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Drop some acid

The skincare ingredient fights acne and aging.

Once a treatment reserved for doctors’ offices, acids are now available for at-home use in the form of serums, face washes, and peels. They have an exfoliating effect and can help with acne, redness, anti-aging, and discoloration when used properly and consistently, says Gervaise Gerstner, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City. Over-the-counter products are higher on the pH scale, meaning they’re less acidic and don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as acids used during professional treatments. Translation: they can be part of a daily skincare routine.

Try one of the following expert picks to address common skin concerns.


omorovicza acid fix treatment

An ideal introduction to acids, glycolic is safe for all skin types, says Gerstner. “This is a great product to address most skincare issues from anti-aging to blemishes,” says Sarah Garland, senior manager of planning for The Spa at Equinox. This treatment sloughs off dead cells and unclogs pores using the combination of glycolic and salicylic acids.
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mario badescu anti acne serum

The salicylic acid in this serum will treat mild outbreaks and also help dissolve blackheads and whiteheads. “This formula will help regulate oil production and lightly exfoliate the skin, keeping pores clear,” says Garland. Plus, the addition of thyme reduces redness.
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vivant skin care mandelic acid 3-in-1 wash

Mandelic acid works wonders on inflamed skin post-workout, plus this a great cleanser for breakout-prone athletes, says Garland. This face wash is also made with green tea extract that will stimulate collagen production for a brighter complexion.
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dr. barbara sturm hyaluronic ampoules

Hyaluronic acid acts as an oil-free hydrator resulting in more supple, younger-looking skin. “The hyaluronic will help draw the antioxidants deeper, fighting free radical damage,” explains Garland. Try it in these single-use treatments to see the skin visibly plump.
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m-61 powerglow peel

Gerstner recommends easy use pads that smooth the skin’s texture, pore size, and any visible scarring. A combination of glycolic and salicylic acid rids of dead skin while chamomile and lavender calm and soothe. However, this might not be the best product for extremely sensitive skin types, advises Garland.
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