The Best Acids For Acne-Prone Sensitive Skin The Best Acids For Acne-Prone Sensitive Skin

The Best Acids For Acne-Prone Sensitive Skin

Dealing with the combination of acne-prone and sensitive skin can be a nightmare when nothing seems to work for you. One wrong product or ingredient can unleash problems like breakouts, redness and scarring. Well, acne is caused when your pores get clogged with oil, dirt and dead skin cells. When your pores are not clean, the blockages sprout on your skin in the form of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. So, to find a solution, you need something that works on its root cause I.e. the clogged pores. Dermatologists believe that facial acids can significantly help in managing acne-prone sensitive skin by exfoliating and unclogging pores. However, not all acids are the same and it's crucial to choose the right one. Here is a guide on the best facial acids and how to use them for your skin.

Lactic acid

Lactic acid is the mildest acid for acne and works perfectly for acne-prone, sensitive skin. It is one of the most common alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) that gently exfoliates the skin cells and improves skin tone. It is derived from the sugars present in milk and is known to be a light peeling agent. Lactic acids help eliminate acne-causing bacteria and increase cell turnover. Its mild nature makes it suitable for beginners without the risk of getting irritation and allergies. You can incorporate lactic acid in the form of serum or toners for your skin once or twice a week. However, since it exfoliates and sloughs away the outer layer of your skin, you must ensure to use sunscreen after using lactic acid. 

Salicylic acid

The staple ingredient in most anti-acne products, salicylic acid helps exfoliate the dead skin cells and unclog your pores. They are a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that breaks down the oil and debris collected in your pores and are an effective treatment for early acne like blackheads and whiteheads. You can use salicylic acid in toners to soothe the inflammation, in facial cleansers to eliminate acne-causing germs or opt for it in gel formulation to be used as a spot treatment. It is advised against using salicylic acid in large quantities as BHAs can make your skin drier or flare up sensitive or eczema-prone skin. Try the Garnier Skin Naturals Bright Complete anti-pimple serum sheet mask that is enriched with salicylic acid, niacinamide and vitamin C and is one of the best ways to keep pimples and acne away.

Tree tea oil

Tree tea oil has been considered as the go-to acid for oily and acne-prone skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe your skin and prevent breakouts. It also contains microbial effects that help neutralises acne-causing germs and reduce pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. However, as tree tea oil is very mild on your skin, they take a longer time to show results and might not be much effective in treating persistent acne. 


Formally an anti-ageing ingredient, retinol works efficiently in tackling your acne. These are a form of vitamin A that help promote cell turnover and boost collagen production while clearing excess sebum and exfoliating dead skin. Based on your skin and age, you can use retinol in the form of creams, gels and serums. However, it can increase sun sensitivity, and cause dryness and allergic reactions. Therefore, start slow with retinol, using them only once a week in the beginning. Try the Garnier Wrinkle Lift Anti-Ageing Cream, which is enriched with facial acids like retinol, citric acid and salicylic acid. It tightens your skin and gives a youthful appearance and glow. Ensure that you patch-test your skin to check its suitability and always use sunscreen. Caution: Pregnant and lactating women are advised against using retinol.

Things To Keep In Mind While Using Acids For Acne

  • Be consistent and patient while using actives for your skin. They can take time to show results.
  • Do not use more than the prescribed quantity or large concentration of acids, as they can often cause side effects like dryness, peeling, irritation and redness. It is advised to use acids in lower concentrations and use them in moderation only a few times a week.
  • Avoid using acids 2-3 days before any facial treatments.

Facial acids can significantly help you manage your acne-prone skin and give you a brighter and even-toned complexion. However, before you start using acids for acne-prone skin in your routine, ensure that you know how to apply them correctly and consult your dermatologist to know it's safe for you. Moreover, do not forget to nourish your skin while using facial acids. Use serum sheet masks that give an instant boost of hydration and make your skin supple and soft.