Most of us hear the word acid and assume that our skin will peel and turn red, which isn’t always the case. New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD, says, “Just because something is labeled an acid, doesn’t give you the scoop on what it does.
Kojic, L-ascorbic, azelaic and mandelic acids work on a deeper level of the skin to halt melanin production and give a brightening effect.
If you’re just starting out with products that contain acids, pick one with a cream or lotion base, says celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy. “They’re more buffered than a gel or liquid, meaning they’ll be more effective with daily use, which lowers chances of skin irritation.
Acid combinations in a product work best when they can penetrate different levels of skin; some work just on the surface, while others go deeper for more of a rejuvenating effect,” she adds.
Gentle on skin, alpha lipoic and ferulic acids provide a layer of protection against environmental damagers.