Dr. Ewoma: What role do acids play in a skincare routine?

Dr. Ewoma: What role do acids play in a skincare routine?

13 April 2021

Augustinus Bader Contributor and award-winning medical and cosmetic doctor, Dr. Ewoma, takes over the Bader Journal each week to answer some of your most commonly asked questions on application, ingredients, and skin concerns.  In her very first journal, Dr Ewoma breaks down the importance of acids and the need-to-know ingredients that will optimize your skincare routine.

 

Acids play a key role in maintaining a clear bright complexion

Acids have become a staple within our skincare routines, helping us to manage a range of different skin concerns such as dullness, breakouts and texture. Acids can be implemented into your skin routine in a range of different ways; namely in the form of a cleanser, a serum, a toner, a moisturiser and a mask/peel. They play a key role in maintaining a clear, bright complexion but it can be tricky to decipher which will work best for every concern and skin type. Finding the right acid for your skin can take time, so it's important to be patient and responsive to the feedback you get from your skin. Equally, enthusiastic over-exfoliation can be counterproductive to the health of your skin. 



Hyaluronic Acid: 

Hyaluronic Acid is the ultimate hydrating molecule and often one of the acids people are the least scared of. It occurs naturally in your body, working to lubricate joints and keep your skin tissue moist but, as you age it starts to decline. 

 

Essentially, it’s a sugar molecule and it attracts a thousand times its weight in water, so it basically works like a glass of water for your skin. One of the main reasons it’s so popular is because of how universal it is. It’s perfect for layering under your day or night cream to hydrate and plump, and it pretty much suits every skin type out there, even the most sensitive and acne-prone. 

4 acids worth adding to your routine

 

Hyaluronic Acid: 

Hyaluronic Acid is the ultimate hydrating molecule and often one of the acids people are the least scared of. It occurs naturally in your body, working to lubricate joints and keep your skin tissue moist but, as you age it starts to decline. 

 

Essentially, it’s a sugar molecule and it attracts a thousand times its weight in water, so it basically works like a glass of water for your skin. One of the main reasons it’s so popular is because of how universal it is. It’s perfect for layering under your day or night cream to hydrate and plump, and it pretty much suits every skin type out there, even the most sensitive and acne-prone. 

 

You'll find Hyaluronic Acid in The Essence, The Rich Cream and The Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum.

 

 

Essentially, it’s a sugar molecule and it attracts a thousand times its weight in water, so it basically works like a glass of water for your skin. One of the main reasons it’s so popular is because of how universal it is. It’s perfect for layering under your day or night cream to hydrate and plump, and it pretty much suits every skin type out there, even the most sensitive and acne-prone. 

 

You'll find Hyaluronic Acid in The Essence, The Rich Cream and The Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum.

 



Salicylic Acid: 

Salicylic Acid is a Beta-Hydroxy Acid, derived from Willow Bark, and belongs to a group of ingredients called salicylates. It’s unique structure means it’s more oil-soluble therefore it is able to penetrate the pore of the skin. For instance, Alpha-Hydroxy Acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid are water-soluble, so whilst they work well to loosen dead skin cells, BHA’s like salicylic acid penetrate lipid layers more easily, working deeper to unclog pores.

Because of this, Salicylic Acid works particularly well on acneic or breakout prone complexions. Once it has penetrated the skin, the acid part of the molecule dissolves pore-clogging skin debris and helps spots fade quicker. Working to remove, loosen and dissolve dead skin cells, Salicylic Acid also promotes exfoliation.  

Sounds good? It’s worth remembering that unlike Hyaluronic Acid however, Salicylic Acid is not for everyone and is a skincare ingredient that should be used with care. If you have extremely sensitive skin, it's best to slowly introduce this acid into your routine to avoid any possible irritation. 

 

One of the key acids in The Essence is Salicylic Acid. 



Phytic Acid: 

Phytic Acid is an extremely gentle Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, derived from grains, rice and legumes, and it has a plethora of antioxidant properties which has made it a key ingredient in The Essence.

Although it works to gently exfoliate, Phytic Acid is mainly used for its antioxidant properties, working to neutralise free radical damage to the skin, it is particularly good at brightening pigmentation. Promoting cell turnover and stimulating collagen production, it works to even skin tone and minimise fine lines. It also works as a ‘chelator’; this means it can absorb certain minerals that can have a negative effect on our skin health. For instance, it can absorb iron molecules in the skin which can cause damage to our skin DNA.

Because of how mild an exfoliant it is, Phytic Acid is particularly good for those with sensitive or easily inflamed skin.  Phytic Acid is one of the key actives in The Essence.



Citric Acid:

Citric Acid is another Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, unsurprisingly it’s derived from citrus fruits. Working to exfoliate your skin, it is particularly good at brightening dull complexions and reducing the appearance of pores. Like Phytic Acid, it has many antioxidant properties so similarly works to combat free radical damage to your skin. It can also work to adjust the pH level of your skin to help neutralize and balance to achieve your skin’s optimal pH levels.


Incorporating acids into your regular skincare routine will provide visible results and multiple benefits, whatever your skin type. From brightening to smoothing, these multi-tasking ingredients play a vital role in managing an array of skincare concerns.

 

Have a question or concern you'd like Dr. Ewoma to address? Head to our Instagram and let us know in the comments.



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