As OROGOLD has discussed before, acids have a number of distinct uses that make them ideal for using in skin care. Each acid brings with it its own traits that can suit it to everything from being a moisturizer to helping improve the texture and tone of your skin. Malic acid is no exception to this rule. It does suffer from most people not really knowing what it is though. This is a fairly universal problem for acids and other chemicals used in skin care. The name tells most people nothing. In our ongoing efforts to make the world of skin care a little more understandable, we’ve put together a short overview of what malic acid does for you when you use a product containing it.
A Familiar Set of Friends
Malic acid is actually an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). These are frequently utilized compounds in skin care that offer reliable benefits. Glycolic, citric, and lactic acid are some of the more common AHAs that you might have seen on some of your products. An AHA is one of the gentler forms of hydroxy acids, but they do have relative strengths. Malic is as potent as glycolic in many products, but malic is slightly gentler on the skin most times it has been studied. This makes it suitable for skins more sensitive than average. You should be aware that it still isn’t necessarily the best choice for highly sensitive skin. Products formulated for that skin type are always the best option instead of looking for a single ingredient. Malic acid’s status as an AHA ensures that it provides the same benefits as its siblings.
A Quick Refresher
AHAs see most of their use in cleansing products and as the active ingredients in chemical exfoliating products. They are particularly useful for helping to break down the upper layers of dead skin to reveal the healthier, newer skin beneath them. This acidic quality also serves to eat away at the grime and natural oils that build up on the skin and create environments suitable for acne bacteria to grow. OROGOLD suggests looking at your favorite acne-fighting product. You’re more than likely going to find a form of either glycolic acid or salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid. Skin care companies have been using hydroxy acids like this for a long time. It makes them one of the most tested group of compounds in skin care. AHAs like malic acid are safe, effective, and most of the time fairly simple. Some studies show that malic acid may have an extra trick up its sleeve though.
A Little Extra Support
Interestingly, a few studies have shown that malic acid is actually capable of supporting the skin’s health as well. Its nature as an acid allows it to penetrate into the skin better than many products. When enough of it reaches the dermis, it appears to help boost collagen production within the skin itself. This makes it similar to ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C, in that it has the potential for both cleaning and improving the actual health of the skin. Collagen is what helps supports the shape of your skin and its decreasing amounts with age are what creates wrinkles. Since malic acid helps remove layers of dead skin, this helps reduce the appearance of fine lines all on its own. Boosting collagen production is a bonus that makes this effect even more pronounced.
Malic acid is a useful compound in skin care. It doesn’t see as much use as some other AHAs, but this doesn’t diminish its effectiveness. OROGOLD suggests keeping an eye open for products using it if your skin becomes more sensitive due to illness or damage. This can make a useful shorthand substitute for your favorite product if that one is a bit too harsh for the time being. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of another one of skin care’s many ingredients and feel a bit more confident when hunting for new products.