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The 6 Best Skincare Acids You Need To Try

Whether you're looking to treat darks spots or acne, there's an acid for every skin type.

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If you're anything like me, you've seen words like "glycolic acid" or "salicylic acid" or "AHA/BHA" and thought to yourself, What? There seem to be a million different skincare and bodycare products on the market, all advertising an acid ingredient. But which acid is right for your skin, and which product suits your needs? We need to be careful, because sometimes an acid that treats dryness, like hyaluronic acid, won't work for a person whose suffering from frequent acne breakouts. But have no fear! I have compiled a list of six different products that each use a different hero-acid in each one, so you don't have to play the guessing game.

Whether you're looking to soothe inflamed skin, get rid of those pesky dark spots, bring some hydration back to your face or body–I've got you covered. These products are proven to be effective and each one tackles a different need. For my sensitive ladies to my tough-skinned dames, there is a product on this list that will make you ask, Where have you been all my life?

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The Breakout Hero
Oil Control Pads Acne Treatment
Zo Skin Health zoskinhealth.com

This product is the holy grail for treating acne and regulating oily complexions. Its star ingredient, salicylic acid, intensely exfoliates, removing dead cells, dirt, and oil that can cause breakouts.

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The Daily Brightener
Rose Glycolic Gel
Monastery shoplepoint.com

This lightweight gel is brimming with glycolic acid, an ingredient known for its superb exfoliating qualities and ability to diminish blemishes, lines, and dullness. It’s gentle enough for daily use (and smells like fresh-cut roses).

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The Body Boost
The Body Exfoliator
Nécessaire necessaire.com

Nécessaire aims to bring acids’ skin-smoothing powers below the neck. This body exfoliator, which contains lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids, helps soften rough spots and remove dead skin cells, stat.

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The Scalp Saver
T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub
Drunk Elephant sephora.com

These days, we’re catching on to the idea that amazing hair depends on a healthy scalp. This scrub contains an AHA/BHA blend that works quickly to revitalize your scalp, so you can be flake-free and finally make your hair goals come true. 

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The Gentle Toner
NMF Lactic Acid Toner
Pestle & Mortar pestleandmortar.com

Unlike some toners that feel like they might not be doing anything, this solution delivers on its promised benefits with the help of lactic acid. It’s gentle enoughfor sensitive skin and helps keepskin moisturized.

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The Intense Hydrator
Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Serum Ampoules
L'Oréal Paris Lorealparisusa.com

Not to be mistaken for an exfoliating acid, hyaluronic acid has a different type of superpower: It helps skin draw and retain moisture, making these hydrating pods akin to a drink of water.


A version of this story appears in the May 2020 issue of Marie Claire.


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