Acids and What's It's

Alrighty, so with more and more skin products hitting the market, I thought I’d make a post to help you navigate what some of the words mean and why you would use that product. This isn’t a complete guide to skin care by any means but it does cover the 3-4 major ingredients that are all over the place. Plus! I got my nephew to help me out with stylizing the products, so how could I resist?! Alright, so here we go...

Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is EVERYWHERE. You may see it’s cousin hyaluron as well. This ingredient is primarily for hydrating and plumping your skin. As you age, your body has less and less ability to maintain its moisture due to loss of elasticity and thinning of skin. So hyaluronic acid helps draw and maintain skin hydration therefore resulting with more plump skin.

How to use:

There isn’t one way to apply this product but I’ve used hydrating essences or serums as a skin refresher or as a primer for makeup. I would highly recommend using a product with this ingredient to help give your skin a boost mid-day or maybe just before a makeup touch up. My favorites are this and this one. I use these guys to refresh my under eyes and face during particularly sweaty or drying moments.

Ingredient: Glycolic Acid

This bad boy is important for skin exfoliation. You may have seen it in a cult favorite toner or tons of serum. Another type of skin exfoliant is Lactic Acid. Not the same but has the same purpose. It’s meant to help rid the skin of dead skin cells to make room for the new. It caaaaaaan be irritating to the skin, so always test patch before applying to the whole face. I’ve currently been obsessed with this product as my nightly routine. Adding glycolic acid has helped clear my skin of those tiny little white heads and bumps along my hairline and t-zone.

How to use:

If using as a serum, only apply at night. It makes the skin sensitive so walking around in the sun can be a bad combo. Mixed as a toner isn’t as much of a problem because it more diluted and absorbs into your skin quickly. Always test patch your skin!! If you have sensitive skin, consider using a lower concentration of the ingredient or mix it into a moisturizer to decrease its potency.

Ingredient: Retinol

Other forms of retinol are retinoids and Vitamin A. Retinol is the friend that brings new and fresh skin cells to the party called your face. It increases the skin turnover rate and helps regenerate new skin cells. This guy also targets pigmentation and fights that aging process but keeping your skin healthy and fresh. I want to mention Vitamin A in this category as well, it is a type of retinoid and functions the same as the retinol based products. So if you’re looking for more natural based products, Vitamin A is the way to go.

How to use:

Another one for that night time use only and is important to test patch. Each product is going to have a different concentration of retinol and it’s important to make sure your skin isn’t sensitive to it. Last thing you need is to wake up with a rash rather than glow. Retinol is BEST in combo with glycolic or lactic acid. The latter works on dissolving that dead skin layer while the former works to increase the new. BAM! Improved skin texture.

Ingredient: Vitamin C

Vitamin C is used to help fight wrinkles, improve skin texture and to give your skin that boost when looking a little dull. It’s also great to fight pigmentation from sun damage. My current faves are this and this but I’m planning on purchase this next because of all the raving reviews. I’m going to do a comparison and will let you know! Vitamin C could be comparative to glycolic acid but I don’t think it’s as potent. It is a more natural form that could be used instead.

How to use:

Vitamin C oxidizes in sunlight. So wherever you store it, make sure it’s not in direct light. Test patch as well because it can feel a bit tingly or burning because of the acid content. I always use a vitamin c product in both my day and nighttime routine. I would recommend applying the product before applying your moisturizer or oil, making sure it absorbs before diluting with the next product.


Hope you found this post helpful! Aaaand I hope you adored the little kid who helped hold all the products (so many heart eyes emojis going on here).

Let me know what other products you’d like for me to review or tell me what products are your fave below! I’m always looking to expand my skin routine and to try out new products.

Until next time!