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Exfoliation should be a key part of every skincare regime. The buildup of dirt, oil, dead skin cells and products lead to congested skin. A good exfoliating acid will meet your skin’s specific needs while it exfoliates, so read below to discover what acid you should look for in the ingredients. 

Salicylic Acid

Do you struggle with mild acne? By mild, I just mean regular white heads and black heads. If yes, then salicylic acid is your friend! This acid reduces white heads and black heads by going into the pores and dissolving any unwanted dirt or oil that is causing acne. 
Be careful if you have super sensitive skin, salicylic acid may cause irritation. 

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is the best acid for those with dry or dehydrated skin. It is commonly derived from milk, hence the name. This ingredient breaks down the bonds between dead skin cells so it can reveal a firmer, smoother and hydrated complexion.

Glycolic Acid

If your concern is aging skin, then glycolic acid is the perfect exfoliating acid for you. This acid is skin-renewing because it promotes cell turnover and helps prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin barrier. Fair warning though, this ingredient is powerful, because the molecules are so small so they are better at really getting into the skin. It is best for people with more tolerant or resistant skin. Ultimately, exfoliating with glycolic acid will reveal a smooth, plump and hydrated complexion.

Azelaic Acid

Like salicylic acid, azelaic acid is also good for acne-prone skin. However, azelaic acid is good for people that have sensitive skin or more stubborn acne, because this ingredient is tolerable for basically every skin type. This acid is especially great for those with rosacea, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation from past acne, or other discolorations in the skin. 

Mandelic Acid


Mandelic acid is great for those with oily and sensitive skin. Unlike glycolic acid and other AHA exfoliants, mandelic acid is more gentle because the molecules are much larger. Don’t worry though, it still works itself just as deep into the pores so it is just as effective!

Just another STL native studying Journalism at Mizzou. Lover of music, books, fashion, and pasta.
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