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Acids. They sound terrifying, but rest assured, these potent ingredients can be the most important part of your skin-care routine. That is, as long as you know your ferulic from your salicylic. Indeed, all acids are not created equal, which is why it's worth it to learn the real deal on each one and, in turn, avoid unnecessary reactions (not to mention, never shell out big bucks for a product that's totally wrong for your skin type ever again).
To get the CliffsNotes version of Acids 101, we reached out to two NYC-based derms, Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Dr. Ariel Ostad, a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic dermatologic surgeon. The docs set us straight on which acids will brighten us up, zap our acne, and generally leave our mugs as smooth as a baby's behind. Read on and bring this along as a cheat sheet the next time you go skin-care shopping.