Facial masks are full of acids. Some of these are chemically created, and others are natural. They all have some purpose for the skin, offering both benefits and negative side effects.
Before you pick up a face mask, you want to make sure it does everything you want. This will mean looking at the type of ingredients used. You’ll want to find out the types of acid and how they’re used on your face.
Don’t worry about doing all that research. We’ve broken down the 12 most common acids found in anti-aging facial masks. We’ll share everything you need to know about the facial masks acids and the purposes for the masks.
Find Masks with Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a type of acid. It’s in the majority of premature aging products and baby products because it is so good for the skin. It’s the zinc that causes most of benefits, especially when those problems are linked to sun damage.
Wearing sunscreen isn’t always enough. If you don’t wear it properly and replenish it throughout the day, your skin is still going to suffer from damage. You want to add something to your skin that will help to repair some of the damage.
Zinc oxide does that—during and after. It will reflect the light, so the sun doesn’t get into the skin. Too many other sunscreens include toxins that absorb the sun’s rays. While the chemicals are supposed to keep the Rays locked in, they sometimes get into the skin and cause damage to the cells.
Meanwhile, zinc has healing benefits. It’s not irritating to the skin and will help to clean out cuts and wounds. It kills bacteria while replenishing the skin cells.
And the claims have been backed by research. An Australian study shows that signs of aging were seen in 24% fewer people using zinc oxide compared to the sunscreen users.
Stock Up on Retinol
Retinol is found in many anti-aging products and is a derivative of vitamin A. This is important for reducing the signs of aging and makes it the second acid that you want to look out for in all skin care products and anti-aging face masks.
This acid has been around since the 1930s, but it’s only been the last couple of decades that it was created into a stabilized and useable form. It’s only now that we can gain all the benefits from it.
Vitamin A helps to support the skin tissues and cells. It keeps the collagen production up and supports firmer, thicker skin. By stimulating collagen production, the skin will be more flexible and elasticised. It stretches but returns to the normal size easily, reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
There is also some benefit to the skin cells. Our cells naturally die. There’s nothing wrong with that, as they are replaced by new cells. You want to support the healthy growth of these new cells, which retinol offers. This means fewer blemishes and dark spots forming on the skin.
The only people who need to stay away from retinol is pregnant women. The effects on an unborn baby are currently unknown, and doctors like to act cautiously.
Watch Out for Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is also known as one of the alpha hydroxy acids. Naturally, in sugar cane, the acid helps to exfoliate and deeply cleanse the skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are found in almost all skin care products now, even natural ones! They’re important for making the skin look and feel brighter and cleaner.
Glycolic acid helps to remove the dead skin cells from the top layers of the skin. This means the newer cells can shine through and create a softer feel. The tone is improved, and you’ll look radiant.
Meanwhile, the acid gets into the middle and lower layers of the skin. It will help to produce more elastin within the skin, so it is more supple and firmer. There is more flexibility, reducing tears, fine lines, and wrinkles. You will look years younger.
While other alpha hydroxy acids do this, glycolic acid is the one that gets into the skin the easiest. It will get right into the pores and is suitable for every single type of skin out there!
The benefits have also been proven in studies. This is something to look out for, whether you get it chemically made or in its natural sugar cane form.
Look at Lists for Sodium Hyaluronate
When you want to get more water into the skin cells, you’ll want to look out for humectants. Sodium hyaluronate is one of them. Most importantly, hyaluronic acid is naturally created within the skin cells and is one of the most powerful humectants available. It makes sense that you want to look out for this compared to lecithin and glycerine.
Hyaluronic acid holds water up to 1,000 times its weight. And we know how important water is for the skin. Moisture helps to balance out the oil production and leaves the skin feeling soft.
But why do we say sodium hyaluronate rather than any hyaluronic acid? Well, there’s the benefit of the sodium form of it. The molecule size is much smaller, making it more powerful for penetrating into the pores. It will get into even the tightest of pores! Studies have also shown that it improves the cell health and gets all the cells talking to each other!
Consider More Lipids Through Ceramides
The fifth on the list is ceramide. This acid is a type of fat, which works on a cellular level. The acid physically supports the cell production and growth, meaning that the skin looks plumper and firmer than ever before. There’s also an extra layer of protection against environmental damage.
The skin naturally has this barrier. There’s already a ceramide content within the cells, but this decreases over time. It’s up to use to add it back in when we need it the most. While there are synthetic options, there are plenty of plant-based options, making this an ingredient added to natural skin care products.
When you prevent the cells breaking down and protect against the damage from the environment, your wrinkles look smaller and thinner. Your fine lines disappear, and your skin looks smoother than ever before.
Stimulate Collagen with Matrixyl
To prevent the signs of aging, you need to keep your collagen production up. This is something that dips as we get older. It’s completely natural but not something you just have to put up with happen. You don’t need to handle the side effects when you can reverse the production slow-down.
Matrixyl is an acid that you want to consider for anti-aging facial masks. This is also known as palmitoyl-pentapeptide-4, so make sure you look out for that on ingredients list too.
This acid is a type of peptide, which is a protein. The protein gets into the collagen to increase production, meaning your skin is far more flexible and firmer. You will reduce the side effects of reduced production, including stretch marks, wrinkles, and dark spots.
There are other peptides out there, but none of the others have been proven as effective in studies. Matrixyl has.
Get Your Vitamin B3 with Niacinamide
There’s a reason a healthy and balanced diet is recommended: your whole body gets the benefit of all nutrients. Some vitamins are relatively difficult to get, even when you do have a balanced diet. That means you need to find them elsewhere.
This is especially the case with vitamin B3. The good news is that it’s in the majority of skin care products because of the acid niacinamide.
Why is vitamin B3 so important? Well, it’s an anti-inflammatory ingredient. It reduces swelling, redness, and other irritating skin problems. It will work on evening out the skin tone and fading hyperpigmentation. These are normal problems as we age, often linked to damage to the skin tissues and cells by the sun.
Niacinamide can also help to boost the collagen production. We’ve already looked at how this is important for the skin tone and texture, reducing wrinkles and fine lines. You will instantly reduce the signs of aging and look 10 years younger!
Get D-Alpha-Tocopherol for Vitamin E
Another vitamin that you want in your facial masks is vitamin E. This comes in a variety of natural and synthetic products. When it comes to acids, you want to stop up on products with D-alpha-tocopherol.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It helps to fight off free radicals and other toxins caused by the environment, protecting the cells from oxidative stress. You lower the risk of cancer while slowing down the aging process. At the same time, your skin is left hydrated and smooth.
The reason to get D-alpha-tocopherol specifically is for the complexion benefits. As we get older, the skin can start to look pale, blotchy, and thin. The acid will help to improve coloring and texture, creating a more uniform look across your whole body.
There are also anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll reduce the look of redness and blotchiness from irritation, damage, and aging.
This is most effective when it’s combined with vitamin C, especially when repairing UV damage.
Add the Antioxidant Resveratrol
Let’s look at another antioxidant since they are so good for the skin. You want to look for something that will fight against the sun damage within the skin, and that means a face mask with resveratrol. The great news is this is another that can be created both naturally and synthetically. It’s found in red grapes, so you can even add it to your natural products!
Resveratrol has been proven in peer-reviewed studies. This means the studies aren’t managed or paid for by companies that benefit from the sales of anything with the acid in them. The studies show that the acid doesn’t just fight the sun damage, but blocks the UV rays from the skin. If any do get through, the anti-inflammatory properties do help to reverse some of the issues.
There is also collagen production, which is important for creating fuller and suppler skin. If you don’t want to put creams on your face, a glass of red wine will help.
You Still Want Hyaluronic Acid
We’ve shared the benefits of hyaluronic acid, but did admit that sodium hyaluronate is better for you. Well, while that’s the case, you still want to look out for products that have hyaluronic acid within them.
Acid tends to get a bad reputation. It’s viewed as dangerous and doesn’t belong in skin products. However, there are some benefits of acid. For one thing, it is cleansing and brightening. It helps to strip away the dirt and grime, killing bacteria and removing the dead skin cells. Your whole face will look brighter and cleaner than ever before, making you look years younger.
This is certainly the case for hyaluronic acid. This is one of those that helps the skin absorb more water and kill more bacteria. It helps the skin produce far more collagen than before, reducing the looks of fine lines and wrinkles. The whole skin is protected against damage. Skin tone evens out, and the moisture locking benefits mean that the skin feels smoother.
It even protects against sun damage! There’s a protective layer created, even when the skin doesn’t have sunscreen on. However, this is limited, so you will still want to work on protecting the skin from sun damage in other ways!
Start Adding More Vitamin C
Vitamin C itself isn’t an acid. It is found in a few acids that are good for skin repair and support. You can also get it naturally to help create your anti-aging face masks.
Topical vitamin C is an antioxidant. It will repair thedamage done by the sun and help protect the skin from oxidative stress and free radical damage. Vitamin C will also support the immune system and clean out the bacteria that grow, causing various skin problems. There are also collagen benefits, helping to support flexible and supple skin.
You can get it in L-ascorbic acid. This is the most stabilizedoption, but it does degrade quickly in the light. If you are going out in the sun, you’ll want to look for more stabilized options. Sodium ascorbic phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate are your best two options for non-light degrading types.
Top Up on Citric Acid
Finally, we have citric acid. This is a popular option through natural anti-aging facial masks since so many of them contain lemon or citrus juice. It’s also one of the mildest types of acid to put on your skin.
Citric acid has been used for centuries to clean out clogged pores, protect against acne production, improve pigmentation and sun spots, and remove wrinkles. It evens out the skin tone effectively while helping to lighten scars and get rid of acne.
Manage Your Signs of Aging with Good Acid
There are certainly bad acids out there. Too many are harsh on the skin and cause burning. However, there are others that are safe and even good for the whole body. You can help to replenish the skin cells, repair damage, and increase collagen production. All these effects will help to reduce the signs of aging.
Look out for the above 12 in your products. There are synthetic and natural forms of so many of them, meaning that you can find either natural or chemical products, depending on your interests. Many are suitable for all types of skin, including sensitive, eczema-prone skin. If you want to make your own, look for fruits, vegetables, or plants that have them naturally occurring to boost your skin health.
It’s time to look decades younger with the right acids.