All About Acids: Part 1

There are some amazing acids on the market today that give great results! But what does each of them do? Will they benefit my skin? Which products contain each acid? I’m answering these questions for you in part 1 of “All About Acids”! Today we’re starting with the most commonly known acids in skincare.


Our salicylic acid is extracted from white willow bark. Salicylic acid is an oil loving acid that breaks through oil to kill acne bacteria. Salicylic acid is keratolytic which makes it a super exfoliator. It breaks up the glue that holds skin cells together in your pores, cleaning them out! This acid is commonly used in acne treatments with an Esthetician, and home care.

Products containing Salicylic Acid:

  • Clarifying Cleanser
  • Clarifying Serum
  • Discoloration Solution
  • Zesty Orange Enzyme Peel


Lactic acid is an AHA fermented from dairy. This very popular acid dissolves dead skin cells, increases cell turnover, reduces pigmentation and brightens the skin. It also increases the natural moisture factor of the skin. Lactic acid is a milder exfoliant more compared to salicylic acid or glycolic acid, making is safe for even the most sensitive skin.

Products containing Lactic Acid:

  • Lactic Acid Peels
  • Discoloration Solution
  • Mango, Cherry, Cranberry, Pumpkin and Zesty Orange Fruit Enzyme Peels


Derived from sugar cane, beets and rhubarb glycolic acid is water soluble and goes down into the pores, swirls debris around and brings it to the surface. This makes glycolic beneficial for removing dead skin cells and stimulating collagen production. It unclogs pores, prevents hormonal breakouts, is beneficial for dark spots, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and large pores. Basically, it does it all! How our glycolic is different from others is that it is an unbuffered glycolic polymer. This makes the glycolic more gentle and less irritating to the skin, with a slower penetration rate.

Products containing Glycolic Acid:

  • Glycolic Polymer Solutions
  • 5% and 10% Glycolic Crème
  • Clarifying Serum
  • Oxygen Crème
  • Discoloration Solution


A naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid found in wheat, rye and barley, this acid is recommended as an alternative to hydroquinone to help lighten discolorations. Azelaic acid is a tyrosinade inhibitor. Tyrosinades are the enzymes that determine the melanin (color) of the skin. When melanin has darkened from sun exposure or hormonal forces creating melasma, tyrosinade inhibitors help to reverse dark pigments in the skin. This ingredient is also beneficial for killing acne bacteria and reducing bumps and inflammation in rosacea.

Products containing Azelaic Acid:

  • Clarifying Serum
  • Clarifying Euro Crème
  • Discoloration Bar
  • Discoloration Solution
  • Brightening Lotion


Hyaluronic acid is a different type of acid. It does not exfoliate the skin, but hydrates. Hyaluronic acid binds 1,000 times it’s weight in moisture to the skin without being heavy. This makes it a great hydrator for every skin type! Perfect for oily skin to balance oil production without the weight of a moisturizer, and perfect for the most dry skin types to hydrate and plump up dead skin cells reducing flakiness too.

Products containing Hyaluronic Acid:

  • Hydrotant Gel
  • Hydro-Lane
  • Firm & Lift
  • Repair Serum

It’s important to note that although I mention where some of these acids have been derived from, not all for instance “lactic acids” are the same. Some are derived from other places, or chemically made. Naturally derived acids are of course more natural, but also often allow for little to no reaction on the skin. Many people can be allergic to salicylic acid, but it may only be because it was chemically made. Salicylic acid derived from willow bark may be perfectly fine for their skin! Take note of this when looking at different products and ingredients.


by Kayla Johnson
A Natural Difference Educator