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All The Dish On Skin Care Acids

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aha and bha skincare

Hold up, don’t leave just yet. We know how daunting it is to hear (or in this case, read) the word ‘Acid’. Especially when we’ve spent the entirety of the past two years trying to build a beauty routine that is as natural as possible. Honestly, it’s totally normal to think ‘chemicals’ when someone mentions acids. Because to a large extent, they are exactly that. But girl, if you’re thinking about chemical burns, that ain’t it. 2021 is the year we school ourselves in the magical thing we call, ‘skin care acids’. Scroll away!

It’s Chemistry!

Before you tell us that natural is the only way to go, let us tell you, everything on this giant blue planet is made up of chemistry. So yeah, even your natural skin care involves a large amount of chemistry. In layman terms, acids are active exfoliating ingredients in your skin care. They mostly come under the umbrella terms of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA). Their main function is to aid in cell turnover. How do they do that? It’s simple. They basically dissolve the glue that holds the dead cells on your skin.

Now, your regular skin care that claims to boast of active ingredients like AHA and BHA has carefully controlled amounts. And so, you see their effect a tad bit slowly and only with consistent use. That is how you know that it is totally safe to use them. You might also see your skin flaking or peeling off after using a skin care peel. That’s just dead skin leaving your existence, girl. But, but, but… not all acids are just responsible for exfoliation. Alongside that, they also target different skin concerns.

So, if you’re convinced, keep reading to read about our top favourite chemical acids and why we love them.


How do we not start with Hyaluronic Acid? It’s literally all beauty junkies can talk about. It’s known to have a pH level that is lower than neutral, and well, that explains why it’s one of the safest acids to use. It also happens to a humectant. It traps moisture from your surroundings and your skin, ensuring a plumping effect and ultimate hydration. There’s also a way to use it. You ideally use it on a wet face so it can trap the moisture, and then follow up with a moisturiser. Fun fact: hyaluronic acid is also found naturally in our skin. Who knew?!

Nykaa Picks: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

hyaluronic acid skin care
salicylic acid skin care


If you’re generally into acids, or have acne-prone skin, you probably know all about salicylic acid. It’s the grandma of skin care and has been around for a looooong time. We also tend to look for face scrubs that contain salicylic acid not just for the bomb exfoliation, but also for clearing out our pores and getting rid of acne. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is a bonus.

Nykaa Picks: Minimalist Salicylic Acid 2% Serum for Blackheads, Pore Tightening, Oil Control & Acne Breakouts


If glycolic acid were a high schooler in a teen flick, it would be the popular kid. Glycolic acid is THE ingredient for those craving bright, radiant skin. It’s one of the most popular AHAs and just like its other acid brothers and sisters, glycolic acid works to exfoliate and reveal skin that glows like a goddess! We were first interested in this bad boy when we were introduced to the Pixi Glow Tonic, which without a doubt, is one of our top picks.

Nykaa Picks: PIXI Glow Tonic

aha skincare- glycolic acid
Why not be wise and get a face wash infused with Salicylic Acid? Check out:
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