It is not used by the cosmetic industry and is found in prescription skin care ointments only. This is good as it cleans the pores, prevents hyperpigmentation, reduces inflammation and rids the skin of bacteria. It can also make the skin tone lighter. This is a safe ingredient, but it may cause an allergic reaction in some people. In case you are allergic to this acid, you will experience stinging, peeling and redness of skin after you apply this product.

Kojic acid

This is an interesting acid. Produced by bacteria that causes fermentation of rice in the preparation of sake, it is known for its positive effects on skin tone and hyperpigmentation. It is mostly used in cleansers and serums. But some people may be allergic and suffer from skin irritation if they use any product containing this ingredient.

Ascorbic acid

This is a water-soluble form of vitamin C. It has amazing anti-aging properties and is useful in the treatment of melasma. The only problem is that it is highly unstable when exposed to oxygen and water.

Ferulic acid

This has antioxidant properties. It is usually combined with vitamins C and E in serums. This is a perfect tool to fight the damage caused by free radicals.

A few things to keep in mind

Now you know what to look for in your beauty products. But keep in mind that a higher concentration of the acid increases the risk of skin irritation. To avoid any complications, always carry out a skin patch test. For best results, use one acid in the morning and another at night. Also, when in doubt, consult your dermatologist. He will guide you to the right product.

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