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Can you use Acid on Skin for Common Skin Conditions?

can you use acid on skin

The Infamous Question : Can you use Acid on Skin for Common Skin Conditions?

Hi Ultimate Lifers! It’s THE beauty maven back with more beauty tips and tricks! Read on to find out how a variety of acids can can you use acid on skinaddress common skin concerns.

Now, there’s a question that pops up time and time again, “Can you use Acid on Skin?”. And by now you’re probably freaking out also at the thought of using an acid on your face to enhance your complexion – well rest assured that the acids I’m about to discuss are completely safe and effective!

Acids can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns such as, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne and sun damage but they are also great for enhancing your complexion for a smoother and radiant appearance. So what acids specifically can be used on skin?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (also known as AHA’s) are often referred to as ‘fruit acids’ since they are naturally occurring acids. AHA’s can you use acid on skinnormalise the stratum corneum (top visible layer of the skin) by reducing its thickness through exfoliation. AHA’s are widely used in cosmetics to achieve smooth skin and treat skin conditions.

These particular acids are great for treating actinic keratosis, dry skin, aged skin, lines and wrinkles, sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are often found in cleansers, toners, creams, lotions and facial chemical peels. Their efficacies are dependent on the type of AHA used, the pH of the formula and the concentration used.

Popular AHA’s used in Skincare

  • Glycolic Acid – (derived from sugar cane) has the smallest molecule size and penetrates the skin quickly, therefore glycolic acid is not ideal for sensitive skin types.can you use acid on skin


  • Lactic Acid – (derived from sour milk) the famous Cleopatra allegedly took baths in sour milk as a strict beauty regimen! Lactic acid has a bigger molecule size and is great for sensitive skin types.
  • Tartaric Acid (from wine and grapes)
  • Citric Acid (from lemons, pineapples and other citric fruits)


  • Suitable for all skin types 1-6 (light – dark)


Beta Hydroxy Acids

Just like AHA’s, BHA’s are also great exfoliants and refines skin texture. BHA’s have the ability to exfoliate excessive dead skin cell build-up around the orifice of the sebaceous follicle.

Salicylic Acid – (found in willow bark) is commonly found in some plants and can be synthetically made. Salicylic acid is lipid soluble – it has the ability to penetrate the pores to reduce sebaceous follicle blockage. This acid is great for treating acne/ spots, oily skin types, improve skin texture, treatment for warts, callouses and psoriasis. Salicylic acid is often found in toners and cleansers for acne treatment, in lotions for oily skin and face masks for spots and blemishes. Salicylic acid chemical peels are great facials for controlling acne and the practitioner should always ensure that there is no active acne present since peels can spread and aggravate it.

  • Suitable for all skin types 1-6 (accept for salicylic chemical peels, which is not suitable for darker skin types 4-6)

So there you have it – acids are not so frightening after all! Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids are popular ingredients found in skincare and the exciting part is that there’s an acid suitable for all skin tones and a vast amount of skin conditions. Safety tip – Always wear sunblock as AHA’s and BHA’s increase photosensitivity and only trained professionals should administer chemical peels.

Hopefully after reading this article, it’s left you in no doubt wether you Can you use Acid on Skin or wether it can do wonders to your complexion or not.

Until next time.


Yours truly,

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Author Profile

THE beauty maven
THE beauty mavenBeauty Tips and Tricks
THE beauty maven (Alisha Myer), a former Harley Street Skin Care specialist. Qualified in advance skincare and laser treatments. NVQ level 3 Aesthetician and with over 8 years experience in beauty and aesthetics. Extensive training led her to become a Senior Aesthetic Practitioner working alongside aclaimed Doctors and Surgeons.

Ultimate Life's Skin Care Expert