Ingredients are definitely not lacking when it comes to skincare. Something as simple as honey to exotic durian — yes, you read that right, there is a skincare product infused with the king of fruits, but now facial acids seem to be the latest craze in the beauty industry.

The sound of applying acid on the skin doesn’t sound appealing, in fact, it sounds painful, especially for those who already have sensitive skin. But with the number of good reviews and hype that are surrounding these facial acids, picking the right facial acid for your skin is proven effective and you could be on your way to a flawless complexion.

Hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and glycolic acid are some of the more common ones that you see multiple times on the packaging. This time, we’re diving in deeper, for example, lactic acid, linoleic acid and more. Don’t let that confuse you. With our guide, you’ll be able to ace your facial acids in no time.

Lactic acid

Alpha hydroxy acids are basically a group of acids that focuses on exfoliating, and lactic acid is one of them. It is said to be gentler than glycolic. This is unique because it’s derived from milk, making it safer on the skin and also contains moisturising benefits, unlike others. Great for reducing hyperpigmentation and fine lines.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser, price unavailable


Salicylic acid

Probably one of the most common acid in the market, salicylic acid is often afflicted with acne. The only beta hydroxy acid, it has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, and exfoliating properties, which are best for clogged pores and blackheads.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, RM91


Hyaluronic acid

The most hydrating acid of the bunch, hyaluronic acid is also a common one in skincare, especially moisturisers. Not only it is rich in antioxidants, but this acid also has the power to restore and boost your skin’s moisture level, soothe skin and prevent it from losing more moisture.

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly, RM147

Glycolic acid

One of the acids under the alpha hydroxy acid group, glycolic acid is often mistaken as salicylic because of its exfoliating properties that also benefit oily and acne prone skin. Derived from sugarcane, this is a gentler alternative compared to a physical exfoliator. It helps with lightening dark spots, reduce fine lines and smoothens out the skin’s surface — suitable for all skin types, except sensitive skin.

Pixi Glow Tonic, RM133

Mandelic acid

Mandelic Acid is the gentlest exfoliating acid as compared to other acids, because of its large molecules. The penetration is much slower as compared to other acids as it has twice as big as glycolic acid molecules. This, however, is beneficial for people with sensitive skin as it’s much more tolerable.

For Beloved One Mandelic Acid Advanced Renewal Serum, RM152

Linoleic acid

Often found in facial oils, linoleic acid is a fatty acid oil but with a much lighter consistency — which makes it a great option for those with oily or acne-prone skin. It’s usually made out of plant oils and often confused with oleic acid.

Tarte Marajuca Oil, RM168

Ascorbic acid

Starting to freak out over the number of facial acids? Don’t be. Ascorbic acid is actually vitamin C, which technically is L-ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is popular for its brightening properties. So if you have dark spots that need lightening, this acid is for you.

Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, RM282

Jolin Lee
Unlike most modern-day millennials, Jolin does not need caffeine or alcohol to power through the day (and night). Her eye for beauty is as sharp as her eyeliner flick, and she can spot your unblended eye makeup from a mile away.