Acids for Your Face, What's Up With That?

As the weather gets colder here in my part o’ the world, my skin just gets worse and worse. My face is crusty, I have weird little bumps on my nose, and don’t get me started on my chin! It just seemed logical to figure out how to treat my weird skin ailments in the best way possible, and that way seems to be ACIDS! Yes, I know that sounds like a scary science experiment you want nowhere near your face, but Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid, and Benzoyl Peroxide seem to be the big three in the skincare community, but which one should you use for which condition? Well, let’s look…

*Full disclosure, I’m no doctor, just a girl with some whack skin and an internet connection. Take my research with a grain of salt.


So, what’s good for what?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

Salicylic Acid

Meet salicylic acid, you’re new friend when it comes to common pimples!

Are your pimples and spots red and inflamed? Salicylic acid might be for you. According to MedLine Plus,  “Topical salicylic acid treats acne by reducing swelling and redness and unplugging blocked skin pores to allow pimples to shrink.” Salicylic acid can be both prescribed and OTC, and typically is used topically. Salicylic acid can be found in many forms and many strengths. I personally have a lovely salicylic moisturizer, face mask, and a face wash that I like to use. Fair warning though, In my personal experience I’ve found that it can dry out healthy skin, so use with care.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a type of AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) that primarily works to moisturize and exfoliate skin, so say good-bye to crusty face! Glycolic acid is, of course, a chemical exfoliator, so you should be careful to follow instructions when using a product that contains glycolic acid. Commonly you can see glycolic peel-offs at your local beauty store or spa, but you can also find serums and toners with glycolic acid as well. 

Benzoyl Peroxide

While it might not be an acid, it’s still good to know about it! Benzoyl peroxide is typically used along with Salicylic acid to help combat severe acne. Again, Benzoyl peroxide can be obtained OTC and by prescription. You can commonly find Benzoyl Peroxide in your good old drug store acne treatment. 

So, that’s a quick little rundown of some commonly found acids in acne products. Even though you might have a bit of an education now, it’s still best to see your doctor or dermatologist if you’re having any severe skin problems! I hope y’all have a good week and clearer skin ahead.