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Skincare Acids 101

Acid can be a scary word. For most, the word acid is synonymous with skin irritation and redness, but did you know that certain acids are actually used for hydration and protection?

We created this simple guide to explain the benefits of various acids and how they are most commonly used in cosmetics.

Acids 101 Thrive Causemetics


  • Hyaluronic Acid (Sodium Hyaluronate) - Holds 1,000x its weight in water to provide oil-free hydration and plumping to the skin. Learn more about this all-star ingredient and why we use it in our Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner and Brow Liner here.  
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) - Essential for skin barrier repair function, Vitamin B5 replenishes essential nutrients to keep your skin looking youthful.


  • Glycolic Acid - If you’re looking for rapid removal of dead skin and brightening after one use, reach for glycolic acid.  
  • Lactic Acid - One of the most popular alpha hydroxy acids, Lactic Acid is derived from milk sugars and gently sloughs off dead skin without the use of exfoliating beads.
  • Salicylic Acid - Commonly found in acne treatments, dermatologists often recommend using salicylic acid or white willow bark to help speed up cell turnover to reveal a more even complexion and smooth fine lines.
  • Retinoic Acid (Retinol) - This derivative of Vitamin A is a favorite among dermatologists because it is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, treat hyperpigmentation and acne.


  • L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) - Vitamin C is highly unstable, meaning that improper formulation and packaging renders it useless. L-Ascorbic Acid is the most stable form of Vitamin C. We love this ingredient so much we use it in our Infinity Waterproof Brow Liner to protect the skin.
  • Kojic Acid - This all-natural compound is derived from fungi similar to mushrooms. t helps to block melanin production in skin, making it excellent for prevention of hyperpigmentation.
  • Azelaic Acid - A natural ingredient found in rye and barley, azelaic acid was first discovered and used to treat acne. Dermatologists and scientists discovered that it also works to even out the skin tone by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, an enzyme that stimulates melanin production.


  • L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) - This O.G. of antioxidants neutralizes free radicals that cause premature aging.  
  • Ferulic Acid - An all-natural antioxidant that blends synergistically with other ingredients such as Vitamin C to block free radicals.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid - Also an anti-inflammatory, Alpha Lipoic Acid prevents oxidative stress that breaks down collagen in skin.

Comments on This Post (2)

  • Feb 28, 2023

    @Cindy – This is a great question! Yes, the Moisture Flash Toner contains 0.5% Salicylic Acid! This product gently exfoliates at the pore level to slough away dead skin cells while helping to regulate excess oil production. <3

    — Thrive Causemetics

  • Feb 28, 2023

    Is Salicylic acid found in any Thrive Causemetic toner?
    Many thanks, Cindy

    — Cindy

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