Acids for skincare, there are so many of them like Mandelic acid. Hyaluronic acid. Glycolic acid. Salicylic acid, that sometimes it seems like we’re in a chemistry lab rather than browsing the skincare products on the internet. The word “acid” summons up images of bubbling test tubes and thoughts of scary chemical burns. But in reality, acids are some of the most beneficial ingredients available in skincare, when used in the right proportion.
Acids are widely used in many skin treatments to fight acne, wrinkles, age spots, scarring, and uneven skin tone. People might think that all acids are pretty much the same, but they are not. Every acid has a different function when applied on the skin and benefits the skin in a different way. With so many acids available in the market, it is essential for you to know the differences between them.
So in this article, we will be presenting the difference between two such most common acids used in skincare i.e. Glycolic acid and Hyaluronic acid. Let’s see which one is better for improving the skin and giving you a bright complexion.
What is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is very popular and is extensively used in skincare. It is obtained from sugarcane and is the smallest AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid), so it’s the most effective at getting deep into the skin.
Glycolic acid is very good at exfoliating skin and reducing fine lines, fading dark spots, increasing skin thickness, and evening out skin tone and texture. That is why it is no surprise that you’ll find it in many cult skincare products available these days.
This acid is also an effective ingredient that prevents zits. It slows down and minimizes their appearance. Doctors recommend using an exfoliating cleanser—ideally with 15% glycolic acid—to prevent further signs of ageing and unwanted breakouts.
The Benefits of Using Glycolic Acid
Effective for Acne-prone Skin
You might have heard that the build-up of dead skin cells combined with excess sebum and acne-causing bacteria is the main reason why acne occurs in the first place.
As the main function of glycolic acid is getting rid of dead skin cells, it can be very useful for treating acne. Along with this, it also prevents future acne breakouts by renewing the skin frequently.
The levels of naturally occurring glycolic acid in the skin reduce as we age. Which is why we use products that contain glycolic acid. It makes the skin more radiant, youthful and smooth in no time.
Because of its moisturizing benefits, it will prevent wrinkles and fine lines from occurring in the first place, and it will minimize the appearance of those that are already existing.
Not only this, but glycolic acid also stimulates collagen production, one of the most important ingredients for preserving that youthful look. What’s not to love?
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic is found naturally in our skin that helps keep our bodies hydrated. It is great for all skin types as a daily lightweight moisturizer. As we age, the amount of this acid in our bodies decreases, just like glycolic acid. This results in our epidermis to become dehydrated.
A hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer will give skin a jolt of hydration and help keep both dehydrated and ageing skin moisturized.
Where it is found?
As told earlier, this popular acid exists naturally in our bodies. The highest concentration of hyaluronic acid is found in the joints and eyes. Ageing and environmental factors play a critical role in the amount of hyaluronic acid our body retains, so we naturally lose some of that amount as we age.
It can be derived from other sources too, especially from food. It can also be found in supplement and powder form, and people usually take it for osteoarthritis and other joint problems.
Benefits of Hyaluronic acid
An Incredible Moisturizer
Hyaluronic acid plays a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s natural moisture and softness.
If you want to experience its hydrating benefits, the best thing to do is to purchase products like serums and moisturizers which already contain hyaluronic acid inside. Since it’s such a common skincare ingredient, you also could be using it without even realizing it. Using this acid on a regular basis will make your skin dewy and glowing.
This acid could also help in healing wounds. It works by decreasing the inflammation in the body while the wound is healing. Also, due to its antibacterial properties, it reduces the risk of infection during the process of healing.
An Anti-ageing Treatment
As we read above, the amount of hyaluronic acid naturally available in our body decrease as we grow older and requires supplementation from the outside to slow down the ageing process. The easiest way to achieve this is by incorporating skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid or by taking oral supplements.
It works by drastically increasing the moisture in our skin which reduces the appearance of wrinkles. It’s believed that people with dry skin tend to get premature signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines more quickly than those with normal or oily skin. Therefore, not only does hyaluronic acid work on existing wrinkles and lines, but it can also prevent them from occurring in the first place.
That’s the reason why it’s also one of the main ingredients in fillers used in plastic surgery that give the skin a youthful appearance
Side effects of Glycolic acid and Hyaluronic acid
It is marked as generally safe and pretty harmless when used properly.
Using glycolic acid can sometimes result in an itching sensation on the skin, it’s nothing to worry about. But if the sensation increases and it starts to burn, you should stop using it immediately.
Hyaluronic acid doesn’t have many side-effects, and it’s generally safe to use. Our bodies produce it naturally, so there are very few reported allergic reactions to it.
But hyaluronic acid is marked as unsafe for people suffering or recovering from cancer because it can potentially make the cells grow faster.
Both acids seem to be extremely beneficial when dealing with dry, flaky and dull-looking skin. Both of these acids have great anti-ageing properties, making them the best option for mature skin types.
However, glycolic acid is a better option for those who want to treat acne or those who are looking for an effective skin exfoliator.
If you suffer from extremely dry skin or dry patches and are looking for a great moisturizer, then you should go for one that contains hyaluronic acid. Make sure you do a patch test first.
They’re easy to incorporate in your skincare routine, and almost every brand has some variation of products that contain them. So you should definitely give them a try at some point.