Skincare truly has come a long way. The thought of acid in serum is no longer frightening. With the promise of an even skin tone, glowing complexion, reduced pores and fewer fine lines, more women & men are tripping on the idea of acid in skincare.

But with so many products in the market, it can be quite daunting to know which one is right for your skin concern. Lactic acid? Is that ok if you’re lactose intolerant? Citric acid? Will rubbing lemon juice on your face do the trick?

We’ve put together a beginner’s guide on acids in skincare that will help you identify what’s actually in your lotions and potions and which are the ones your skin really needs.


First things first, what are all these acronyms? Turns out, you don’t have to be a scientist to find the right acid for you. Let’s get decoding.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is a water-soluble acid made from sugary fruits. It works on the surface of the skin to exfoliate, boost collagen, and shed dead skin cells, revealing more evenly pigmented, smoother skin. We recommend it for normal to dry, sun-damaged, or pigmented skin.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is an oil-soluble acid that can work its magic deep into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. This acne-busting ingredient is preferred for normal to oily skin that's prone to bumps, clogs, blemishes, and enlarged pores.

Poly Hydroxy Acid (PHA) is a group of acids that work at a slower pace. Owing to its large molecular size, it penetrates through the skin slowly, offering gentler exfoliation. Perfect for sensitive, dry skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea, and even mature skin, these acids are also loaded with antioxidants and attract moisture to improve hydration.

Most acids in skincare products are likely to be active ingredients. Touted for their unique antioxidant properties, active ingredients change the skin on a chemical level, with a noticeable effect on the appearance of skin. Too good to be true? Oh, but it is! Just remember to be patient and consistent. Rome (and good skin) wasn’t built in a day.

Which Acid is Right for You?

The million-dollar question: What kind of acid should you go for? The answer really depends on the skin condition you want to treat. If you’re primarily looking for dry skin relief or anti-aging benefits, try an AHA. If you want to tackle acne, look to BHAs. And if you’ve got sensitive skin, turn to PHAs.

Grab a microscope, because we’re about to take a closer look. 

Acids can be tricky. Even within AHAs & BHAs, there are some acids that are much stronger (here’s looking at you, glycolic acid) while others like lactic are much milder. Try doing a patch test before using any new products (that tingly sensation is normal, but shouldn’t last too long), and always use your acid products at night and slather on extra sunscreen in the day. It’s always best to consult a dermatologist for severe skin issues.

Now that you’ve got your very own cheat sheet, you’ve got this! Browse through our skincare range to find the right exfoliator for you..

PS.Don’t use lemon juice on your face! While it’s loaded with citric acid it has a bunch of other potentially harmful chemicals. Lastly, lactic acid in skincare products won’t bother you if you’re lactose intolerant. But it may if you’re highly allergic to milk.