Sensitive skin types often find choosing the right products, especially acids, a daunting task. Many avoid exfoliators and acids altogether because they believe that acids are irritating. However, there are plenty of active acids that are safe and gentle for sensitive skin.

What Is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is determined genetically and occurs due to a hyperactive immune system or impaired skin barrier function. People with sensitive skin often experience redness, irritation, stinging, flaking, itching and burning. Sensitive skin is a skin type and there is no cure, but the right routine can keep skin balanced and healthy.

What Are The Best Acids For Sensitive Skin?

Glycolic Acid in lower concentrations, such as 10% Glycolic Acid Step-Up Routine for Normal to Combination Skin and 10% Glycolic Acid Step-Up Routine for Dry Skin, can be used with sensitive skin. Glycolic Acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that effectively exfoliates dead skin cells and removes hyperpigmentation to reveal smoother, more radiant skin. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production.

Lactic Acid, another AHA, is less irritating than Glycolic Acid, but an effective exfoliation, nevertheless. It brightens dull, lackluster skin. Lactic Superficial Retexturizing Serum pairs Lactic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, exfoliate and revitalize the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant moisturizer and a weak acid, so it does not have an exfoliating effect. It can soak up 1,000 times its weight in water to hydrate and plump dry skin, while restoring the skin's barrier function. It is found in HA+ Smoothing Hydra Cream, PHA+ Renewing Eye Cream and Hydra Lipid UV Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40+.

Mandelic Acid is a gentle AHA that exfoliates with less irritation than Glycolic Acid. It evens out skin tone, decreases redness and acne, and reduces fine lines while exfoliating dead skin cells to give you glowing skin. Mandelic Gentle Resurfacing Serum combines Mandelic Acid with Phytic Acid, which removes dark spots, and Agastache Mexican Flower, which reduces redness.

Azelaic Acid gently exfoliates dead skin cells, kills bacteria that cause acne, reduces hyperpigmentation, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can be found in Enhance Brightening Complex and Enhance Brightening Solution.

ACIDS 101

What Ingredients Should Patients With Sensitive Skin Avoid?

  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin C
  • Fragrance
  • Essential Oils
  • Alcohol
  • Chemical Sunscreens
  • Physical Exfoliants

ACIDS 101

When To Talk To Your Dermatologist

  • If you are unsure if you have sensitive skin.
  • If you need help selecting the right products for sensitive skin.
  • If you are getting irritation, redness, flaking, or pain with any products.
  • If you think you are having an allergic reaction to a product.