Oils and Acids: Yes, You Need Them Now for Clearer, Healthier Skin. Here's Why.

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Rachel Duran

oils and acids in bottles

Rachel DuranDo you still hunt for oil-free moisturizers? Are you afraid of using products that contain acid? If so, it may be time to change your mind—and your skin may love you for it. 

Decades ago, oil-free products were introduced as a way to prevent clogged pores and breakouts caused by cheap ingredients. And as we move away from putting harsh ingredients on our skin, many assume that acids should be avoided, too.

But today, quality skincare products rarely contain unhealthy oils or acids. In fact, the oils and acids used today often provide important benefits to the skin. 

The Benefits of Oils

Even if you're prone to breakout and adult acne, oil is not the enemy. It’s your body’s natural way of creating a protective barrier between you and the outside world: oil fends off bacteria, prevents water loss, and helps retain moisture for more supple skin.

Is your skin feeling parched from an acne treatment? Try swapping out your usual moisturizer with jojoba oil or another plant-based oil that can mimic your natural sebum’s ability to lubricate and protect.

Each oil has it’s own extra advantages: Tea tree oil is well-loved for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits and blemish-busting abilities. Argan oil is a lightweight, all-around easy hydrator that softens and nourishes the skin with vitamin E. Jojoba soothe irritated complexions and aging skin, both of which tend to have underactive oil glands. There are great options, and one perfect for your specific concerns.

The Benefits of Acids

Want to reduce the sings of aging, clarify your skin, brighten, and exfoliate? Of course you do. Pick up a skin-loving, universally impressive hydroxyl acid. The two major types of acid, alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) (glycolic, lactic, and malic acids) and beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) (salicylic acid) are both great exfoliators, but there are some important differences to note when picking between formula A and B.

AHAs are best for those with dry skin, helping perk up dull complexions and reduce hyperpigmentation. It's best to apply AHAs at nighttime and it's often found in moisturizers and intensive serums to ensure proper absorption.

BHAs are great for oily, acne-prone skin. This acid deeply penetrates pores for some intensive cleansing and it may even soothe the skin. Salicylic acide comes in cleansers, gels, and creams great for your before-bed routine. Just don’t forget to wear SPF in the morning—acids make your skin more sensitive to the sun.


  • Rachel Duran is an editor at Arithmetic
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults achieve clear, healthy skin

Posted in acid, aha, bha, jojoba oil, oil, salicylic acid, skincare, tea tree oil



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