YOUR BEAUTY: Guide to Skincare Acids: From Lactic to Mandelic – which is which?

Skincare acids are becoming increasingly popular and have been dubbed miracle products to help fight acne, wrinkles, scarring, uneven skin tone and more. However, the complex names and range of products out there can make it difficult to know where to start when implementing them into our skincare regimes. Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme of Adonia Clinic talks us through the most commonly found acids. The right choice is yours.

  • Salicylic Acid: For oily and acne-prone skin – it is made from the same family as aspirin. It exfoliates and reduces excess oil in the skin, helping to reduce acne breakouts. Look for products with 2% strength and add to your evening skin regime when cleansing.
  • Lactic Acid: For dry skin and rosacea – coming from cow’s milk, lactic acid is unusual in that it exfoliates but also hydrates the skin, by pulling water into the skin.
  • Glycolic Acid: For all skin types – coming from sugar cane, it is a really small molecule that penetrates into the skin, exfoliating and brightening the skin. It is strong, so only use once a week as an exfoliator on the face with a product at 10% strength. It should also not be used long term, so take a break after a couple of months.
  • Mandelic Acid: Great for darker skin – Glycolic acid is great for skin types 1-3 but Mandelic acid is better for darker skin, yet is often overlooked. Made from almonds, the modules are larger which makes it good for brightening darker skin types without causing pigmentation.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Not an acid – this is not an active acid like the others above. It is a molecule found naturally in the skin and most abundant in the skin. It acts like a sponge – holding a thousand times itself in water – making it a great product to add into your skincare regime after cleansing and before putting on your moisturiser or other daily serums.
  • Skin Peels: Get expert advice – with clinic’s currently closed, there has been an increase in consumers buying at home skin peels that all contain different amounts of the acids above. Before applying these peels, it is best to seek medical advice from a skin specialist to ensure you are using the right peels for your skin type.


Adonia Medical Clinic
 are currently offering virtual consultations to help people find the best acids for their skin and to apply them safely.

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