Well actually there is quite a big difference.
If your questioning which one you should use in your routine, the answer is simply both. This because they do different things. Regardless of your skin type (although I think it’s more important to focus on your skin texture at a particular time) chemical exfoliation is important, actually it’s essential.
Hyaluronic acid is there to hydrate your skin. I know it’s tempting to assume that because acid is in the name it’s there to strip you of something but actually it amplifies the skin’s ability to keep water in the skin. Water = hydration. Hydration = happiness, along with full, bouncy skin. The technical term for HA is humectant, meaning it helps skin attract and retain moisture.
Salicylic acid on the other hand does what it says on the tin. Salicylic acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid which works on deep level, deeper than lactic acid, to fight the appearance of blemishes. Salicylic acid has the ability to bind to oil and so is able to break through the buildup of bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells in the pore lining and dissolve it, which unclogs pores and can help prevent breakouts from happening.
The bottom line
Acids are a great way to work towards getting the skin you want. You only have to look at the skincare community on Instagram to see countless pictures of how chemical exfoliation has helped to rid people of their breakouts and leave them with much smoother skin. I will say it takes time, or should take time. Don’t rush into buying high concentrations of exfoliating acids. Start low and build up your tolerance.
Don’t forget you can always DM or email me for which acids you want me to compare next!